Facing pressure from the European Union, the Serbian political entity within Bosnia-Herzegovina backed off of plans last week to hold a referendum that would have challenged the authority of statewide institutions in the country. In an email interview, Bruce Hitchner, a professor at Tufts University and the chairman of the Dayton Peace Accords Project, discussed Bosnia's relations with the EU.
WPR: What is the current status of Bosnia-Herzegovina's EU aspirations, on both sides?
Bruce Hitchner: The European Union has strongly supported Bosnia's eventual membership in the EU, and Bosnia-Herzegovina has signed a Security and Stabilization Agreement with the European Union, the initial step in the integration process. But progress on the agreement has been glacial as there is no political consensus in Bosnia-Herzegovina on the role of the state government, the institution chiefly responsible for overseeing and implementing the EU integration process.