BiH2.0 PERCEPCIJE PERCEPTIONS

SESIJA #2

Političke, ustavne reforme, vladavina prava i reforma sigurnosti

Kad je riječ o neuspjesima i sadašnjoj stagnaciji, koje čak ni protesti 2014. nisu otključali, postoji niz pitanja o tome zašto je napredak reformi zaglavljen u posljednjih 10 godina. Prema nekim govornicima, prve poslijeratne godine bile su obilježene jasnom međunarodnom vizijom o tome šta treba uraditi.Smatralo se da su i EU i NATO prave perspektive. Postojalo je i jako međunarodno liderstvo na terenu, koje je držalo razne međunarodne aktere dosta povezanim. Postojala je veća snaga poluge u formi obaveza i zahtjeva predstavljenih lokalnim elitama, nego što je niz izbora koji su u ovom trenutku na stolu. Bilo je lakše za napredak i reforme.

Snažno međunarodno liderstvo, koje je podržalo reforme, najzad je bilo u mogućnosti da bosanske domaće elite dovede za pregovarački sto, otvarajući put za promjenu. Reforma je bila posebno glatka u nekim područjima, koja nisu bila previša osjetljiva i prijeteća za domaće političke aktere.Današnja situacija se veoma razlikuje. S obzirom na iskustvo proteklih 20 godina, i uprkos važnim reformama postignutim kroz direktno uplitanje, neki domaći akteri međunarodni pritisak vide kao nametanje. Stoga fokus treba usmjeriti na upečatljive dogovore koji bi lokalno bili prihvaćeni kao legitimni tako da se mogu implementirati. Kao dio ovoga, više važnosti bi trebalo dati informisanju šire javnosti o reformskim procesima (kao što su reforme koje se odnose na EU), jednostavno i direktno.

Kako je istaknuto, bosanski lideri ostali su zaključani na ustavnoj reformi, ali međunarodni partneri nikad nisu donijeli pravu ocjenu velikog broja onih koji ometaju procese. Iako nije jedini, glavni ometač je Republika Srpska (RS). Moć Milorada Dodika je neobuzdana; pokušao je da zaustavi većinu inicijativa s međunarodne strane, posebno u odnosu na EU i NATO , s obzirom na njegov stav podrške Rusiji i sve veću tvrdoću i žestinu u ruskom stavu prema Zapadu (iako Član III.2 /b/ bosanskog ustava obavezuje entitete da pomognu u ispunjenju međunarodnih obaveza BiH). Završavajući pozitivnijom notom, nekoliko govornika su naglasili da je teško izvesti ustavne reforme pod bilo kojim okolnostima: tako da nije iznenađujuće što se to pokazalo izuzetno teško u zemlji s tako bremenitom i kompleksnom zalihom problema kao što je BiH.

O stvaranju jedinstvene vojske govorilo se kao o pozitivnom primjeru glatkog procesa reforme. Godine 2002.Predsjedništvo BiH je ambiciozno zatražilo da bude uključeno u Partnerstvo za mir (PfP) u programu NATO-a. NATO je reagovao sa nizom zahtjeva. Jedan od njih bilo je stvaranje vojske pod jedinstvenom komandom. Kad je 2002. Paddy Ashdown odlučio da tri postojeće vojske treba dovesti pod jedan krov, trebalo je samo 23 mjeseca da se nad dvije entitetske vojske postavi komandna struktura na nivou države. Postojala je unutrašnja politička volja da se podrži momentum. U januaru 2006. BiH je spojila entitetske vojske u jedinstvenu snagu i pridružila se PfP. Vojni budžet je bio srezan na pola, uspostavljen parlametarni nadzor nad vojskom i bosanski vojnici su bili raspoređenikao mirovnjaci u prekomorskim zemljama, uključujući i Avganistan (kao dio danskog kontigenta). Bosna je tako postala proizvođač sigurnosti, a ne samo potrošač. Razlog za ovaj cjelokupni uspjeh viđen je u procesu pregovaranja, koji je bio profesionalan, pažljivo isplaniran i opsežan, sa jasnim i dosljednim zahtjevima (često samo tehničke prirode). Postojali su i fokus i odlučnost u međunarodnoj zajednici.

