Three legal cases/political scandals during 2018-19 grabbed the attention of the domestic public and the international community in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The first two concerned the unresolved deaths of two young men, Dženan Memić in Sarajevo and David Dragičević in Banja Luka. The improper investigative conduct of the police and judiciary regarding their deaths raised suspicions of cover-ups and political interference. The third concerned corruption allegations against Milan Tegeltija, then president of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HJPC), the BiH judiciary’s self-managing body.
The three cases marked the nadir of a steady decline of the rule of law institutions in BiH over the last decade and a half, and stand in stark contrast to 2005 when BiH was a frontrunner among Western Balkan countries aspiring to European Union (EU) membership. Rule of law achievements until then had been the result of substantial and systematic judicial and (to a lesser degree) police reform carried out during the immediate post-war period under the leadership of the international community.
For the past three decades, Western Balkan countries have been going through a dynamic period of consolidation of new states, economic transition and transformation of social values. This process of regional and internal consolidation is unfinished and the legacy of conflict is still powerful; yet the outlook of EU accession is the one positive project offering a perspective to societies and economies while settling the wounds of the past.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (B&H) cannot yet be defined as a new "stable democracy". Čović (HDZ B&H) is trying to make changes to the B&H Election Law before the 2022 General Elections, which is to ensure the "legitimate representation" of the constituent peoples. In this way, with "legitimate representatives", a way would be opened for the implementation of their own long-term strategy, which undoubtedly goes in the direction of rounding off the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina which is inhabited by majority Catholic population, i.e. the rebirth of the "extinguished" so-called Herzeg-Bosna, its full territorial and political autonomy and its eventual annexation to the Republic of Croatia.
In its latest energy strategy, adopted at the beginning of 2020, North Macedonia projects complete coal and lignite phase out latest by 2040. The country has been praised as the first country from the Western Balkans to set such ambitious goals. In spite of its determination to move towards a green future in line with its EU accession process, the country continues struggling with air pollution, waste management issues, and inefficient energy market liberalization. The aim of the policy brief is to address these issues through an analysis of recent developments in energy transition of the country.
In addition, the brief offers solutions through democratization of the process of energy transition and reviews and maps out the potential for citizen energy.
The purpose of this study, divided in two main parts, is to first present an overview of the current energy policies and the progress of North Macedonia towards achieving the aims in the frame of its energy strategy; and secondly, to map out the local initiatives that have the potential of creating their own local energy communities. To map out the potential for creating sustainable energy communities, the study will in its first part provide an overview of the factors affecting the energy sector, the potential for renewable energy production and related policies.
If the region wants to pursue energy transition the issue of energy affordability needs to be carefully addressed. Energy poverty is widespread in the region. The fact that biomass generated energy is the most important source of heatingfor the households, but also of the extreme levels of the air pollution (PM) in the Western Balkans is essential to address in the policy design processes. Network energy share is the share of electricity, natural gas and district heating in