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Constitutional restructuring of Bosnia-Herzegovina: Initiatives and possibilities

DOI: 10.2298/medjp0403305d

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Abstract:

The revision of the Dayton agreement implies only the restructuring of the Annex 4 of the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina or actually the present constitutional construction and territorial composition of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The unfavourable economic and political situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina shows that the achievements resulting from the implementation of the Dayton agreement have been modest so far. The author substantiates this by presenting the data on a very small number of persons who managed to achieve their right to repatriation to their pre-war homes (in the 1995-2003 period). In addition, he notices that many changes of the Dayton agreement have already been made in the last seven years since it has been implemented, presenting the specific activities and decisions taken by the High Representative in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the period after signing of the Dayton agreement there were several different ideas on the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina - to be established as a centralist state, as a decentralised country, as the one organised in cantons keeping up the two-entity structure at the same time. Therefore, the political parties in BH took different positions regarding the necessity to change some constitutional solutions. The Boshniak, Croatian and civil political parties are pleading for restructuring of the constitutional solutions in the form they are provided for by the Dayton agreement. On the other hand, the Serb political parties speak in favour of keeping up the existing constitutional construction. As the author assesses the new initiatives for constitutional reconstruction of Bosnia-Herzegovina are based on the proposals for decentralisation, regionalisation and (finishing of) cantonisation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as abrogation of entities. Analysing the positions of the leading factors of the international community the author points out that they have not reached consensus on the initiative for restructuring of the existing constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On the contrary, the leading factors of the international community mostly emphasise that citizens/peoples of BH should be the ones to decide on the constitutional construction of their country. The author concludes that it would be unrealistic to expect that the minimum of social and national consensus would be reached on the constitutional restructuring of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as on holding of the new international conference (Dayton II). As the author says it seems most realistic that the representatives of the international community will change some of

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