Resilient but shaky: Bosnia prepares for critical polls


Credit: NDI

In the year since Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) submitted its formal application to join the European Union, little has gone according to plan for the fragile country, writes Sanford Henry, a partner at Dr Schwartz-Schilling & Partners, the former BiH High Representative:

BiH’s case for membership is hardly helped by the EU’s own introspection and absence of strategic vision, especially post-Brexit. The migration crisis, one of many headaches for Brussels, has strained BiH’s already brittle social cohesion and potentially facilitated the radicalisation of some of Bosnia’s disaffected and unemployed Muslim youngsters. 

The Balkan wars of the 1990s seem like a distant memory. But the possibility of renewed crisis in the region is growing and may soon impose new demands on US policy, according to Carl Gershman, the President of the National Endowment for Democracy, and Ivana Cvetkovic Bajrovic, the NED’s Senior Program Officer for Southeastern Europe. The emerging Balkan crisis is partly the result of the failure of the countries of the region to achieve meaningful democratic progress since the fall of communism, they write for World Affairs.

The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) cordially invites you to a panel discussion on the current state of affairs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Irena Hadžiabdić, chairperson of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Central Election Commission and an IFES Board director, will present regarding the current electoral situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The discussion will focus on what remains to be done ahead of the elections to be held in October 2018 and how the United States can best assist Bosnia and Herzegovina in advance of these key upcoming elections.

The event will be moderated by IFES Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia Dr. Beata Martin- Rozumiłowicz. Panelists include:

Where: IFES, 2011, Crystal Drive, 10th Floor, Arlington, VA 22202

When: Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. EST

The event will web-streamed live on

Feel free to follow this event’s conversation on Twitter @IFES1987.

This event is organized by the Consortium for Elections and Political Processes Strengthening (CEPPS), which pools the expertise of three premier international organizations dedicated to democratic development: IFES, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute. CEPPS has a 20-year track record of collaboration and leadership in democracy, human rights and governance support, learning from experience, and adopting new approaches and tools based on the ever-evolving technological landscape.

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