Bodo Weber:

Bosna i Hercegovina poslije protesta u februaru 2014: postoji li mogućnost za novi žestok socijalni nemir?

Ova politička bilješka DPC-AI je dio niza povremenih političkih dokumenata koji zajednički čine drugo izdanje Studije DPC i Atlantske inicijative o analizi rizika. Ovo drugo izdanje procjenjuje iste faktore iz sveukupne perspektive do današnjeg dana, uključujući novu informaciju koja ranije nije bila dostupna autorima. Ti dokumenti nisu samo najnovije informacije prvog izdanja; svaka politička zabilješka je samostalna procjena teme o kojoj je riječ. Ipak, ostaju i informacije iz izdanja iz 2011. koje su relevantne.

17.12.2015.

Bodo Weber:

Bosnia and Herzegovina after the February 2014 protests: is there a potential for renewed violent social unrest?

This DPC-Atlantic Initiative Policy Note is part of a series of occasional thematic papers which collectively compose the second edition of DPC and the AI’s Security Risk Analysis Study. This second edition assesses these same factors from the vantage point of the present day, including new information previously unavailable to the authors. These papers are not mere updates of the first edition; each Policy Note is a stand-alone assessment of the theme in question. However, where information from the 2011 edition remains relevant, it is included.

17.12.2015.

REZIME I PREPORUKE

I pored mnoštva izazova i strukturalnih problema naslijeđenih iz predratnog i ratnog socio-ekonomskog sistema i poratne državne strukture, Bosna i Hercegovina (BiH) je imala značajan ekonomski oporavak i rast od 2004-06. Ovo djelomično treba zahvaliti nekim državnim reformama uključujući jedinstvenu stopu PDV-a i jedinstvenog računa za indirektno oporezivanje i raspodjelu dobiti, što je postignuto uz ozbiljan međunarodni angažman, a što je zauzvrat pojačalo spremnost domaćih političkih elita za reforme. Međutim, nada da će domaće elite nastaviti sa strukturalnom reformom na putu ka euro-atlantskoj integraciji brzo su se pokazala neutemeljenom kad je Zapad, u pomjeranju politike 2005/06, počeo davati sve veću odgovornost domaćim akterima. Ne samo da vladajuće elite nisu nastavile s reformama nego su proširile postojeći političko-ekonomski sistem napotizma. Glavni elementi ovog sistema nepotizma je rastući broj radnih mjesta u javnim službama i sistem socijalnih olakšica na osnovu statusa za izvjesne socijalne grupe, posebno ratne veterane. Oba elementa su etnički bazirana i koriste administrativne resurse da vežu političku lojalnost velikih socijalnih grupa uz vladajuće etničke partije. Rast troškova koji je išao uz pretjerano širenje nepotizma progutao je efekte prethodnog ekonomskog rasta i fiskalni učinak i učinio da Bosna i Hercegovina uđe u globalnu ekonomsku krizu 2008. po domaćim uvjetima.

Zemlja je uspjela da se izvuče iz recesije poslije 2010, ali je propustila da pokrene socio-ekonomski oporavak i održiv rast. Usporenost globalne resecije i implementiranje osnovnih inicijalnih strukturalnih reformi na domaćem tlu zaustavilo je dramatičan ekonomski pad. Ali strukturalni uzroci socio-ekonomske slabosti a iznad svega sistem nepotizma ostali su netaknuti. U cilju održanja krhke socio-ekonomske stabilnosti, vladajuće elite su se sve više počele oslanjati na strane i domaće posudbe i međunarodne finansijske institucije kao što je MMF. MMF je nastavio da nudi kreditne aranžmane od 2010, čak iako strukturalne reforme nisu bile implementirane a reformska obećanja neispoštovana i uprkos sve većoj političkoj nestabilnosti. Razlozi za ovu darežljivost prije svega leže na politici EU tog perioda: u nemogućnosti da dobije političku volju da se suoči sa domaćim političkim otporom prema reformama u BiH, Unija je smanjila ili potpuno odbacila svoje uvjete za reforme. Sa brzo rastućim nivoom javne zaduženosti i socijalnog nezadovoljstva, ovaj pristup se pokazao neodrživim dugoročno – kao što je postalo očito u nasilnom izljevu socijalnih frustracija u februaru 2014.

Protesti su se okončali uglavnom bez ikakvih rezultata; svi socio-ekonomski i politički faktori koji su ih izazvali 2014. ostaju nepromijenjeni i predstavljaju stalni sigurnosni rizik za budućnost BiH. Ostaje da se vidi da li nova EU inicijativa, koju su potakle Njemačka i Velika Britanija, zaista ima potencijala da unaprijedi ozbiljne strukturalne ekonomske i socijalne reforme.

