Bosna: Ustav u nevolji

Bosna: Ustav u nevolji

U prisustvu američkog predsjednika Billa Clintona i njegovih kolega iz Rusije, Njemačke, Francuske, Velike Britanije i Španije,  tadašnji predsjednici Bosne i Hercegovine, Srbije i Hrvatske, Izetbegović, Milošević i Tuđman potpisali su u decembru 1995. godine u Parizu Daytonski mirovni sporazum i okončali krvavi rat. Ova historijska slika se urezala u kolektivnu svijest Bosne i Hercegovine i uprkos svojoj kontradiktornosti čak i 21 godinu nakon Daytona jako utiče na bosansku psihu.

Mirovni sporazum i u njemu sadržani bosanski Ustav, garantovan od strane vojnih zapovjednika iz susjednih država, sa mjestom rođenja hiljadama kilometara udaljeno od bosanskih državnih granica, neželjen od predstavnika tri naroda Bosne i Hecegovine koji su ga potpisali - sa Daytonom se zaista nije postigao dobar početak u poslijeratnom dobu. Kao što su to  protekle 21 godine bolno pokazale, Ustav koji je nastao iz nužde uvijek iznova pada u nevolju, a s njim neminovno i cijela država.

Najnoviji konflikt u Bosni i Hercegovini povodom najave održavanja referenduma u Republici Srpskoj (RS) je samo jedna u nizu od mnogih nevolja i nedaća u kojima se Bosna i Hercegovina nalazi od završetka rata. U ovom posljednjem konfliktu glavne uloge imaju  Ustav i Ustavni sud BiH. Naime, Ustavni sud BiH je u novembru 2015. odlučio da održavanje Dana Republike Srpske, pravoslavnog praznika, diskriminira nesrbe u RS-u. Nakon toga je Parlament RS-a, instruiran od strane predsjednika RS-a Milorada Dodika, najavio referendum, koji bi se trebao održati 25. septembra. Jedno je jasno i  nedvosmisleno - referendum u RS-u je direktni  napad na odluku Ustavnog suda, a  time i na Ustav Bosne i Hercegovine. Prije nego što dođemo do političkih posljedica ove odluke RS-a, važno je kratko se osvrnuti na sam Ustav BiH.

Protiv Ustava, protiv države

Kompromis postignut u Daytonu, Ohio, - i u ovom obliku nepoželjan od strane svih - je osnivanjem dvaju entiteta sa dalekosežnim ovlastima – Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine i Republike Srpske - stvorio u najmanju ruku neobičan koncept državnog uređenja.

Da, Ustav iz Daytona je neobičan, kontradiktoran, te ukazuje na nedostatke.[1] Pored državne konstrukcije, problematičan je prije svega onaj dio preambule koji eksplicitno naziva Bošnjake, Srbe i Hrvate konstitutivnim narodima. Tako je umjesto građanina (Citoyen) kao političkog subjekta u suštini postavljen etnonacionalno definiran čovjek, a time su  indirektno umjesto građanskog društva dotični etnonacionalni kolektivi (Srba, Hrvata i Bošnjaka) promovirani u centralne političke subjekte. Ovakav eksplicitno etnički konkordantni sistem dovodi do raznih diskriminacija na etničkoj osnovi, kao što je potvrđeno u odluci Europskog suda za ljudska prava u Strazburu u predmetu Sejdić-Finci. Tako je Ustav kao pravna norma koja krši druge pravne norme (konvencije o ljudskim pravima), sam po sebi izrazito problematičan. Realne političke okolnosti koje proizlaze iz Ustava, a koje se nazivaju ustavnom stvarnošću, još su problematičnije. Proporcionalna etnička zastupljenost potencira političko natjecanje bazirano na etničkim i nacionalnim kriterijima, te omogućuje vladavinu etnopolitike koja guši zemlju. Srž etničke politike je trajno održavanje kritičnog stanja u postdejtonskoj Bosni na osnovu neograničene dominacije etnonacionalnog kao isprobane i u očima etnonacionalnih elita izrazito učinkovite tehnike vladavine.

S obzirom na njegove paradokse i prvenstveno (etno)politizaciju Ustava, Ustavni sud BiH kao centralna institucija za očuvanje Ustava stajao je od samog početka na klimavim nogama. U konačnici, njegov sastav je doprinio njegovoj politizaciji. Ustavni sud se do danas sastoji od devet članova i, slično kao i drugi državni organi, ravnopravno je podijeljen prema etničkom principu i dopunjen predstavnicima Međunarodne zajednice. Četiri člana dolaze iz Federacije (dva Bošnjaka i dva Hrvata), dva iz RS , a tri člana se imenuju iz Europskog suda za ljudska prava.

