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Europeanization by Decree? The Case of Police Reform in Bosnia*
ANA E. JUNCOS
University of Bristol
Police reform demonstrated the fragility of the transition process in Bosnia and the limitations of the prospect of European Union membership. To the two mechanisms of conditionality and socialization commonly mentioned in the Europeanization literature, this article adds a third – external imposition – which is speciﬁc to the case of Bosnia. The fact that the High Representative resorted to coercive measures in order to implement European conditions needs to be accounted for in any explanation of Bosnia’s Europeanization. In the case of police restructuring, conditionality was monopolized by the High Representative and socialization did not take place because the reforms were not perceived as legitimate by at least one of the parties. Domestic factors, including the complex governance system introduced by the Dayton Agreement and recalcitrant nationalist elites, also hindered the Europeanization process in Bosnia.
Introduction Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina (hereafter Bosnia) has lagged behind the expectations of international ofﬁcials and European Union (EU)
* An earlier version of this article was presented at the workshop ‘Values vs Security? The Future Choice for the EU and its Neighbours’, Maastricht University, 5–6 June 2008. The author would like to express her gratitude to the participants of this workshop, Ulrich Sedelmeier, Dave Allen, Alex Prichard and the anonymous referees for their invaluable comments. She would also like to thank several EU ofﬁcials for their time and assistance during her ﬁeldwork. For reasons of conﬁdentiality, their names and institutional afﬁliations are not mentioned in the article. Responsibility for any errors and omissions lies with the author alone.
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ANA E. JUNCOS
policy-makers for almost a decade. The high hopes of 2003, when the Feasibility Study was published, have been dashed by the slow pace of reform in the country, particularly regarding police and constitutional reform. After the resurgence of strong nationalist discourse from the ethnic parties, the current situation in Bosnia is not encouraging. More than 15 years after the end of the war, the country is still a long way from being a functioning state. In October 2008, former High Representative Paddy Ashdown and former United States negotiator Richard Holbrooke warned of Bosnia being at the brink of collapse. They even went on to accuse the EU of not having a coherent strategy and ‘proclaiming progress where it [had] not been achieved’, which weakened both the EU’s inﬂuence in the country and the inﬂuence of the Ofﬁce of the High Representative (OHR) (Ashdown and Holbrooke, 2008). Similar criticisms followed the failure of the EU-sponsored constitutional talks, the so-called ‘Butmir Process’, in the autumn of 2009 (Whitman and Juncos, 2010, p. 191). The EU’s efforts to promote police restructuring in Bosnia constitute an excellent case to test the power and limitations of the incentive of EU membership for candidate countries and to examine the Europeanization process in Bosnia. The failure to promote police reform in Bosnia can be explained by reference to the EU’s strategy (conditions, rewards, credibility and legitimacy) and domestic obstacles to compliance with EU conditionality. Portrayed as one among other ‘technical’ reforms to be undertaken by the country before the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), police reform proved more of a political issue than previously acknowledged by the European Commission. Analysing police reform shows the inherent difﬁculties in promoting reforms in areas that touch upon core attributes of state sovereignty. Police reform placed high domestic political costs on Bosnian Serb elites as it threatened the very survival of Republika Srpska. The article begins with an overview of the political system that emerged after the war and its implications for EU conditionality. It then goes on to discuss two models in the general literature that seek to explain compliance with EU norms and rules: conditionality and socialization, and the conditions under which they can operate, such as timing, rewards, credibility and so on. To these two mechanisms, this article adds a third – external imposition – which is speciﬁc to the case of Bosnia since here the High Representative has the power to impose legislation and remove Bosnian ofﬁcials from public ofﬁce. The ensuing section sketches the process of police reform in Bosnia and efforts by the international community to impose a single and centralized police structure. It then assesses what role each of the three mechanisms (external imposition, conditionality and socialization) played in the process
© 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Last. more problematic. However. Integration into the EU represents one of the few issues where there is an agreement among all the political parties. 79. however. as well as recalcitrant nationalist elites. the question of how to actually get there is. As will be shown. The extensive intervention of the international community. The lack of consensus among the ethnic groups that fought the 1992–95 war explains the extreme decentralization of this powersharing model sanctioned by the Dayton Peace Agreement (1995). one could add a quadruple transition: from war to peace. Socialization was also unsuccessful as there was no time for persuasion and attempts to frame the reform in terms of ‘European standards’ failed.1 1 As far as the population is concerned. 18). and a third from a planned socialist economy to a free market. in March 2008. Moreover. I. 1991. p. the High Representative led the reform process and persuaded the Commission and other EU actors to support what were very strict conditions. The complexity of the governance structure and the number of veto players makes its ‘return to Europe’ ever more difﬁcult. With a very weak central government. Like other former communist countries.EUROPEANIZATION BY DECREE? 369 of reform of the Bosnian police forces. but by no means least. the real power lies at the Entity level: the Serbian majority Republika Srpska and the Muslim–Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. a second from communism to liberal democracy. p. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . while the adoption costs for the domestic illiberal elites were extremely high. Europeanization: The Case of Bosnia Arguably. the process of the Europeanization of Bosnia is rather different from the one which took place in the central and eastern European countries for several reasons. Conditionality was not successful because rewards were perceived as weak and distant. with the High Representative at its fore. hindered EU-led reforms in the country.9 per cent of the Bosnian population supported EU integration (UNDP Bosnia. The consociational model established by the Dayton Agreement with its multiple veto points. the credibility of the EU was undermined by inconsistencies in the EU’s discourse and its inﬂexible conditions. 871): the ﬁrst transforming statehood and nationhood after the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federal Republic. 2008. in the case of Bosnia. The latter aspect makes this process a very difﬁcult one since national reconciliation and consensus among the local parties are still extremely fragile. domestic factors also contributed to the EU’s failure in Bosnia. Bosnia had to overcome a ‘triple transition’ process (Offe. also constitutes a particular feature that distinguishes Bosnia from any other EU candidates.
