The word ‘reform’ is the most commonly used word in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). One way or another the country has been in some kind of reform process for the past 22 years. Reform became like a family member: we live with reform every day; we eat fruits and vegetables that are produced according to ‘reform’ instructions. The constant use of this word by politicians, teachers, family members and media create the sense that if you want to succeed in life, you have to reform.
It’s been almost 15 years since the 2003 Thessaloniki promise of EU membership for the Western Balkans, and the countries in the region are still in the EU’s ‘waiting room’. The European Commission’s ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’, published on 1 March 2017 does not mention EU enlargement at all. In the context of the 2017 Western Balkans Summit in Trieste, the first one to be organised after the Brexit vote, Miruna Troncotă (Ro) and Hatidza Jahic (BiH) ask: Are the Balkans forever stuck in the EU's waiting room?
by Enja Sæthren
We got lucky this time. France said no to xenophobia, closed borders and hatred by electing Emmanuel Macron as the next president of the French Republic with 66 % of the votes. The French refused to follow in the footsteps of the British and the Americans, but how confident can we really be that this was the last battle? Has the fight against right-wing extremism already been won?
Posted on 3. April 2017 by Fiona Fritz
Closing borders, limiting immigration and a faster expulsion of criminal asylum seekers. These topics currently dominate the discourse on migration all over Europe. The numbers of people seeking refuge in Europe has been on the rise for the last 5-10 years. But since 2015 this topic is on the front pages of news outlets in Germany almost every single day. Merkel's "Wir schaffen das!" (We’ll make it!) was met with scepticism by parts of the population and many politicians.
Posted on 20. March 2017 by Adnan Rahimić
It was a sunny and beautiful day in Sarajevo on 2 March 2017. The city was full of blue and yellow flags, signs of celebration from the day before – Independence Day. Flags were left hanging from buildings a day longer, probably on purpose – to gently sway and greet very important guest our country was about to receive: Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission. Her visit to Sarajevo was part of her Western Balkan's tour of countries that are EU member state candidates/candidates-to-be. The plan was to meet with the members of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), to talk about the country’s current issues and problematic path toward EU candidacy and also, to give a lecture on the same subject to the academic community of the University of Sarajevo.