The first among many problems is corruption. As stated by interviewed young experts, corruption is ubiquitous – in police, judiciary, state institutions, healthcare, education etc. One example mentioned during interviews is the High Judicial and Prosecution Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been considered the subject of manipulations and intrigues over the years. Experts noted that corruption does not fade because of lack of cooperation between judiciary authorities – particularly said, on the one hand, there is a lack of communication between the prosecutors and investigators, and the other issue mentioned is the lack of communication between the prosecutors of the entities – Bosniak-Croat Federation and the Republika Srpska.
Experts also claim that people have adjusted to the corruption – the BIH citizens tolerate this system. Consequently, it is difficult to change something so rooted within state elites’ and ordinary citizens’ minds. Foreign and domestic commentators have been mentioning corruption for years as a problem in BIH and the Western Balkans in general.
The second problem mentioned during the interviews is the political situation that provides little space for change from inside. There prevails a common belief that the constitutional changes with the Dayton Peace Accord created an unstable political system. However, some experts from BIH disagree, opposing that the Dayton Peace Accord has made a system locked for any significant changes from the inside. To prove these views, experts mentioned that not a single initiative for constitutional reforms came from within or from the fundamental political forces in the country recently. The current system works as coverage for ethnic-based parties in power, as the system has been designed to protect ethnic groups and ethnic divisions. Experts explain that this can be seen at local levels where ethnic parties have developed strong bonds and share political power. To prove their claims, one of the experts mentions that this problem is evident in the Canton of Central Bosnia. The SDA-HDZ bloc (these parties represent two ethnicities) controls every aspect of the canton’s and municipalities’ life regardless of election results.
Consequently, the system is stable but does not allow the country to move forward in any way. There have been numerous proposals from political parties to change it. Still, all the actual calls for changes and the actual voting on changes happened only after significant pressure from international actors and the community. Experts explain that the current system works excellently for the key ethnic-political parties because it is created to benefit ethnic elements and their representatives. In such a political atmosphere, the political system BIH citizens have today provides ethnic-based parties with a high level of political security and guarantees that these parties will gain and control political processes at different levels of governing, at least to some extent. The proof for these claims should be that crucial political leaders from ten to twenty years ago are still the deciding heads in BIH even today. Even if some have moved to the less visible positions, experts stress that these figures still influence politics from the local to the national level. Experts also add that internal changes within political parties have a limited effect on how these parties perform in the political arena. The system is designed to give political power to the actors most involved in the process.