The international community hoped that nationalist politics would progressively fade away and that a more ‘western-style’ party system would develop to replace them. 2008). it makes functional governance very difﬁcult as any ethnic group can oppose decisions that threaten their vital interests. Although this model ensures peace in the short term. Any move towards a more centralized system is seen as a threat by Bosnia Serbs and Croats who would be outnumbered by Bosniaks at the state level. it did so by sanctioning the ethnic cleansing that had taken place during the war. has brought about some institutional reforms in a context of domestic political impasse. and have come at the price of reducing local ownership and responsibility. compliance with EU conditionality will remain limited. based on the principles of power-sharing. plus the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. which effectively recognized a state (the Republika Srpska) within another state. Only continued intervention by the international community. Vachudova. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . 15 years later. In sum. For the ruling nationalist elites. with the creation of two ethnic-based Entities. with the hope that one day it would serve to overcome actual partition on the ground. and they generate enormous expenditure. The last local elections in October 2008 conﬁrmed this fact (Euroactiv. However. political life in Bosnia is essentially led by the same nationalist elites that were responsible for the war and ethnic politics still dominate political competition. 2004. as demonstrated by previous research on central and eastern European countries (see Kelley. today the Dayton Agreement seems outdated. EU integration imposes high adoption costs because it undermines their power base. 1977). supported by a strong military force and the OHR. the reform of the judiciary. and the establishment of several other state institutions. Some progress has been made with the establishment of a common currency and a central bank. intelligence and defence. a state border agency. The Dayton Peace Agreement was designed as the lesser evil. each ethnic group is represented within the legislative and executive institutions at the state level and retains a veto power (Lijphart. entirely built on ethnic identity. However. these reforms have been a time-consuming process and the result of strong international pressure. Another consequence of the Dayton Agreement was the establishment of a highly decentralized (and dysfunctional) state. Bosnian Serbs (and to a certain extent. its shortcomings affect the daily functioning of the state. JUNCOS Although the Dayton Agreement ended one of the most violent conﬂicts Europe has seen in the 20th century. a common customs system. According to this consociational model. 2005). Croats) agreed to Dayton because of the high degree of decentralization offered by the plan. While these illiberal nationalist elites remain in control of the national parliament.370 ANA E.
EUROPEANIZATION BY DECREE? 371 When it comes to EU integration. that have been devised in order to explain the way in which the EU exercises inﬂuence on candidate countries in the process of the adoption of EU policies: conditionality and socialization (Checkel. The EU not only has to negotiate with the state-level government. 2007. 29). 7). The process of constitutional reform has. 2008a. the Commission’s reports have not put forward any speciﬁc model for Bosnia. the speciﬁc consociational model makes European integration a more complex process in Bosnia because of the number of veto players. not all of them compatible. 2002. Conditions and Actors The aim of the article is to test claims made in studies of Europeanization in relation to the mechanisms that explain compliance and adaptation in candidate countries. Given the early stages of the process in Bosnia. here ‘Europeanization’ is understood as a top-down process referring to ‘domestic adaptation to the pressures emanating directly or indirectly from EU membership’ (Featherstone. 3–4). However. Although this might implicitly suggest a preference for a more centralized state. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . The weakness of state institutions also raises problems in terms of the effective implementation of policies. stagnated after the failure of constitutional talks at the end of 2009. Noutcheva. 8. pp. Vachudova. p. however. While Bosnian Serbs would like to see minimal centralization and ensure the autonomy of Republika Srpska. Bosnia suffers from the same problems as other Western Balkan countries: the legacies of war and ethnic conﬂict. but also with the three ‘constituent peoples’. high levels of corruption and organized crime. These claims will be examined in relation to the case of police reform in Bosnia. apart from periodic references to the need for ‘more functional and affordable State structures which support the process of European integration’ and constitutional reform (Commission. The literature on Europeanization and conﬂict resolution has also identiﬁed similar 2 There are many deﬁnitions of the term ‘Europeanization’ in the literature. p. Wide disagreements remain among the main ethnic parties as to what kind of state Bosnia needs. themselves not mutually exclusive. p. 2005). 2003. Explaining Europeanization: Mechanisms. 2001. see also 2009a. ‘for only with self-sustaining states (not Entities or local authorities) can the EU conduct negotiations or sustain contractual bilateral relations’ (Commission. Schimmelfennig and Sedelmeier. for Bosniaks the goal would be to establish a unitary single state. 2005. The Commission has expressed concerns about these problems in several reports and has insisted that Bosnia should become a self-sustaining state.2 There are two main models. with Bosnian Croats favouring a three-Entity state model. II.
the more likely rule adoption would be. 2007). p. Consistency of EU policies across candidate countries and internal consensus among EU actors seem to be crucial elements in this regard. thus increasing their bargaining power by offering them resources or legitimacy (Risse et al. This literature also demonstrates the impact of conditionality on the equilibrium between different domestic actors. 112–13). The power of conditionality is based on the ‘asymmetrical interdependence’ between the EU and the candidate countries – that is. According to Schimmelfennig and Sedelmeier (2005. pp.. different factors help explain the actual impact of conditionality. According to Judith Kelley (2004. pp. the EU sets the conditions that the countries need to fulﬁl in order to become EU members. Third. It follows a logic of consequences (March and Olsen. 162). the size of adoption costs and the number of veto players at the domestic level also help explain the power of conditionality. Second. conditionality appears as the main mechanism facilitating the adoption of the acquis communautaire. the degree of dependence of the candidate countries on the EU for their economic survival (Vachudova. 1020). p. Finally. p. Compliance by candidate countries results from a cost–beneﬁt calculus: the rewards expected from complying with the EU conditions (i. EU threats and rewards must be credible in order for conditionality to work. 2001.. EU membership) are perceived as outweighing the cost of compliance.. rule adoption will also increase with the size and speed of the rewards. 12–17). EU conditionality might empower certain domestic actors. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . EU institutions acting as gatekeepers decide when those countries have fulﬁlled these criteria and whether they are ready to move to the next stage (Grabbe. In the case of cross-conditionality (conditionality from other international actors). yet. the more determinate the conditions.372 ANA E. 2005. political considerations have also played a part in this process. 37). This monitoring means that the enlargement process follows a merit-based approach (Vachudova. conditionality is ‘the use of positive incentives to alter a state’s behaviour’. 2004.e. Tocci. JUNCOS mechanisms accounting for the EU’s role in the promotion of peace in its neighbourhood (Noutcheva et al. How does conditionality work in practice? In the process of enlargement. the Annual Reports of the Stabilization and Association Process and the European Partnerships. consistency with EU criteria will also increase the likelihood of rule adoption. Compliance is also monitored in the regular reports produced by the Commission. From a rationalist perspective. The process of enlargement takes place following the benchmarks set by the Commission in different documents – in the case of the Western Balkans. 2001). 1989. Let us discuss these two mechanisms in more detail. First. 2005).
such as EU candidate countries meetings. actors internalize EU rules and norms because they perceive them as appropriate and legitimate. Schimmelfennig and Sedelmeier (2005. the Peace Implementation Council (the intergovernmental body in charge of the peace process in Bosnia) welcomed the intention of the High Representative to use its ﬁnal authority in the implementation of the civilian aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreement ‘by making binding decisions. whether EU norms are compatible or ‘ﬁt’ with domestic rules). the identiﬁcation of the candidate country with the EU and domestic resonance (i. the power of attraction of the EU and conditionality can be seen as the main factors explaining adaptational pressures during the pre-accession period. might lead to behavioural compliance. Because of its status as a semi-protectorate. although socialization often remains circumscribed to domestic elites and does not involve larger sections of the population.. direct external imposition needs to be accounted for in the process of Europeanization of Bosnia – at least for as long as the post of High Representative is maintained.e.g. Epstein. which may include removing obstructionist local politicians from ofﬁce (Peace Implementation Council.EUROPEANIZATION BY DECREE? 373 Socialization or social learning. In the case of central and eastern European countries.4 3 Other constructivist work has emphasized the role of the social context in explaining compliance with international institutions’ conditionality (see. the High Representative through the Bonn powers can impose legislation or remove non-compliant politicians – something that has no precedent in other EU candidate countries. pp. conditionality and socialization might not be sufﬁcient to explain compliance with EU conditions in the case of Bosnia. 4 In December 1997. While highly coercive. 18–20) identify three factors that encroach upon the EU’s persuasive power: the legitimacy of the rules. Conditionality. EU conditionality can only to a certain extent push reforms in candidate countries. [and] other measures’. This was the case in central and eastern Europe where some illiberal government elites such as the Slovak government of Vladimir Meciar refused to adopt EU reforms. 2001).. one can expect that they will lead to genuine compliance. These countries ultimately retain their national sovereignty and it is up to them to adopt and implement the reforms advocated by the EU. In the absence of material incentives. e. Participation in common institutions. 2008). Socialization takes place through arguing and persuasion and might lead in the long term to changes in interests and identities. combined with different degrees of socialization and learning. especially in the preaccession phase. as he judges necessary. 1997). In Bosnia. It follows a logic of appropriateness (Checkel. but might raise issues of sustainability of the reforms in the medium and long term. especially if it is seen as an imposed and illegitimate demand. the second main model in the literature. might facilitate socialization processes. has been used as an alternative or complementary model to explain rule compliance. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . However.3 While socialization and internalization of EU rules are long-term processes.
