Sunday, December 23, 2007

Discrimination in Bosnia II

Balkan Insight reports that a Roma has brought a case for the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg that Bosnia's constitution is discriminatory. The problem is that the constitution specifies for many positions whether the position should filled by a Bosniak, a Croatian or a Serb. This means that there is no place for other minorities like Jews and Roma.

If the court agrees with him Bosnia would have to change its constitution. I think this might be a good think, provided it is done in a wise way. One of the most urgent requirements would be the creation of a Croatian entity.

Once such an entity is created Bosnia could switch from a ethnic to a territorial system, where each entity has the right to a post that is now reserved to its majority.

This would also mean the end to the system whereby local government is determined by the ethnic composition is determined by the population of an area before the war. Such a policy is good for returns. But it is bad for local democracy when out-of-towners determine what is going to happen. I think that 12 years after the war we have slowly reached the point where the second consideration should be considered more important than the first.

But this is the optimistic scenario. It could also happen that the question is reframed in a partial way - leading to the next "police reform" crisis.

1 comment:

Pierre said...

"But it is bad for local democracy when out-of-towners determine what is going to happen."
I could not agree more.

However, one must look to the root of the problem, that is, the problem of Bosnia/Kosovo/Yugoslavia being dictated by powers OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY. I do not mean Serbs/ Croats/ Bosnian Muslims elsewhere. I mean foreign nations. No side is without fault here. Germany and the Vatican were very quick to support Croatia, and maybe perhaps encouraged it to leave, to the detriment of the minorities of the newly created Croatian state. The Serbiens, though they seem to be the losers in this entire conflict, still receive support(less than other peoples of Yugoslavia) from Russia and indirectly - China. Then there are the Muslims who I think are the winners in all this, partly because they know how to play the victim for the world press and partly for the support from the Middle East and the US.

Then there is the insistence of Brussels to place a "High Representative" in Bosnia who can unilaterlly make or change laws, or nullify elections, et cetera. Also Wim, I find your point about changing the consitution, pardon me, without merit, as I believe the constitution has no authority when it can be changed at the will of the international community (UN/NATO). Bottom line, there is no respect for Bosnia's soverignty.

I may have argued too many points in one post...oh well.