In the aftermath of a joint declaration of European values by five political parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina, USIP hosted a discussion of the current turmoil and upcoming elections with a member of the country’s parliament who signed the agreement and a former international official who served in Sarajevo.
After several failed attempts to move Bosnia-Herzegovina beyond political and economic stalemate, last month's joint commitment by top leaders to European values and identity, a social market economy and the rule of law might mark an opportunity for change. Five major political parties from Bosnia's two entities reached agreement to sign the joint declaration amid the deepest institutional crisis since the end of the war in 1995. It remains to be seen whether the parties will be able to generate support for their united stance in the run-up to the October 2014 elections.
On May 28, 2014, USIP held a conversation with Martin Raguž, a Member of the Parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina and President of the HDZ 1990 Party, and Edward P. Joseph, Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins SAIS Center for Transatlantic Relations who has worked for a dozen years in the Balkans most recently as Deputy Head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission in Kosovo. They discussed the recent turmoil in Bosnia, the significance of the joint declaration by the five parties, the upcoming elections and how to move the country forward. USIP’s Renata Stuebner moderated the discussion, which included presentations by the two speakers and a question-and-answer period. This event follows an April 2 discussion at USIP with a Bosnian civic activist and two other panelists on the ramifications of protests for the October elections.