2007). the picture is much more complicated. Through direct and indirect intervention. the High Representative ‘is working with the people and institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the international community to ensure that Bosnia and Herzegovina evolves into a peaceful and viable democracy on course for integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions’ (OHR. but the appointee was also double-hatted as High Representative. the High Representative has championed European integration and pursued this objective through the implementation of its annual mission plans. in the case of Bosnia. the High Representative has been one of the most important drivers in the process of integration of Bosnia. 5 Conﬁdential interviews with EU and Bosnian ofﬁcials. and until Paddy Ashdown left the position on 30 January 2006. JUNCOS According to its own website. the EU Special Representative (EUSR). This also leads us to another question: which are the main actors involved in this process? While the Commission. cannot simply be dismissed. Sarajevo. the Council (including individual Member States) and the acceding national governments have often been singled out in the literature as the main actors in the process of Europeanization of the central and eastern European countries. Even though the Commission has publicly rejected the use of the Bonn powers in the implementation of any of the EU conditions. Since 1999. it is difﬁcult to distinguish when this person is acting as EUSR or as High Representative. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . The case of the EUSR is particularly interesting and requires some clariﬁcation. also increasing the potential for inconsistencies in the EU’s message (Noutcheva. at ﬁrst sight.5 Things changed with the reinforcement of the EUSR staff and the closure of some OHR departments which took place during Christian SchwarzSchilling’s and then Miroslav Lajc ˇ ák’s term in ofﬁce (the latter taking up his post on 1 July 2007). 2005. Together with the aforementioned actors. the incumbent was acting in his role as High Representative ‘90 per cent of the time’. The EUSR in Bosnia was nominated in 2002. particularly in the early stages of the Bosnian accession process. p. Yet in the minds of many Bosnian elites and citizens. Thus. these CFSP actors have been involved and have also supported the European integration process.374 ANA E. a police mission and a military operation have been involved in the process of Europeanization of Bosnia. 2006. 4). Because of the security implications. the role of the High Representative. Valentin Inzko was appointed as the new High Representative/EUSR in Bosnia. In March 2009. other EU actors such as the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
one in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Dayton Agreement endorsed the decentralization of police forces by assigning this competence to the Entities. III. particularly since 2005. compromising the local sustainability of the police forces. one police force in each of the ten cantons of the Federation and one more in the Brcko district. However. fragmentation of police forces and lack of independence from the political level. became particularly important as international actors started to prepare an exit strategy. Many of the police ofﬁcers were suspected of having participated in the commission of war crimes or war-racketeering activities. 25–6): © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . The 2002 and 2003 Progress Report mentioned the multiple deﬁciencies in the area of policing. inter-service and inter-agency co-operation’ and the need for ‘political commitment to the ﬁnancial sustainability of police forces’. Police Reform in Bosnia After the war. The need for further reform of the police forces was hinted at in several reports by the European Commission. was placed on reform at the macro level in order to deal with the structural problems that affected Bosnian police forces: ﬁnancial viability. the emphasis. At ﬁrst. The Feasibility Study. pp. 13 police forces were to be active in the country: one in Republika Srpska. When the EU Police Mission (EUPM) took over in 2003. the EU pointed at the deﬁciencies of Bosnian police forces as something the country should tackle in an effort to rationalize its administrative capacity. Police forces were also generally perceived to be political instruments in the service of their respective ethnic groups. but in terms of structural police reform only noted the challenge of ‘inter-Entity. 2003. the last stage before the signing of an SAA. While it started as a technical project improving the training and performance of police ofﬁcers and organizations. outlined some of the problems affecting the police forces in Bosnia (Commission. No police force was established at the state level. These issues. it later moved towards reform aimed at strengthening the state’s capacity. The process of reform of the Bosnian police forces was initiated by the United Nations International Police Task Force with a focus on improving the standards of Bosnian policing.EUROPEANIZATION BY DECREE? 375 The next section brieﬂy summarizes the international efforts at promoting the restructuring of police forces in Bosnia. In total. the reform took an entirely different turn when the High Representative tried to impose a single structure model and linked that reform to Bosnia’s European membership. police forces were structured along ethnic lines and operated only in the territory dominated by that ethnic group.
based on the cantonal police forces. 2004. which reported in June 2004 (ICMPD and TC Team Consult. There were several issues. Whatever the organizational structure adopted. ignoring this recommendation (and the three models outlined above). and the border and intelligence state-level agencies (ICMPD and TC Team Consult. . the functional review continued. using the Bonn powers. 12). p. organizational and administrative assessment. the High Representative. distance to today’s realities.376 ANA E. Paddy Ashdown. A month later. 2004. it left some room for manoeuvre as to how to achieve such ‘rationalization’. According to the report: ‘All three models feature both advantages and disadvantages. ‘bottom-up’ model. Financial and technical constraints limit crime ﬁghting abilities. 135). © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . As put in the report: ‘Local ownership is more important than a perfect solution on paper’ (ICMPD and TC Team Consult. Other problems noted in the Feasibility Study. 2004. This functional review noted that Bosnian law enforcement agencies ‘deliver basic public security services of acceptable quality’ and that ‘[t]he percentage of solved crimes of around 60% is quite high’ (ICMPD and TC Team Consult. rationality. Costs are high because of duplication in areas such as training and equipment. 2003). Republika Srpska police. different Entity forces use different information systems. etc. p. Although the report pointed to the need to enhance state-level institutions.] but numerous operational difﬁculties persist: police forces in one Entity have no right of ‘hot pursuit’ into another. were also mentioned in this report. plus Brc ˇ ko District police. product orientation. JUNCOS [T]he complexity of the existing multiple police forces increases costs and complicates co-ordination and effectiveness. however. In order to better assess the needs and problems of the Bosnian police forces. there is no central data base. The evaluation and ﬁnal choice depend on the weight given to the different criteria like top down or bottom up. p. such as the need for a clear modernization strategy. 2004. the most important issue was to ensure political consensus and local ownership of the reform. As for the organizational structure of the police forces. p. . 12). The Feasibility Study urged Bosnian authorities to ‘proceed with structural police reform with a view to rationalising police services’ (Commission. such as politicization. a second model with two Entity police forces (plus the Brc ˇ ko District police and the border and intelligence state-level agencies). a third. 6). the European Commission funded a ﬁnancial.’ (ICMPD and TC Team Consult. 2004). integration in local/regional communities. modern equipment and appropriate training. that required special attention. the functional review identiﬁed three possible options going forward: a single structure in the form of a national police that favoured a ‘top-down’ approach with clear command structures. overstafﬁng and lack of ﬁnancial sustainability. Police co-operation has improved [.