Danas, međutim, punopravno članstvo u NATO se opstruira.Uglavnom zbog činjenice da položaj NATO-a u BiH više nije tako jak kao što je bio. Dok 80% Federacije podržava članstvo u NATO, ova cifra pada na 16% u Republici Srpskoj (iako raste do 70% ako Srbija bude članica). Političke prepirke sprječavaju rezoluciju o dugoročnom pitanju vojne imovine, rezoluciju koja je uslov za punopravno članstvo u NATO. Posao implementacije danas je glomazan pošto se radi o najvećim tehničkim pitanjima i samo ostaju zadaci koji su politički izazovni, tako da je korak mnogo sporiji. Čak i kad se postigne dogovor o nekim pitanjima, teško ga je ostvariti pošto ne postoji profesionalni, tj apolitični civilni sektor.Sada se traži da se obnovi Akcioni plan za članstvo (MAP), obezbijedi opipljiv poticaj za članstvo (kao što je očekivanje da se obnovi vojna proizvodnja) i krene naprijed.

U poređenju sa reformom odbrane, reforma policije je uvijek bila i komplikovana i izuzetno politizirana pošto su ulozi mnogo veći. Stoga je postojala apsolutna potreba za jasnom i zajedničkom vizijom i prioritetima; ali oni nedostaju. Učesnici su naglasili potrebu za većom saradnjom u sektoru sigurnosti.BiH treba da razvije borbu protiv terorizma i strategiju odbrane u sajber prostoru, što je pitanje hitnosti. Uostalom, metak ispaljen iz jednog od pištolja korištenom u atentatu na Charlie Hebdo došao je iz Bosne; oko 200 Bosanaca trenutno se bori uz ISIS; a već decenijama se ilegalno oružje krijumčari preko bosanske teritorije.

U okviru stranačkih politika, govornici su uočili tri temeljna problema: zatvorenost partijskog liderstva, nulti zbir bosanske politike i učestalost i brojnost izbora. Bosanske političke partije postale su autokratske organizacije unutar veoma malog kruga političara koji ne dozvoljavaju otvoren dijalog unutar stranke.Naglašeno je da partije u BiH nikad nisu bile sklone pluralističkim politikama. Većinu postojećih stranaka vode političari koji su direktno povezani s ratom i koji su finansijski i politički kapitalizirali na poslijeratnoj tranziciji. Jedan analitičar je uočio da postoji “Vladavina šestorke”, tj samo šest (ili najviše sedam) partijskih lidera pregovaraju o svim pitanjima i to je samo ojačalo njihove pozicije u sistemu. Čak i stariji partijski članovi nisu u mogućnosti da u potpunosti učestvuju.

I tako, prijedlog koji ponudi jedna grupa često automatski odbacuje neka druga grupa.Naglašeno je da Sporazum o rastu i zapošljavanju,što je reformska inicijativa koju je povela EU izdvajajući šest područja reformi, može postati žrtva u ovom pristupu. Nekoliko govornika predviđaju da neće biti prihvaćen u RS, s obzirom na otpor Banjaluke na sve prijedloge koji izgledaju suviše neo-liberalni. Ustvari, Banjaluka radi na kontra prijedlogu, koji će predstavljati izazov Sporazumu.

Što se tiče izbora, uočeno je da su bili uobičajeni iako su protekli bez nasilja, namještanja rezultata i indirektnog pritiska od strane partija da se za njih glasa iz straha ljudi da će ostati bez posla ako izaberu drukčiju opciju. Bilo je previše izbora na višestrukim nivoima bosanske vlasti, što nije obezbijedilo nikakvu suštinsku opciju što se tiče političkog odlučivanja. Jedan od kreatora politike naglasio je da njegov ured obično ima samo deset mjeseci slobodnog prostora da izvede reforme prije sljedeće runde izbora na jednom ili drugom nivou. Možda je jedina moguća kontramjera da se iste godine održe svi izbori na svim nivoima, ostavljajući tako više vremena za aktuelnu vlast. Izbori su čak učinili političku situaciju gorom zbog problema s formiranjem vlada.Na primjer, rad Doma naroda u Federaciji blokiran je 2013.jer nije bilo dovoljno članova među bosanskim Srbima (pošto su socijaldemokrati odlučili da ostanu u opoziciji) da bi se zadovoljili ustavni zahtjevi.

Debata se dalje fokusirala na pitanje kako pridobiti birače za reforme u situaciji u kojoj partijski lideri nemaju interesa za promjenu. Opšte mišljenje je bilo da je važno izabrati ona područja i pitanja koja su od direktnije i opipljivije važnosti za obične Bosance kao što su poljoprivreda, obrazovanje, poslovanje i zapošljavanje. To bi mogli biti pozitivni popratni efekti i u pojmovima međuetničke saradnje kao što pokazuju primjeri iz jugoistočne Hercegovine, gdje ljudi treba da trguju preko etničkih granica, i da etno-nacionalni identiteti prestaju da im stoje na putu. Obraćanje više pažnje mladima – u terminima boljeg obrazovanja i izgleda za karijeru – takođe je važna strategija.Veliki odliv mozgova iz Bosne treba da se zaustavi i da se potakne obrazovanje budućih lidera.