Da bi spriječili novi izlljev nasilnih socijalnih nemira koji rizikuju da krenu prema među-etničkom konfliktu, međunarodni i domaći akteri treba da preduzmu niz hitnih koraka:

  • EU i IFI moraju dosljedno koristiti finansijsku uvjetovanost kako bi pogurali strukturalne ekonomske i socijalne reforme, da ne zaziru od mogućih posljedica, da daju ustupke kad su već jednom uvjeti određeni i da ostanu jedinstveni.
  • EU i IFI moraju uspostaviti redosljed specifičnih reformskih oblasti tako da se prvo uhvate temelja sistema nepotizma u zemlji.
  • EU mora prestati sa cjenkanjem oko reformske agende sa domaćim političkim liderima iza zatvorenih vrata i umjesto toga uspostaviti iskreno partnerstvo sa građanima BiH uz podršku javnog mnjenja s fokusom na potrebe i interese građana.
  • Domaći politički i vladini akteri moraju fokusirati svoje strukturalne ekonomske reforme na prevazilaženje fragmentacije tržišta i ekonomske politike u BiH – preduvjet za pridruživanje u EU kao jedinstveno tržište i za rast ekonomski orijentisane politike. Ako se takve reforme pokažu nemogućim i neefikasnim u postojećem institucionalnom sklopu, nadležnosti treba prebaciti na nivo države i/ili novostvorene institucije.
  • Drugi fokus reformi potaknutih domaćim snagama i podržanim od strane međunarodne zajednice treba da bude na uspostavi istinski jedinstvenog i slobodnog tržišta.
  • Radnički sindikati se moraju reformirati kako bi postali istinske socijalne interesne grupe. Potrebne su mjere vlade da se podrže sindikati kako bi postali relevantni akteri u privatnom sektoru.
  • Civilno društvo se mora transformirati i krenuti prema strateškom zastupanju u ime građana i socijalnih interesnih grupa podržanih promjenom u filozofiji finansiranja donatorske zajednice.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Despite a multitude of challenges and structural problems inherited from the pre-war and wartime socio-economic system and the post-war state structure, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) saw remarkable economic recovery and growth from 2004-06. This was partly due to some state-building reforms including the introduction of a unified VAT rate and a Single Account for indirect tax collection and revenue distribution, made possible by serious international engagement that in turn boosted the reform willingness of domestic political elites. However, hopes that domestic elites would continue structural reform on the way to Euro-Atlantic integration quickly proved unfounded when the West, in a policy shift in 2005/06, began handing increasing responsibility to domestic actors. Not only did the ruling elites not follow through with reforms, but they expanded the existing political-economic patronage system. The main elements of this patronage system are burgeoning public employment and a system of status-based social benefits for certain social groups, especially war veterans. Both elements are ethnically based and use administrative resources to tie the political loyalty of large social groups to the ruling ethnic parties. The exploding cost that went with the excessive expansion of patronage ate up the effects of the previous economic growth and fiscal performance and made Bosnia and Herzegovina enter the global economic crisis in 2008 on homemade terms.

The country succeeded to escape from recession after 2010, but it failed to move towards socioeconomic recovery and sustainable growth. The slow-down of the global recession and the implementation of basic initial structural reforms on domestic soil stopped the dramatic economic downturn. But the structural causes of the socio-economic weakness, and above all the patronage system, remained untouched. In order to uphold a fragile socio-economic stability, the ruling elites increasingly relied on foreign and domestic borrowing and on international financial institutions such as the IMF. The IMF has continued to provide credit arrangements since 2010, even though structural reforms were not being implemented and reform commitments were not being honored, and despite rising political instability. The reasons for this generosity lie primarily with the EU’s policy of that period: unable to muster the political will to confront domestic political resistance to reforms in BiH, the Union has lowered or dropped altogether its reform conditions. In 2013, the EU provided direct support to the BiH State budget without any serious conditionality. With rapidly rising levels of public indebtedness and social disaffection, this approach proved unsustainable in the long run – as became evident in the violent outburst of social frustrations in February 2014.

The protests ended essentially without any results; all the socio-economic and political factors that provoked them in 2014 remain in place and pose a continuing security risk for the future of BiH. It remains to be seen if the EU’s new BiH initiative, spearheaded by Germany and the UK, really has the potential to promote serious structural economic and social reforms.

In order to prevent a renewed outburst of violent social unrest that risks being diverted towards inter- ethnic conflict, international and domestic actors should take a series of urgent steps:

  • The EU and the IFIs must consistently use financial conditionality in order to push for structural economic and social reforms, not shy away from potential consequences, not compromise once conditions have been set, and remain united.
  • The EU and the IFIs must set the sequencing of specific reform areas so that the foundations of the country’s patronage system are tackled first.
  • The EU must stop bargaining over the reform agenda with domestic political leaders behind closed doors, and instead establish a genuine partnership with BiH citizens by way of public outreach focused on citizens’ needs and interests.
  • Domestic political and government actors must focus their structural economic reforms on overcoming the fragmentation of the market and of economic policy in BiH – a precondition for joining the EU as a genuine single market and for a growth-oriented economic policy. If such reforms prove impossible or ineffective in the existing institutional setting, competencies must be transferred to the State level, and/or new institutions created.
  • Another focus of domestically-driven and internationally-supported reforms needs to be on the establishment of a truly unified and free market.
  • The trade unions must reform themselves in order to become true social interest groups. Government measures are needed to support unions in becoming relevant actors in the private sector.
  • Civil society must transform itself and move towards strategic advocacy on behalf of citizens and social interest groups, supported by a shift in the donor community’s funding philosophy.

Izvještaj Atlantske inicijative i Vijeća za demokratizaciju politike Autor: Bodo Weber Uredništvo: Toby Vogel &DPC editorial board

A report from Atlantic Initiative & Democratization Policy Council Author: Bodo Weber Editing: Toby Vogel & DPC editorial board

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