Tko negira Ustav, negira državu

Uprkos svim nedostacima i kontradiktornostima, Dejtonski ustav je i dalje glavni pravni dokument države Bosne i Hercegovine i nalazi se na samom vrhu ljestvice pravnog poretka.  Stoga se u najnovijoj debati oko referenduma u RS-u nema mnogo za raspravljati, jednačina je jednostavna: ako se iz političkih razloga ne prihvata odluka Ustavnog suda,  ne prihvata se ni sam Ustav. Ako se negira Ustav, onda se i cijela država dovodi u pitanje. Istovremeno se sa Ustavom  dovodi  u pitanje i ustavom zagrantovano postojanje RS-a i otvara - u ovom slučaju svjesno - Pandorina kutija. Protiv Ustava, protiv države.

Međunarodni posmatrači

Vratimo se aktuelnom konfliktu. Da, predstoje lokalni izbori u jesen, koje Dodik i njegov SNSD sa katastrofalnim bilansom dugogodišnje vladavine u RS-u nikada ne bi mogli osvojiti,  da ne postoji etno-nacionalna karta na koju se i ovaj put igra. Odluka Ustavnog suda o Danu RS-a je Dodiku dobro došla i služi kao spasilački pojas kojeg se uporno drži. Njegova politička sudbina i sudbina onih klijentelističkih i korumpiranih krugova u privredi i politici, a koje je on u posljednjih deset godina izgradio u paralelni svijet moći u RS-u, visi o koncu.  Tako oslabljen, bori se tim upornije i spreman je prihvatiti svaki oblik konflikta.

Kako nam je poznato iz svih ovih godina nakon Daytona, etno-politička eskalacija se u Bosni tek pokreće kada oni koje jedna strana demonizira, u ovom slučaju Bošnjaci, stupe na scenu. Kao što su 2006. uoči izbora Dodik i Silajdžić bili komunicirajuće strane, tako se sada Dodik i Izetbegović prepucavaju svojim retorikama i time idu u lov na glasove. Dok politički akrobati izvode svoje vratolomne tačke na visokoj žici, gledateljima zastaje dah. U međuvremenu su  Međunarodna zajednica  i EU sa svojih upravnih funkcija ovog cirkusa protjerani na tribine i također ukočeno posmatraju. Prevedeno na stvarni jezik, jasno je da su dugogodišnja pasivnost i reaktivno ponašanje Međunarodne zajednice i EU hranile etnopolitiku kao centralno sredstvo mobilizacije i osiguravanja moći. Nova geopolitika sa oslabljenom EU, pasivnim SAD-om, ojačalom Rusijom i Turskom sa aktuelnim autoritativnim Roll-Back-trendovima, reakciju Međunarodne zajednice na najnoviji konflikt čini skoro nemogućom. Što preostaje jesu upozorenja, apeli na razum i konačno nada da će i ovog puta sve dobro proći. Tako Bosna postaje kolateralna šteta pasivnosti Međunarodne zajednice.

Etno-politička igra koja se igra već od Daytona, a posebno sa referendumom, nažalost će se nastaviti. Doduše, nije isključeno da će se Dodik u posljednjem trenutku povući  i ponovo pomjeriti referendum. Kada se referendum jednom održi, onda je ta municija potrošena. Onda bi se u budućnosti ulog morao povećati. A to bi onda značilo da se teži ka istupanju iz Bosne i Hercegovine sazivanjem još jednog referenduma. To bi bila posljednja razina eskalacije, koja bi na kraju ipak bila previše riskantna. Čak i sa podrškom Rusije bi otpor bio prevelik. Srbija pod Vučićem to sebi ni u kojem slučaju ne bi mogla priuštiti, te bi napokon morala zaustaviti Dodika.  

Posljedice igranja s vatrom

Kako god, igra s vatrom oko referenduma je i ovaj put ispunila svoju svrhu. Predizborna mobilizacija je još jednom uspješno sprovedena prema nacionalno-retoričkom obrascu. I  pandan na drugoj strani, bošnjačka SDA, će također profitirati od još jedne episode borilačkog okršaja sa Dodikom i sakupiti većinu bošnjačkih glasova za sebe. Žrtve će ostati iste: na strukturalnoj razini već je jasno vidljiva šteta – ionako disfunkcionalni politički sistem Bosne i Hercegovine dalje se rasipa i prijeti opasnost potpunog zastoja. Najveće žrtve će biti ljudi u Bosni i Hercegovini, koji se drže kao taoci ovakve politike i iz dana u dan samo gube.

Da se vratimo Ustavu: ma kako neobična i proturječna bosanska državna konstrukcija i politička stvarnost od potpisivanja Daytona bila, mora se pronaći konačna – normativna i realna - linija fronta ove krhke državnosti. Na kraju to može biti samo Ustav koji mora evoluirati, razvijati se. Odustane li se proizvoljno od Ustava i ostavi li nova geopolitička konstelacija sa slabijom EU i sve jačom Rusijom i Turskom Bosnu u geopolitičkom vakuumu, raspad zemlje više nije nemoguć.  