Druga strategija je da se stavi fokus na organizacije civilnog društva i potaknu njihove sposobnosti da ostvare promjenu u područjima kao što su zdravstvena zaštita ili socijalna sigurnost, koje je država zanemarila. Takođe treba popraviti lošu reputaciju nevladinog sektora, o čemu se govorilo kasnije. Širi prijedlog bio je da se prestane sa jednoobraznim pristupom prema reformama u oblastima gdje ne postoji konsenzus ili šablon u Evropi (npr. policija i obrazovanje), jer to može sniziti kredibilitet vanjskih aktera. Izgradnja povjerenja među unutrašnjim akterima, kao i između domaćih i vanjskih igrača, je dugoročan proces. To će takođe zahtijevati jačanje nepristranosti i transparentnosti sudstva, kao što predlaže Strukturni dijalog o sudstvu koji je inicirala EU.

Vodila se opširna rasprava o evropskoj integraciji.U periodu 2005-8.pregovaralo se i potpisan je Sporazum o stabilizaciji i pridruživanju (SAA), ali neuspjeh da se prihvate reforme u skladu sa odlukom iz Strasbura 2009. o pitanju Sejdić-Finci , spriječio je implementaciju. Liberalizacija viza je uvedena 2010.i to se pokazalo kao važan korak u otvaranju zemlje. Međutim, BiH ne koristi fondove Instrumenta predpristupne pomoći (IPA) pošto su ga blokirale političke elite koje se nisusložile, kako je traženo, o zajedničkom pristupu različitim pitanjima kao što su politika transporta i poljoprivrede. BiH sada ima pristup samo ograničenijim fondovima Institucije za gradnju i prekograničnu saradnju: i mnogo toga Bosanci vide kao nešto što odlazi u džepove stručnih savjetnika angažovanih u inostranstvu.

A što se tiče vanjske politike, Bosna je pokazala da nije u stanju zauzeti poziciju o ruskoj aneksiji Krima što je u Briselu negativno primljeno.Neki su vidjeli nedostatak iskrene podrške Brisela prema članstvu BiH, i vjeruju da je to odjeknulo u zemlji. Predstavnici EU se nisu složili. Britansko-njemačka inicijativa iz novembra 2014, koja od svih partijskih lidera u Bosni traži pismenu opredijeljenost da se uspostavi funkcionisanje na svim državnim nivoima, dobila je podršku i od drugih zemalja članica EU (i od SAD) i ocijenjena kao pravovremena i potencijalno mobilizirajuća snaga za reforme. Donesena je kao odgovor na narodne proteste u BiH, što je samo pokazalo da je politika EU postala suviše pasivna. Ona pokazuje novi pristup reformskoj agendi ne spuštajući suviše nisko ljestvicu. Uglavnom je riječ o nastavku, prvo sa socio-ekonomskim reformama, i kasnije pitanjima o ljudskim pravima (nije se odustalo niti zaboravilo). Prioritet je implementirati SAA, a kasnije se koncentrisati ne samo na pristup u EU i datum, nego i na važno pripremno putovanje i proces bitne reforme. To nije “Salun Posljednja šansa” nego uistinu neponovljiva ponuda. Neuspjeh će zahtijevati da se formalnije revidira odnos EU-BiH. Međutim, mnogi učesnici su naglasili da inicijativa ne može predstavljati jedinu strategiju prema BiH i mora da odgovara usklađenijim naporima u oblastima drugih reformi.

Kao i na prvoj sesiji, postojala je velika saglasnost o tome šta je uspjelo, šta nije uspjelo i šta može uspjeti. Strateški prioriteti bili su kretanje prema EU i NATO-u i izbjegavanje cul de sac. A što se tiče taktike, potrebna je jasna komunikacija, obraćanje običnim Bosancima i razgovor o uspjehu i ukazivanju gdje će to dovesti.

SESSION #2

Political, constitutional, rule of law, and security reforms

When talking about failures and the current stagnation, which not even the 2014 social mobilization had unlocked, there were a series of questions about why the progress of reform had been stalled in the past 10 years. According to some speakers, the first post-war years were marked by a clear international vision about what needed to be done. Both EU and NATO were considered as genuine perspectives. There was also strong international leadership on the ground, which kept the various international actors reasonably coherent. There was more leverage in the form of obligations and requirements presented to the local elites, rather than the set of choices which were currently on the table. It was thus easier to progress and reform.

