On February 28, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker visited Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of his tour of the Western Balkans, countries-candidates for membership in the European Union. During his stay in Sarajevo, he said that the possible time for the country’s entry into the EU is 2025. He added that this can happen only if all conditions exist, but did not name them.
However, at present, the domestic political situation in the Federation does not contribute to the accession to the European Union. In recent months, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been marked by high level of popular discontent, manifestations of which were regular protests of certain social groups. The longest is the protest (from June-July 2017) of the Union of Veterans. Veterans demand from the authorities the introduction of a new law regulating the system of payment of benefits, since the current system allows for numerous violations and the facts of receiving financial payments to other categories of citizens in case of forging documents. The authorities have been trying to resolve tension since July last year by promising to start working on a new law on veterans, but still no work has been done. It should be noted that on February 28 they held the largest protest action, which was aimed on blocking the main roads on the territory of the country.
Active participants in the protest actions are industry workers who demanding payment of detained salaries and pension payments. It is necessary to note the constant growth of arrears against the backdrop of the crisis and the unfavorable economic situation. The most frequent method of protest is blockading highways and roads, as well as pickets in front of government buildings. The most active are the workers of the concern Elektroprivreda RS, RMK Zenica, Alumina and Energoinvest RS.
Participants in the protest actions are also pensioners, who demanding pensions increase and abolition of pension contributions for privileged groups of citizens, in particular, military personnel. Since a few thousand people took part in the protests, the authorities of the country under pressure accepted the changes. This step aroused dissatisfaction on the part of representatives of the police unions, because allowances for former policemen decreased by 25-30%. This gave rise for the demonstration of several hundred police officers in Sarajevo.
In recent months, in several parts of the country, medical staff have conducted several short protest strikes. In connection with this, many of the patients’ receptions to specialists were abolished, and the number of people in hospitals was limited, except for emergencies.
Most of the protests are peaceful in nature. However, collisions with the police, trying to lift the blockade from the roads, were already recorded. It should be noted that the requirements of veterans have a wide media and public support, since this problem directly affects the majority of the population of this country. For this reason, it can be noted that the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina is systematic.
The depth of the crisis is so serious that Bosnia and Herzegovina by 2025 can not get the status of a candidate for EU membership. And Junker knows it. So why does he give in advance unrealizable promises? There are two ways to answer this question. First: with such flirting, he tries to direct the foreign policy vector of the development of this country towards the EU. By doing this, he tries to wrest this country from the sphere of interests of the USA, Russia and China.
The second: stimulating the Bosnian political elites to consolidate efforts to prevent the country from slipping into civil war. After all, in the event of a military conflict, it will affect many countries in the region, including those that are already part of the EU. Brussels will not survive the new influx of refugees from the Balkans.
It turns out that both answers indicate that Junker gives empty promises in order to protect the European Union from new upheaval. In any case, we can say with confidence that the question of the country’s accession to the European Union is not seriously considered by the organization’s leadership. And all the statements of the President of the European Commission are nothing more than promises. After all, the leading EU countries are not ready in the current realities to deal with newcomers’ problems. However, there are a lot of problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina!