2012 EU Progress Report: Will Elected Radicals Worsen the Situation?

The fifteen month long stalemate brought on by BiH's power-grabbing politicians after the elections on October 3, 2010, echoes in full blast with the results of the European Union 2012 Progress Report  that came out on October 10, 2012. The BiH municipal elections which were held on October 7, 2012 also raise a growing concern for the possibility of a political crisis in the region as they revealed that the radical Serb Democratic Party (SDS) is gaining in popularity. In the past, this party has been a platform and a safe haven for some of the most notorious convicted war criminals in BiH such as Radovan Karadzic and Biljana Plavsic. 

According to the official Brussels progress report, BiH has made limited progress in completing the criteria for membership in the EU and the conclusions of the sixty page long report state that BiH has uneven implementation, little progress, or limited progress in regards to the protection of minorities as well as with aligning with European standards, internal markets, and sectoral policies. 

The current situation has been deemed "the worst crisis" since the war and several indicators point to further deterioration. For example, the radical line of politicians being elected in the region such as the President of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, Serbia's Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic as well as the rise of Radovan Karadzic's party within BiH reminds us of the nationalist rhetoric that appeared in the nineties and caused conflict and bloodshed throughout the region. Few might be optimistic and hope that the radicals elected will push towards economic progress rather than continue with nationalist ideologies, however, the situation should be monitored closely.

As far as the assessment of the current situation in BiH is concerned, one thing is certain: BiH has a long and difficult road towards the EU. The EU remains a desirable path for BiH because of the general economic and political progress it promises to bring. The unfavorable results of the report are a consequence of the irresponsible politics in BiH and should be regarded as a warning to the politicians of the entire country. The warning is simple and clear: if you want to join European Union you have to do more than declare it, you have to work very hard to achieve the milestones which are set.