The strong international leadership, which backed reform, was eventually able to bring the Bosnian domestic elites to the negotiating table, clearing the way for change. Reform was particularly smooth in some areas, which were not too sensitive and threatening for the domestic political actors. The situation is now very different. Given the experience of the past 20 years, and despite the important reforms achieved through direct interference, international pressure is perceived by some domestic actors as imposition. The focus should therefore now be on striking deals, which would be locally accepted as legitimate, so that they can be implemented. As part of this, more importance should be given to communicating reform processes (such as EU-related reforms) to the wider public in a simple and direct way.

Constitutional reform – which has according to many been unnecessarily stressed at the expense of other important areas – has proved to be a cul de sac. Deadlocks are often created within parties and intra-ethnic disagreements have stalled reforms. The internationally driven 2006 April Package and the 2009 Butmir talks failed due to the lack of a broad domestic consensus. Although the domestically driven Prud debates between the Bosniak leader Sulejman Tihic, the Croat leader Dragan Covic, and the Serb leader Milorad Dodik in 2008 showed that domestic political cooperation is not impossible, the capture of this process by these three key actors without the inclusion of a broader political spectrum, and their lack of sincere commitment to implementation, effectively buried this process too.

As noted, Bosnian leaders have remained gridlocked on constitutional reform, but the international partners have never carried out a good assessment of the large number of spoilers. Although by far not the only one, the main spoiler is in the Republika Srpska (RS). The power of Milorad Dodik has been so far unrestrained; he has tried to stall most internationally driven initiatives, especially with regards to the EU and NATO , given his rather supportive stance on Russia and the increasing hardness and virulence in Russia’s attitude towards the West (though Art. III.2 (b) of the Bosnian Constitution obliges the entities to assist in fulfilling the international obligations of BiH). Ending on a more positive note, several speakers stressed that constitutional reforms are difficult to carry out under any circumstances: it is thus not surprising that it has proved to be particularly difficult in a country with such a heavy and complex backlog of problems as BiH.

The creation of a national army was discussed as a positive example of a generally smooth reform process. In 2002, the BiH Presidency ambitiously asked to be included in the Partnership for Peace (PfP) NATO programme. NATO reacted by providing a set of requirements. One of these was the creation of an army under a unified command. When in 2002 Paddy Ashdown decided that the three existing armies had to be brought under one roof, it took only 23 months for a state-level command structure over the two entity armies to be put in place. There was internal political will to keep up the momentum.

By January 2006, BiH had merged the entity armies into a single force and joined PfP. The military budget was cut by half, parliamentary oversight over the army established, and Bosnian troops have since been deployed overseas as peacekeepers, including to Afghanistan (as part of the Danish contingent). Bosnia has thus become a provider of security, not just a consumer. The reason for this overall success was seen in the process of negotiation, which was professional, carefully planned and comprehensive, with clear and consistent requirements (often of a very technical nature). There was both focus and determination among the internationals.

At present, though, full NATO membership is being obstructed. This is largely due to the fact that NATO’s position in BiH is not as strong as it used to be. While 80% of the Federation support NATO membership, this figure falls to 16% in Republika Srpska (although this rises to 70% if Serbia were a member). Political squabbles obstruct the resolution of the long-standing issue of defence property, the resolution of which is a condition for full NATO membership. The implementation work of today is more cumbersome as the most technical issues have been dealt with and only politically challenging tasks remain, so the pace is much slower. Even when agreement is reached on some issues, seeing it through is difficult as there is no professional, i.e. apolitical, civil service sector. The requirement now is to revive the Membership Action Plan (MAP), provide tangible incentives for membership (such as the prospects of revived military production), and move forward.

Compared with defence reform, police reform was always going to be both very complicated and highly politicized as the stakes are much higher. There was therefore an absolute need for clear and shared vision and priorities; but these have been lacking. Participants stressed the need for more coordination across the security sector. BiH should develop a counter-terrorism and cyber defence strategy as a matter of urgency. After all, the bullet casing in one of the guns used in the Charlie Hebdo assassinations came fromBosnia; around 200 Bosnians are currently already fighting with ISIS; and illegal weapons have been smuggled through Bosnian territory for decades.

In the realm of party politics, speakers noted three fundamental problems: party leadership capture, the zero-sum nature of Bosnian politics, and the frequency and multiplicity of elections. Bosnian political parties have turned into autocratic organizations captured by a very small circle of politicians, who do not allow for an open intra-party dialogue. It was suggested that parties in BiH have never been friendly towards pluralistic policies. The majority of the existing parties are led by politicians directly linked to the war and financially and politically capitalizing on the post-war transition. One analyst noted that there exists a “Rule-of-Six”, i.e. only six (or at most seven) party leaders negotiate on all issues, and this has only strengthened their positions in the system. Even senior party members are unable to participate fully.

