While policymakers in Berlin, Brussels and Washington have spent much of the past four years focusing on Donald Trump’s tweets and the epic quest for sovereignty over Europe, a state ruled by kleptocrats on the periphery of the European Union is on the verge of failure. Once a showcase for successful state building, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has gradually fallen into corruption, dysfunction and paralysis due to the system of ethnic governance bequeathed to it by the 1995 war regulations. from Bosnia. The recent migration surge to the bloc’s borders and a related humanitarian crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina are bringing the country back to German headlines.
Germany has realized the dangers of the situation – at least it seems, given that Chancellor Angela Merkel has appointed a member of the Christian Social Union to be the next head of the Office of the High Representative (OHR). If confirmed, Christian Schmidt – former subordinate minister at the defense ministry and former minister of agriculture – will guide the UN-mandated institution, which is responsible for the implementation of the Peace Agreement of Dayton. The role has executive powers which, in theory, would allow it to remove officials and introduce legislation to overcome the obstruction of the agreement and safeguard the sovereignty of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Berlin’s high-level political interest in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a welcome development. But it will have to go beyond simply persuading Germany’s allies to approve Schmidt if …
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- Headline: How Berlin can stabilize a dysfunctional state – European Council on Foreign Relations
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