This step allowed the Commission to recommend the opening of negotiations of an SAA with Bosnia – a recommendation that was endorsed by the Member States. The three principles. any move in such direction required the approval of the Entities. The House of Peoples (the upper house in the Bosnian Parliament) passed the police reform legislation on 16 April 2008. therefore. all legislative and budgetary competences vested at state level. Yet the Commission was soon to embrace these principles as their own and incorporated ‘police reform’ among the required conditions to be fulﬁlled before the signing of an SAA. the Republika Srpska National Assembly voted in favour of an ‘Agreement on the Restructuring of Police Structures’. The High Representative could not use its powers to impose such reform because this new model departed from the division of powers laid out in the Dayton Agreement and. were: ﬁrst. However.EUROPEANIZATION BY DECREE? 377 established a Police Restructuring Commission with the objective of proposing ‘a single structure of policing for Bosnia and Herzegovina under the overall political oversight of a ministry or ministries in the Council of Ministers’ (OHR. A Directorate for the Implementation of Police Restructuring was established soon thereafter to work on the preparation of an Action Plan. which were later outlined by the European Commission in several documents. and third. 2004). no political interference with operational policing. The High Representative needed a new type of power: the power of EU membership. The new model proposed by the Police Restructuring Commission was based on a two-tiered system with legislative. which was also adopted by the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the State Parliament. The SAA between Bosnia and the EU was ﬁnally signed on 16 June 2008. The laws adopted in April 2008 envisage the establishment of several new state-level police co-ordination bodies. However. Yet it was not until October 2007. On 5 October 2005. a showdown with the High Representative and another unfavourable annual report by the European Commission that the parties agreed to sign a new political declaration on police reform. budget competencies and supervisory powers vested at the state level. after a two-year stalemate. it had never demanded any particular path for the restructuring process. functional police areas determined by technical policing criteria. The Council Conclusions however warned that the EU would carefully monitor the implementation of the political agreement. second. even though the Commission had pointed in previous reports to the inefﬁciencies in the functioning of the Bosnian police forces. the structure of the police © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . after ten months of difﬁcult negotiations led by the High Representative. but had left the issue to be decided by the local parties. These principles became known as the ‘European Principles’.
in order to push his proposals forward. Explaining (Non)compliance in Bosnia The previous account gives an idea of the limitations of the prospects of EU membership in bringing forward reforms. most of the reforms adopted by Bosnia in the last few years have been. the High Representative has set the agenda of reform with the establishment of the Police Restructuring Commission and arguably co-opted the pre-existing process and actors (Parish. the High Representative imposed 286 laws or amendments of laws and removed 119 ofﬁcials from public ofﬁce (Parish. p. As previously mentioned. Police reform. after years of political wrangling. laws and terms under which BiH [Bosnia] was to join the EU and have constructed and deﬁned what entering the EU meant and entailed for the state of BiH’. yet he did not hesitate to resort to indirect and direct pressure on Bosnian elites. perhaps one of the most important steps towards post-war normalization in Bosnia. but has also used this process to legitimize the use of coercive powers in order to promote reforms in the country. which may turn out to be even more sensitive than police restructuring. p. It also draws attention to the role of domestic factors facilitating and/or hindering the Europeanization process. 2007. Arguably. decided on national insignia. JUNCOS forces will not be affected until a new constitution for the country has been agreed by the political parties. the EU has only obtained an agreement to increase the number of institutions dealing with policing in the country – contrary to its original aim of administrative rationalization – and a vague political commitment dependent upon the outcome of future constitutional reforms. 2007. he could not just impose this reform.378 ANA E. The High Representative has not only guided the process of Europeanization in Bosnia. In the words of Majstorovic ´ (2007. p. 56). the result of indirect pressure or direct imposition by the High Representative. This section assesses the ability of each of the above mechanisms to explain police reform in Bosnia. Paddy Ashdown. 15). the role of the High Representative appears crucial as a driving force in the process of integration of Bosnia into the EU. Thus. when he took ofﬁce (Muehlmann. p. became the most important goal for the then High Representative. External Imposition At ﬁrst glance. Since 2004. and in particular Bosnian Serb elites. 629): ‘[T]he HRs [High Representatives] have removed ofﬁcials. 2007. 18). IV. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . in one way or another. Between 1998 and 2005 inclusive.
EUROPEANIZATION BY DECREE? 379 Ashdown put indirect pressure on Bosnian parties using EU membership as the core incentive. Ashdown also took punitive measures against the main Serbian party for alleged corruption charges and targeted the party’s funds (Muehlmann. the Head of the Delegation of the European Commission. As mentioned above. which outlined the main features of a single structure of policing and constituted the basis for the discussions of the Police Restructuring Commission. the previous functional review funded by the European Commission did not favour any particular model. Ashdown removed more than 60 Serbs from public ofﬁce for obstructing co-operation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). p. p. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . the crossing of the boundary line separating the Entities and the transfer of exclusive police competences to the state level. between June and December 2004. in his letter of 21 February 2005 and became a mantra repeated by EU and international ofﬁcials. p. Brussels. 57). 195). Patten publicly endorsed the principle that all competencies for law enforcement needed to be transferred to the state level. but without clear evidence or trial. the High Representative used the Bonn powers to threaten Bosnian Serb leaders. Then. With the same determination. Chris Patten. but instead argued that the important thing was to reach consensus and to promote local ownership. Olli Rehn. He also then persuaded the European Commission and other EU actors to back up his model of police reform (Muehlmann. Bosnian Serbs rejected the principles and. 2007. He also afﬁrmed that exclusive legislative competencies and a single budget had to remain at the state level and that the size. Ashdown realized that these recommendations were not enough and therefore convinced the Commission to include the adoption of the police reform as a precondition to signing the SAA – a condition that was not explicitly mentioned in the previous Feasibility Study. in a letter to the local authorities. the three ‘European’ principles were publicly endorsed by the Commissioner for Enlargement. The then Commissioner for External Relations. In a more direct demonstration of his authority. number and shape of police regions should be decided according to effective policing criteria and not political considerations (PRC. After the failure of police reform negotiations in the summer of 2005. in particular.6 In November 2004. 48). In a letter dated 13 December 2004. Although not directly related to police reform. unexpectedly changed during the discussions of the Police Restructuring Commission. September 2009. reiterated these principles. was persuaded by Ashdown to give his support to the ‘Concept Paper’. 2007. 2004. however. Michael Humphreys. When Christian Schwarz-Schilling took the 6 Conﬁdential interview with a former senior EU ofﬁcial. The European Commission’s position.
