Policy and Research Papers
- Police reaction to recent protests in Bosnia has called attention to stalled police reform. This brief provides a historical overview detailing the evolution of police structures and the reform attempts and provides recommendations for long-term effective police reform.
- After Bosnia’s 1992–1995 war, police reform became a crucial element of security sector reforms. The police were accused of human rights violations, a lack of proper training and over-militarization. There have been further allegations of criminality and corruption within the force and a lack of cooperation between different police agencies, all resulting in an unsustainable policing environment.
- Initial reforms to obtain state-wide standards through centralization were complicated by the politicization of the reforms and were perceived as an attempt to assimilate the divided state. The result is a fragmentation of police services and disagreement between the three main political blocs within the country.
- Recommendations to improve the policing environment and build trust in the police services include curbing political interference in policing matters, increasing engagement with civil society and formalizing a system to enable reporting of public concerns and complaints.
The recent agreement between Kosovo and Serbia is a significant accomplishment for the European Union. Still, the agreement marks the beginning, rather than the end, of a long-term process of normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo. The maintenance of the EU’s “constructive ambiguity” approach to the question of Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo as an independent state is important for continued normalizing relations between the countries. The EU’s continuous and active involvement and interest in the region is of paramount importance for the full implementation of the agreement.