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The members of Bosnia's tripartite presidency with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in Brussels From left, Bosnian Serb President Milorad Dodik, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Croat President Zeljko Komsic and Muslim Bosniak President Sefik Dzaferovic after their meeting in Brussels, Jan. 29, 2019 (AP photo by Francisco Seco).

Politically Deadlocked Bosnia Takes ‘One Step Forward and Two Steps Back’

Monday, Oct. 7, 2019

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s unique and often unstable tripartite presidency missed its deadline to form part of its national government in early September, almost a year after general elections, amid continued disagreements on whether to proceed with long-in-the-works plans to join NATO. With its leaders deadlocked, the country’s path toward both the Western military alliance and membership in the European Union is as uncertain as ever.

Twenty-five years after the end of the brutal war that killed over 100,000 people and left millions displaced, Bosnia’s dysfunctional political system continues to hamper its long recovery. The country is still reliant on international funding to support development and to maintain peace, while the country’s youth unemployment is one of the highest in the world, at 46.7 percent, according to the World Bank. Its three presidents—each representing one of the three dominant ethnic identities of Serbs, Croats and Muslim Bosniaks—have now brought Bosnia to a standstill over its future relationship with NATO. ...

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