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Publication Date

Spring 2008


Bosnia and Herzegovina's foreign policy is extraordinarily complex and a source of both contention and opportunity. The government negotiates policy with the Office of the High Representative, the EU, its Balkan neighbors, its parliamentary parties, its entities and its ethnic groups. All actors perceive EU integration as essential to future stability and development but the constitutional reform necessary for membership creates conflict. European integration runs contrary to ethnic segregation. Economic interests collide with nationalist sentiments founded in the very real wars and atrocities of the past decades. The prerequisite of reform prior to accession talks delays B&H's membership in the European Union. Although previous constitutional reform efforts failed, a synergistic linkage of the issues of entities, entity voting and decentralization might produce a compromise and an accord, thereby opening the path to EU accession.

Publication Title

Southwestern Journal of International Studies