Ako bi Evropa nakon svog neuspjeha u 1990tim godinama još jedanput zaboravila Bosnu, to bi joj se moglo osvetiti. Hitno su potrebne strategije za retoričko razoružanje, a ono je moguće samo ako EU ozbiljno shvati Bosnu i njene probleme. Sve besmislenija perspektiva pristupanju EU mora se ispuniti životom, Bosna mora postati srž nove, ofanzivne politike proširenja na Balkanu. U vremenu u kojem se Turska kao kandidat očigledno sve više gubi, sva energija bi se trebala fokusirati na Balkan i, ako treba, jače i konzekventnije intervenirati. Samo sa ofanzivnom europeizacijom zemlje, EU i Međunarodna zajednica mogu spasiti ustavni poredak u Bosni koji su sami stvorili i tako dugo maćehinski zapostavljali. 

 

[1] U Opus Magnumu Edina Šarčevića, bosanskog pravnika za Ustavno pravo, nalazi se izvanredna analiza Ustava iz Daytona  dosad neviđene sažetosti i analitičke preciznosti (Ustav iz nužde, Sarajevo 2010)

_________________________________________________________ 

English version:

Bosnia: A Constitution in Distress
A Constitution born from distress will continue to be in distress – Bosnia as a never-ending story of perpetual crisis

Before the eyes of US President Bill Clinton and his counterparts from Russia, Germany, France, Great Britain and Spain, then Presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia, Izetbegović, Milošević and Tuđman, signed the Dayton Peace Accord in Paris in December 1995 and thus ended the bloody war. This historical image has burned itself into the collective consciousness of Bosnia and Herzegovina and is still straining the Bosnian psyche deeply, even 21 years after Dayton and on account of its contradictory nature.

The Peace Accord and the Bosnian Constitution contained in it, guaranteed by war commanders from the neighbouring countries, born thousands of kilometres away from Bosnian borders, not asked for by anyone in this form – Dayton indeed was no good start of the post-war period. As the past 21 years have painfully shown, a Constitution born in distress shall continually be in distress, and with it inevitably also always the whole state.

The recent conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina revolving around the announced referendum in the Republika Srpska (RS) is only one in a series of many situations of distress and difficulties, in which Bosnia and Herzegovina has been since the end of the war. In this most recent conflict, the main actors are the Bosnian Constitution and the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional Court of BiH ruled in November 2015 that celebrating the National Day of Republika Srpska on an Orthodox holiday deems it discriminatory against non-Serbs in the RS. Thereupon, the RS National Assembly, directed by RS President Milorad Dodik, announced a referendum. It is supposed to be held on September 25. One thing is clear and unmistakable – the referendum in the RS is a direct affront against the rulings of the Constitutional Court and thereby presents an attack on the BiH Constitution. Before we reach the political consequences of this decision of the RS, a short discussion of the Constitution itself is necessary.

Against the Constitution, Against the Country

The compromise reached in Dayton, Ohio – not wanted in this form by any side – by establishing both entities invested with a high degree of competencies – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republika Srpska – created an unusual institutional framework.

Yes, the Dayton Constitution is unusual, inconsistent, and shows shortcomings[1] Alongside the state structure, what is especially problematic is the part of the Preamble explicitly stating Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats as constituent peoples. Thus, the citizen (citoyen) as political subject was replaced for the most part by the ethno-nationally defined person, which thus indirectly replaced the civic society with the respective ethno-national collectives (the Serbs, the Croats, and the Bosniaks) as the central political subjects. Such an explicitly ethnic concordance system leads to a variety of discriminations based on ethnic origin, as was confirmed not lastly by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in the case Sejdić-Finci. Thus, the Constitution as a legal norm violating other legal norms (Human Rights Conventions) is already highly problematic on its own. But the real political circumstances originating from the Constitution, called constitutional reality, are even more problematic. Ethnic proportionality on all state levels potentiated the political competition based on ethnic and national criteria, and started the rule of ethno-politics keeping the country in a stranglehold. The essence of ethno-politics is the continuous perpetuation of a state of crisis in post-Dayton Bosnia, based on an unrestricted dominance of the ethno-national approach as a tested, and, in the eyes of ethno-national elites, highly efficient governance technique.

The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina as the central institution for upholding the Constitution has been on a shaky ground since the beginning given the paradoxes and especially the (ethno)politicisation of the Constitution. It was politicised not least because of its composition. To this day, the Constitutional Court has been comprised of nine members; the positions are equally divided based on the ethnic principle similar to other state institutions, with the addition of international community representatives. Four members are from the Federation (two Bosniaks and two Croats), two from the RS, and three members are appointed by the European Court of Human Rights.

