Kamingespräch “Germany in Bosnia and Herzegovina – from intention to initiative”

On March 24th 2011, Foreign Policy Initiative BH held the third in a series of events which will focus on different aspects of BiH foreign policy, based on a concept of Kamingespräch (fireside chat).This is a German concept of casual fireside conversations about current affairs, meant to create an enabling atmosphere for open exchange of opinions between experts, diplomats and civil society representatives. The subject of the third meeting was on German foreign policy which was previously reported on by FPI in our policy analysis entitled “Germany in Bosnia and Herzegovina – from intention to intiative”.

The stability of the Balkans is one of central issues of both German and European foreign and security politics. The classical view resting on Croatia and Serbia as supporting pillars of the stability in the Balkans must be reviewed regarding the fact that the weight of the Balkan problems proved to be too heavy for merely two pillars, especially if one bears in mind that a great number of these problems are loosely connected to one or both of them.

The readiness of one of the main powers in Europe and the world to become involved in BiH and focus its actions on the removal of barriers to the functioning of BiH as a future EU candidate is something that is worth giving a chance. We believe that the German understanding of the crisis in BiH has evolved and Germany has now finally accepted the fact that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a specific state, to a great extent due to international involvement, and as such cannot be helped exclusively by imposing the conditions for stabilisation and association.
German intentions cannot become an initiative without a strong synergy with key partners. The German initiative, if it ever comes to pass, must have in mind that BiH can no longer be the subject of experiments.

If Zagreb and Belgrade are not ready to play a more constructive role, it would be better if they excluded themselves from the process and let those whose “club” they want to join run the process.
FPI BiH plans to continue organising similar events in future, focusing on the situation in the Middle East, German foreign policy in BiH, and other topics relevant to profiling BiH foreign policy. Discussions will be substantiated by analytical reports which will be written by our experts and associates and published on our webpage.