In addition, a proposal put forward by one group is often automatically rejected by one of the other groups. It has been stressed that the Compact of Growth and Jobs, which is an EU-led reform initiative singling out six reform areas, may well fall prey to this approach. The prediction by several speakers was that it would not be accepted in RS, given the resistance of Banja Luka to any proposals looking too neo-liberal. In fact, Banja Luka has been working on a counter-proposal, which would challenge the Compact.

As for elections, it was noted that although electoral rounds have been carried out without violence, ballot rigging and indirect pressure from parties to vote for them out of fear of losing jobs if people chose a different option have both been commonplace. There have been too many elections at the multiple levels of Bosnian governance, which have not provided any substantial options in terms of policy-making. One policy-maker stressed that his office would usually have only a ten-month election-free window to carry out reforms before the next round of elections at one or another level. One possible counter-measure might be to hold all elections at all levels in the same year, thus leaving longer time for actual governance. Elections have even made the political situation worse because of problems with the formation of governments. For example, the work of the House of Peoples in the Federation was blocked in 2013 because there were not enough members from among the Bosnian Serbs (after the Social Democrats decided to stay in opposition) to satisfy a constitutional requirement.

The debate further focussed on how to gain a constituency for reform in a situation where party leaders have no incentives for change. The general opinion was that it was important to choose those areas and issues which were of direct and tangible importance to ordinary Bosnians such as agriculture, education, business, and employment. These could have some positive side effects also in terms of inter-ethnic cooperation as examples from south-eastern Herzegovina suggest. Where people need to trade across ethnic borders, ethno-national identities cease to stand in their way. Paying more attention to the youth – in terms of better education and career prospects – is also a crucial strategy. The large brain drain from Bosnia needs to be stopped and educating future leaders needs to be encouraged.

Another strategy would be to focus on civil society organizations and enhance their capabilities to effect change in areas such as healthcare or social security, which have been neglected by the state. The bad reputation of the NGO sector, which was discussed later, could also be improved. A broader suggestion was to cease the one-size-fits-all approach to reform in areas where there is no consensus or template in Europe (e.g. police and education), as this can lower the credibility of external actors. Building trust between internal actors as well as between domestic and external players is a long-term process. It will also require strengthening the impartiality and transparency of the judiciary, as the findings of the Structured Dialogue on Justice initiated by the EU suggest.

European integration was discussed at length. The Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) was negotiated and signed in the period 2005-8, but the failure to adopt reforms in accordance with the 2009 Sejdic-Finci Strasbourg decisions have prevented its implementation. Visa liberalization was introduced in 2010, and this has proved to be an important step in opening up the country. However, BiH has not been making extensive use of the Instrument of Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds as they have been blocked by political elites, who have not as required agreed on a common approach to various issues such as transportation and agricultural policies. BiH now has access only to the more limited Institution Building and Cross-Border Cooperation funds: and all too many of these are seen by Bosnians as going into the pockets of expert advisers hired from abroad.

On the foreign affairs front, the fact that Bosnia proved unable to take a position on the annexation of the Crimea by Russia has been negatively received in Brussels. Some saw a lack of full-hearted support coming from Brussels for BiH’s membership, though, and believed that this resonated in the country. EU representatives disagreed. The UK-German initiative of November 2014, which seeks from all Bosnian party leaders a written commitment to establish functionality at all state levels, has gained support from other EU member states (and from the US) and has been deemed to be a timely and potentially mobilizing force for reform. It had been produced as a response to the popular protests in BiH, which themselves suggested that EU policy had become too passive. It demonstrates a new approach to the reform agenda, without lowering the bar too much. It is mainly about sequencing, with socio-economic reforms up front, and human rights issues later (not abandoned or forgotten). The priority is to implement the SAA, but thereafter to concentrate not just on the EU accession and a date, but on the important preparatory journey and the process of essential reform. It is not the “Last Chance Saloon” but certainly an unrepeatable offer. Failure would demand a more formal re-think of the EU-BiH relationship. However, many participants stressed that the initiative cannot constitute the only strategy towards BiH and has to be matched with more concerted efforts in other reform areas.

As in the first session, there was broad agreement on what had worked, what had not worked, and what might work. Strategic priorities were movement towards the EU and NATO, and avoidance of cul de sacs. As for tactics, the need was for clear communication, addressing ordinary Bosnians, and talking up success and showing where it led.
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