- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
The experts' five main scenarios for Bosnia in 2025 vary wildly - from the country's total collapse into three new ethnic states to its peaceful integrartion into the European Union..
Taking into consideration all the estimates of what Bosnia might look like in 13 years' time, 20 analysts, economists, journalists, politicians, professors and NGO activists have come up with up five possible scenarios for the country's future.
The debate, whose results were presented on April 2 in Sarajevo, was organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Bosnia.
The results said that Bosnia will have to conduct numerous reforms, including constitutional reforms, to become a stable country and the "five scenarios" are intended to provoke politicians to act in the country's best interests.
“The reform process should be taken step by step,” Paul Pasch, Friedrich Ebert Foundation director in Bosnia said. “Harmonizing the constitution is the first step to take. It is all, of course, easier said than done.”
The first scenario, called "status quo", says Bosnia will stay within the same constitutional structure, with the Republika Srpska and the Bosniak-Croat Federation as its main entities, plus the District of Brcko, ten cantons within the Federation and three constitutional ethnic groups.
Changes have occured slowly while the country has only obtained EU candidate status. The economy remains poor and disfunctional.
The second scenario foresees Bosnia as a functional but decentralized country - and as a member of the European Union. There is a rule of law, human rights are respected and the economy is growing due to the constitutional changes. New politicians have created new structures following a social revolt in 2015.
The third possibility foresees Bosnia as a functional but centralized EU member country, but this is only following another ethnic conflict which ended in NATO intervention and the imposition of central state government, after which entities and cantons were abolished.
The conflict followed an independence referendum in the Republika Srpska and another military mobilization of all three ethnic groups. After international intervention and stabilization, the 2017 elections brought in new politicians and an economic plan, which led to EU membership in 2025.
Another possible scenario looks at the idea of regional integration: Bosnia in the EU together with Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Kosovo. Ethnic division has become irrelevant in this scenario.
The fifth scenario is the "worst" in that Bosnia does not exist anymore, having collapsed into three smaller countries following a "quiet" ethnic conflict that dissolved the country. All the neighboring countries are by then EU members, leaving Bosnia in poverty and desperation. The international community remains present but incapable of maintaining the country's stability.
In this scenario, the 2022 "new Dayton Accords" have established three ethnic countries, leaving the Serbs with the Republika Srpska as now and forming two new countries for Bosniaks and Croats respectively out of the Federation entity. Meantime, Srebrenica, site of the 1995 massacre, has been declared a district with special status as a memorial centre.