European Union's Relations with South Eastern Europe: A Case Study of Bosnia and Herzegovina&the Implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Process
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister)Student thesis
Since the beginning of the 1990s important changes took place, such as the collapse of Communism and the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Consequently, the European Union (EU) has faced a new agenda in SouthEastern Europe. The EU policies towards this region were not very well coordinated in the first half of the 1990s. From the second half of the 1990s onwards, the EU has become more focused in its policies towards South Eastern Europe. Since 1999, the Stabilisation and Association Process is the new institutional framework of the EU towards this region. The main purpose of the Stabilisation and Association Process is to promote peace, prosperity and stability in this region.
This study aims to explore the EU relations with South Eastern Europe with a single case study of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Process. The main research questions are: What are the main aims and dynamics of the EU’s relations with South Eastern Europe? What are the main problems concerning the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Process in the case of Bosnia? How do the norms, values and culture of Bosnia affect the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Process?
The focus of this study is on democratization as an open- ended process. Thus, it is relevant to apply democratization theories, with a focus on the Transition Approach as a theoretical framework. Democratization theories aim to explain how authoritarian regimes change into liberal democratic ones. The transition approach makes a clear distinction between democratic transition and democratic consolidation phases, and identifies the necessary conditions for the success of each phase. New Institutionalism is another theoretical orientation that will be applied to this study. New Institutionalism is used in this study to discuss the concepts of institutional change and democratic governance, and to further study both the formal and informal institutions in Bosnia and how they limit the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
This study comes up with the conclusion that South Eastern Europe remains one of the priority regions for the EU. The dynamics of EU-South Eastern Europe relations is based on a number of different factors, such as political and economic considerations, concerns about peace, prosperity, and stability at the doorstep of the EU. The implementation of EU policies in this region is related to the debate on the future of the EU as well. The conclusions about Bosnia and Herzegovina point out that the country has moved forward a considerable amount after the 1992-95 Bosnian War. Democracy is beginning to emerge in the country. However, the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Process is constrained by the complex formal institutional structure as laid out in the Dayton Peace Agreement. Moreover, the informal institutions in Bosnia limit the implementation. For instance, the path-dependent authoritarian legacy of former Yugoslavia, exclusive ethnic nationalism, and distrust among the major ethnic groups in Bosnia are obstacles in front of the effective implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Process. The level of international community involvement in the country is still very intensive. Bosnia has not become a self-sustainable democratic state yet. Strengthening the civil society in Bosnia and Herzegovina and promoting an inclusive civic identity that will lead to the enhancement of democratic values in the country can be recommended as solutions for the current problems of the country.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomiska institutionen , 2005.
Social sciences, EU, South Eastern Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Stabilisation and Association Process, implementation, democratization theories, transition approach, new institutionalism
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-2710ISRN: LIU-EKI/INT-D--05/008--SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-2710DiVA: diva2:20051