Occasional Paper No. 66. Paris: European Union Institute for Security Studies, 2007.
The Dayton Peace Agreement on Bosnia successfully ended the war in late 1995. However, the price for peace was an extremely weak and dysfunctional postwar state that would probably not have survived without substantial international support over the following decade. This paper argues that things have begun to visibly change in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) only with the emergence of the EU as the main international peacebuilding actor in recent years, and notably since 2003. EU conditionality, assertively communicated by the EU Special Representative on the ground, has increasingly become a viable alternative to international trusteeship. Thus, the potential does now exist to turn postwar Bosnia into a sustainable multi-ethnic democracy. But EU peacebuilders need to further improve their strategic effectiveness and political coordination, and the paper indicates how this might be achieved.