New publication: Slaven Bosnjak, « EU-sponsored Cross-border Cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Multi-level Governance or Ethnicisation? », CEFIR Working Paper N°9, December 2020, pp. 1-18.
While the European Union (EU) is longing for stability in its Western Balkans backyard, democracy and rule of law are often left behind. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, ethnically divided leaders declare their commitment for EU reforms but agree on blocking them at the same time. In this deadlock on the level of politics , this paper seeks to explore the impact of the EU on the policy level through administrative actors. Against this backdrop, EU Cohesion policy in the Western Balkans – conveyed by the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) – which is aimed at erasing socio-economic differences between regions can also generate strong EU leverage. The requirements of the Cohesion policy are known for changing institutional setups in previous enlargements and promoting Multi-level Governance. Through Cohesion, the EU Commission acts with informality and flexibility. Therefore, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, to what extent does the EU empower administrative actors to bypass the political division? Does the policy promote Multi-level Governance and cross-ethnic relations or is it captured by ethnicisation? To answer these questions, as part of the Cohesion policy, the cross-border programme Interreg IPA CBC Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro 2014-2020 will be analysed. The transnational programme actors’ will provide insights from the impact of the EU in the deeply divided Bosnian context.
Key Words: Bosnia and Herzegovina; Multi-level Governance; Ethnic politics; EU Cohesion policy; Enlargement; Cross-border Cooperation.
This ninth issue of CEFIR Working Paper 2020 is available as an attachment.
Ce neuvième numéro de CEFIR Working Paper 2020 est disponible en pièce jointe.
About the author:
Slaven Bosnjak holds a Master’s degree in Political Science with a European political focus from the University of Liège.