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Published on Jan 3, 2016
We in the ECR are delighted to remember the 20th anniversary of the Dayton Peace Agreement, a framework agreement which put an end to the bloody Bosnian civil war two decades ago. Whilst Dayton did indeed succeed in ending a genocidal conflict which pitted Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs against each other, regrettably Bosnia remains burdened by many of the same issues that triggered the war in 1992. Divisions remain pervasive and the internationally recognised Bosnia and Herzegovina state is still contested by some of its constituent national groups in the country. Instead of Bosnia and Herzegovina becoming a well-functioning federal state, it remains heavily plagued with internal disagreements between different national components and is unable to overcome the constitutional and political problems – for instance, resolving the Sejdić and Finci case and the return of the IDPs. As the EU continues to focus attention on other regional and global priorities and foreign policy, the challenge for Bosnia remains of striking a balance between the need to promote ongoing reform processes to prepare Bosnia and Herzegovina for application for EU accession, and the capacity to quickly respond to challenges, particularly the one from Republika Srpska to Bosnia’s territorial integrity without the military presence of the EU’s EUFOR Althea, during a period of accelerating EU challenges in other theatres well away from the Western Balkans.