especially since it was linked to the talks on constitutional reform. had to return to the use of the Bonn powers. the decision prompted a strong Bosnian Serb reaction and the resignation of the Bosnian Serb State Prime Minister Nikola Spiric. JUNCOS post. 11). the European Commission noted that ‘limited progress’ had been made in this area (Commission. 18). he opted for a more hands-off approach. his successor. 2007. In fact. p. Moreover. openly renouncing the use of the Bonn powers. external imposition without internalization of the reforms does not lead to sustainable compliance. p. 2009b.5 per cent among Serbs (UNDP Bosnia. was aimed at disciplining the Bosnian Serbs. in its latest assessment. the sustainability of the reforms has proven difﬁcult to achieve. Conditionality Conditionality has also been a very important factor in police reform. p. Lajc ˇ ák’s decision backﬁred and highlighted the dangers of interventionism. Local politicians knew that they could still evade the original agreement during the implementation process. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . modifying the majority necessary to pass a decision. This decision arguably led to ‘the most serious political crisis since the Dayton agreement brought the Bosnian war to an end in November 1995’ (Chandler. by associating the EU with this top-down process of reform. 59). direct and indirect intervention by the High Representative might explain the agreement reached in October 2005 and the laws on police reform passed in 2008. However. 49. However.7 In the short term. as with the implementation of the 5 October agreement. 1).380 ANA E. In sum. The Bosnian Serbs were cajoled to agree on this issue and short-term behavioural compliance might have only been a temporary concession to the High Representative and the EU. p. the institution had been irremediably damaged by the failures of Ashdown’s hyper-interventionism and Schwarz-Schilling’s passivity (Parish. often responsible for the obstruction of the work of central Bosnian institutions and also for the deadlock in police reform. Once the Commission expressed its support for the Police Restructuring Commission and put the three ‘European Principles’ on 7 Approval ratings of the EU were relatively low among all three ethnic groups in March 2008: 47. 2008. it damaged the EU’s conditionality and the image of the EU in the country. Annex. As expected.9 per cent among Bosniaks. Lajc ˇ ák. After a year and a half without progress. Lajc ˇ ák’s decision to change the functioning of the legislative and executive bodies.4 pr cent among Croats and 38. especially from the moment it was used by the High Representative to promote a speciﬁc model of reform. by then. In the context of the looming independence of Kosovo. 2007.
not by politics – in the modern world we cannot afford anything less’ (ICG. p. 264). By consolidating the state structures. From early 2005. As Gergana Noutcheva (2007. the three constituent peoples of Bosnia were ﬁghting the bloodiest war in post-World War II Europe. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . stated: ‘[Y]ou must be guided by what is needed for effective law enforcement. p. 8 Reforms in Bosnia also pursue a security agenda: a strong and sustainable state with an efﬁcient police force would be better suited to ﬁghting organized crime. it would reduce the current ﬁnancial burden. Javier Solana. especially if we take into account that not even 15 years ago. the EU is trying to prevent threats associated with failing states. and they are strongly opposed to two of the three ‘European Principles’: the establishment of functional police areas according to technical criteria if it involves crossing the border line separating the Entities. 7). The beneﬁt of the long-term prospect of integration promised by the EU (in ten years. it would increase the efﬁciency of police forces and reduce corruption and political interference in police issues. the European Commission. 20). 7) put it: ‘[T]he EU [. 2005. they would choose the latter (Gromes.2 per cent of the public budget (Wisler. . trying to make them see the virtues of undertaking the reforms themselves rather than presenting the reforms as a sacriﬁce they have to accept in order to be admitted to the club’. Alternative options. then at almost 9. 2007. . according to the most optimistic accounts) does not outweigh the costs that reform would entail: a centralization of the Bosnian state and erosion of the Entities’ powers.8 Notwithstanding the beneﬁts of membership. The domestic costs of compliance are prohibitively high for Bosnian Serbs. 2007. if Serbs had to choose between EU membership and the existence of the Republika Srpska. The main arguments used were that. p. in October 2004. and second. The monopoly of force is one of the deﬁning elements of the Weberian state.EUROPEANIZATION BY DECREE? 381 the table. As the Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska Mirolad Dodik put it. For instance. and the transfer of all legislative and budgetary competencies to the state level because that would reduce the political control of the Entity over police issues. the High Representative for CFSP and EU Member States joined forces with Paddy Ashdown to convince the Bosnian authorities of the merits of this reform. Control over police issues therefore is more than a technical matter. the EU ‘carrot’ became a very important instrument to induce compliance. p. EU High representative for CFSP.] pragmatically appealed to the common sense of domestic political leaders. like becoming part of a Greater Serbia may also seem more attractive to elites from the Republika Srpska. All very ‘rational’ arguments. ﬁrst. Efforts by EU ofﬁcials and EUPM police experts to portray police reform as a technical question have understandably not been successful. the issue at stake in Bosnia cannot be underestimated.