Whoever Questions the Constitution, Questions the State

Despite all the weaknesses and inconsistencies of the Dayton Constitution, it remains the central legal document of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and can be found at the top of the hierarchy of the legal system. Thus, regarding the recent debate concerning the referendum in the RS, there is not much room for interpretation, the equation is simple: If one deliberately for political reasons does not accept a decision of the Constitutional Court, one also does not accept the Constitution itself. If one questions the Constitution, one questions the whole state. At the same time, by questioning the Constitution one is also questioning the constitutionally guaranteed existence of the RS, and thereby possibly might – in this case consciously – open Pandora’s box. Against the Constitution, against the country.

Back again to the current conflict. Yes, Local Elections are to be held in fall, which Dodik and his SNSD with the disastrous results of their rule over the RS after many years would never win, if it were not for the ethno-national card that can be played again this time. The decision of the Constitutional Court on the National Day of the RS came in handy for Dodik and became the life jacket he can cling to doggedly. His political fate and the fate of those clientelistic and corrupt circles from the economy and politics, which he has established during the last ten years as a parallel universe of power in the RS, hang by a thread. Stricken, he is fighting even more eagerly and is ready to accept any form of conflict.

Internationals as Spectators

As we know from all the years that have passed since Dayton, the ethno-political escalation in Bosnia only warms up when the demonised counterpart, in this case the Bosniaks, also jumps on the bandwagon. Just like Dodik and Silajdžić formed the communicating vessels prior to the elections in 2006, today it is Dodik and Izetbegovic firing their rhetoric at each other in order to catch more votes. While the political performers are presenting daring maneuvers high above on the rope, the spectators are breathless. In the meanwhile, the international community and the EU have been banned to the spectator’s seats from administrating the circus, and watch as if paralysed too. Translated into real language, it is obvious that the long-standing passivity and reactive behaviour of the international community and the EU have fed ethno-politics as a central means for mobilisation and the securing of power. New geopolitics, with a weakened EU, a passive USA and a strengthened Russia, and Turkey with the respective authoritarian rollback, makes a reaction of the international community to the most recent conflict almost impossible. What remains are warnings, appeals to reason, and lastly the hope that things will turn out well this time also. But, thereby Bosnia more and more becomes collateral damage of the passivity of the international community.

The ethno-political game, which has been played so frequently since Dayton, and which is currently being played with the referendum, will unfortunately continue. Although it is not excluded that Dodik will backpedal in the last second and postpone the referendum once more. After the referendum has taken place, this ammunition will be used up for the moment. In the future, the stakes would have to be raised. This would mean then that a separation from Bosnia and Herzegovina is striven for and a further referendum would be held. That would be the last level of escalation, but which ultimately would be too risky. Even with Russia’s support, the front against this would be too large. Serbia lead by Vučić could not afford this on any account and would probably have to definitely whistle Dodik back.

Playing with Fire with Consequences

Either way, playing with fire regarding the referendum has served its purpose once more. The mobilisation prior to the Local Elections has been executed once more successfully according to a rhetorical-nationalistic pattern. The counterpart on the other side, the Bosniak SDA, will also profit from this new episode of aggressive skirmish with Dodik and gather the majority of Bosniak votes behind them. The victims will likely remain the same: On the structural level, the damage can already be seen clearly – the already dysfunctional political system of Bosnia and Herzegovina keeps on eroding and is in danger of coming close to the absolute standstill. And the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be the greatest victims, kept as hostages by politics and only losing from day to day.

To come back to the Constitution once more: As unusual and inconsistent the Bosnian state construction and political reality have been since Dayton, a last – normative and real – frontline of this fragile statehood needs to be found. This can ultimately only be the Constitution. It needs to evolve, to further develop. Should the Constitution be capriciously given up, and should the new geopolitical constellation with a weakened EU and an increasingly strong Russia and Turkey leave Bosnia in a geopolitical vacuum, a break-up of the country no longer is ruled out.

To forget Bosnia once more after failing in the 1990ies, could take revenge on Europe. Fast strategies for rhetorical disarming are needed. This can only take place if the EU takes Bosnia and the problems in the country seriously. The increasingly meaningless EU perspective needs to be filled with life; Bosnia needs to become the core of a new offensive enlargement policy on the Balkans. In times in which Turkey apparently is lost more and more as a candidate, all resources should be focused on the Balkans and it should be intervened harder and more consistent if necessary. The self-created and long neglected constitutional order in Bosnia can only be saved by the EU and the international community with an offensive Europeanisation of the country.

 

[1] An exceptional analysis of the Dayton Constitution, so far not present anywhere else with this density and analytical precision, can be found in the opus magnum of Bosnian constitutional lawyer Edin Šarčević, who is teaching in Leipzig (Ustav iz nužde, Sarajevo 2010).