a date for visa liberalization is still to be agreed.or medium-term beneﬁts that could have been used as an incentive – for instance. the actions of the High Representative led to a fouryear stalemate in the process of reform that beneﬁted no one. the EU only agreed to visa facilitation for some target groups in 2008. p. on the one hand. However.9 Aside from positive conditionality. As far as the determinacy of EU conditions and norms is concerned. later espoused by the Commission. pp. One could even argue that such detailed conditions made agreement on police reform much more difﬁcult and led to the entrenchment of the Bosnian Serb position. Noutcheva.382 ANA E. the EU has also resorted to negative conditionality. in private there were some disagreements and. and by contrast to what would be expected from a rationalist perspective. 2005. at the time of writing. as recognized by EU ofﬁcials. and that of the international community. the international community gave up. the prospect of membership (Schimmelfennig and Sedelmeier. It is expected that the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union will adopt this proposal after the general elections in October 2010. a number of things should be noted here. JUNCOS During the course of the police reform negotiations. the implementation of the three principles was watered down to save face (Muehlmann. September 2009. determinacy increased over time. Nevertheless. 2007. 10 Conﬁdential interview with a former senior EU ofﬁcial. EU threats that Bosnia will be isolated or will not progress towards enlargement are simply not credible as local politicians are well aware of how important Bosnia’s peace and stability are for EU Member States. 14). such as delaying the signing of the SAA. For its part. does not amount to a signiﬁcant contribution. on the other. This also negatively affected the credibility of the EU. Brussels. pp. while.10 With time. some local politicians believe that security and political considerations matter more than the fulﬁlment of EU conditions. Vachudova makes the further argument that what is at stake 9 The European Commission proposed visa-free travel for Bosnian citizens in May 2010. 2006. By setting such inﬂexible conditions. the three ‘European Principles’ were much more detailed in what the EU expected from the Bosnian authorities regarding police restructuring. this strategy has not been very successful either. the EU also failed to offer other short. more economic assistance or visa facilitation/ liberalization. In this regard. The credibility of conditionality is also linked to the capability of the EU to withhold rewards and. ultimately. in this case. 48–52). but indirect ones. Even though the EU ofﬁcially maintained the image of unity. Thus. 14–15). While the Feasibility Study was rather vague. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . compliance did not increase (cf. ultimately. not by imposing direct negative measures (sanctions). Current economic assistance (approximately €50 million per year).
If the EU cannot succeed in pacifying its own backyard. It was obvious from the outset that persuasion by the EU would not be very effective since the proposed reforms were not perceived as legitimate by at least one of the parties. The EU needed the consent of all the parties. one would expect them to assert more vigorously both their rational motives and distinctive identities in deﬁance of the EU’s © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . 12). However. the fact that the EU’s position was perceived as biased. also negatively affected conditionality. The EU has also been quite inconsistent with the way it has treated countries in the region and this has also affected the credibility of the norms promoted by the EU. 247–8).EUROPEANIZATION BY DECREE? 383 for the EU in the Balkans is the fact that the enlargement process is intertwined with the building of an effective foreign policy through building regional security. 2008). pp. the more it approximates the point at which the Serbs and Croats’ positions tip over to an anti-integration stance’. and Croats. the fact that the EU signed an SAA with Serbia before it did with Bosnia. Socialization The latter issue is also important in terms of socialization. EU conditionality empowered Bosnian Muslim demands for centralization of the state and the abolition of the Entity structure. Yet. As argued by Gromes (2007. For many Bosnians. the third mechanism. Finally. He therefore accused the EU of ‘double standards’ (EUobserver. who prefer the regionalization of Bosnia or a three-Entity solution. suggested that political considerations mattered more than compliance with EU conditions. where each of the ethnic groups can veto a decision against their vital interests. meant that empowering one party was not enough to promote reforms in the country. discouraging some countries from adopting the necessary reforms. favouring one of the parties over the others. it may have to relinquish its global ambitions (Vachudova. As pointed out by Noutcheva (2007. the Bosnian political system. politics prevails. p. the EU has not provided sufﬁcient reassurance to the Bosnian Serbs. 2005. 26): ‘The more the EU backs the Bosniacs’ interests and neglects those of the other conﬂict parties. who favoured the Entities’ survival. According to Haris Silajdzic. the Bosniak chairperson of the Bosnian state presidency: ‘Although the practice of the EU is to insist on fulﬁlment of all the requirements needed for deepening relations with potential Member States. this act shows that Serbia enjoys some beneﬁts like no other country’. Instead of a meritocratic approach. despite the persistent failure of Serbia to comply with EU conditions. p. ‘when the legitimacy of EU conditions is openly questioned by political players in the domestic context.
the reform process was more progressive and the deadlines were longer and that might explain why it was more successful. 13 Conﬁdential interview with a Commission ofﬁcial. 2007. For example. Yet. as they probably should have realized. Attempts to ‘separate policing from politics’ (Rehn. 195) were doomed to failure because. 16). JUNCOS demands’. the EU could have persuaded Bosnian authorities that EU integration would render some of the transfers of authority to the state level meaningless. The outcome of police reform had important political implications not only for Bosnian Serbs. 2004. together with excessive concern for meeting the deadlines. there was never an attempt to get this message across. 2006) or ‘to get politics out of policing’ (PRC. p. This created enormous problems for the Commission who could not justify the three criteria by reference to an 11 The tenth anniversary of the Dayton Agreement was to be commemorated in December 2005 on a date that coincided with Paddy Ashdown’s end of mandate. in the case of police reform.11 meant that there was not enough time for persuasion and argument during the negotiations of such a sensitive issue (Muehlmann. but did not bring other arguments to the table. There was thus a lot of pressure to get the negotiations of an SAA started before that date. Brussels. but also for Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats. Moreover. and in terms of budgetary efﬁciency. EU conditions were too demanding from the outset. Even though the EU tried to back up their demands with arguments based on the positive effects of the rationalization of the administrative capacity and police services.13 The EU often portrayed police reform as the only viable option. references by the EU to ‘European standards’ were difﬁcult to defend because there is no common model for policing in the EU. p. May 2007. Bosnian Serbs might also beneﬁt from this process as it would lead to the disbandment of the OHR (Noutcheva. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . 51). but because it advanced their long-term interests. The inﬂexibility of the High Representative’s position. 2007. Bosnian Muslim) state. the reasons behind this support were not due to ‘appropriateness’. and for the Bosnian Serbs and Croats. September 2009. They all saw the reforms in terms of a domestic balance of power and not in terms of efﬁciency or the effectiveness of the police forces. 12 Conﬁdential interview with a former senior EU ofﬁcial. By contrast. policing is inextricably linked to politics. in the case of Nato-led defence reform.. Hence. these arguments found no resonance among the local parties – at least not among Serb nationalist parties. p. integration was exclusively perceived as strengthening the Bosnian (i.384 ANA E. although Bosnian Muslims publicly espoused the High Representative’s model. leading to changes in the balance of power between the three ethnic groups. Brussels.e. but they vary from country to country.12 As one Commission’s ofﬁcial noted.
there are 26 cantonal police forces.14 There are few EU Member States that comply with these three criteria. The demand that police regions cross the border line separating the Entities is not supported by ‘European’ practice. 19). November 2005 and May 2007. However. This also explains why some EU ofﬁcials and Member States have in private criticized the OHR/Commission conditions. the Commission’s policy towards police reform in Bosnia has not respected this general principle. As in other policy areas. For instance. four regional police forces have been established in Catalonia. and local politicians have referred to the diversity of models within the EU to reject the imposition of these principles. The acquis does not refer to ‘the best European practice’ and hence does not provide a clear idea about what this might mean. In many European states. For instance. Germany and the Netherlands have largely decentralized police forces. According to the Commission’s website. exclusive competences for the state or that police regions should be determined by technical policing criteria. it only requires a ‘properly equipped’ policing system with ‘well-integrated administrative capacity’ and a ‘professional. (2004) found similar problems in the case of the EU regional policy. the crucial issue for the Commission is to have an accountable partner to ensure the adoption and implementation of the acquis. 15 The same can be said of other EU conditions on an integrated public broadcasting system. and in Spain. with the ensuing negative consequences.EUROPEANIZATION BY DECREE? 385 ‘EU’ model as had been previously the case in other areas such as taxation or customs. politics rather than ‘effective policing criteria’ determine the delineation of police regions. 2007. The internal reorganization of the state in order to meet this demand is usually. freedom and security (Chapter 24). Germany or Switzerland. such as Spain. and therefore perhaps should remain. with some management and funding responsibilities vested at the local level (Muehlmann. there are 16 regions coinciding with the Länder. but only insists that ‘Member States need to be properly equipped to adequately implement the growing framework of common rules’ (Commission. Sasse et al. 14 This is not the ﬁrst time that the Commission has found it difﬁcult to identify which standards apply in a particular policy area. Conﬁdential interviews with Commission ofﬁcials. p. the Basque Country and Navarra. Galicia. in Germany.15 In the area of justice. in Switzerland. Countries such as the United Kingdom. How this is achieved is up to each national government. Nothing is said about a centralized state-level police. 2008b). reliable and efﬁcient police organisation’. 2007. p. the preserve of the local parties. the acquis communautaire does not oblige candidate countries to adopt any speciﬁc EU policing model. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . Parish. 57.
2009a.386 Conclusions ANA E. the EU now has an opportunity to redirect the process of Europeanization in Bosnia. 29). The fact that the High Representative has had European integration as one of its main objectives and that the individuals concerned have resorted to coercive measures in order to implement this goal needs to be accounted for in any explanation of Bosnia’s Europeanization. p. No time pressures or strict conditions should be imposed by the EU on this highly sensitive reform. the power of conditionality and socialization should become more evident. The power of the High Representative seems to have been progressively eroded by recent events surrounding police reform. As the power of the High Representative recedes. conditionality and socialization alone cannot explain the progress (or lack thereof) that the country has made towards European integration. After years of slow progress. Encouraged by progress in other areas (indirect taxation. policing is not a technical issue. realize that it is time to leave the Bosnians to decide on crucial issues such as constitutional reform. even among moderate nationalists. by supporting the centralization of Bosnian police forces the EU was. it is up to Bosnian politicians to assume the responsibility for both impasse and progress. supporting the claims of one party and came to be seen by the other parties. Because of high domestic costs of compliance. endless attempts at separating ‘policing from politics’ found no backing. despite the bitter lessons of the police reform. particularly Bosnian Serbs. However. JUNCOS Police reform has demonstrated the fragility of the transition process in Bosnia and the limitations of the prospect of EU membership for compliance. it was difﬁcult to get this message across in a context of increasing pressure towards the centralization of Bosnian institutions. as biased.The EU should. defence and intelligence reform). however. Even though integration into the EU will still remain a painful process. © 2011 The Author(s) JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd . conditionality has been monopolized by the High Representative and socialization has not taken place in a context where there has not been enough space for dialogue and persuasion. Yet. there remains the temptation to link constitutional reform to EU candidate status (see Commission. EU actors have also shown a certain naïvety about how far negotiations on police reform could go. but touches upon issues that are at the heart of national sovereignty. intentionally or otherwise. To date. the international community believed that progress on police reform in the short term was both possible and desirable. Although the EU tried to reassure the Serbs that it was not taking part in the negotiations. as has often been stated by Commission or EUPM experts. In the case of Bosnia. Moreover.
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