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The EU’s Human Rights Advocacy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2000-2008) (2014-2015)

Author: HUSZKA, Beata
Field of study: International Relations

This chapter investigates how the EU’s human rights conditionality operates in the enlargement context, and what is its real impact in the target countries on existing human rights practices. The fundamental question about the efficiency of conditionality is ultimately whether it can induce the transformation of existing norms and practices going beyond formal compliance. First, the
various inconsistencies characterizing the EU’s human rights promotion will be reviewed here, because the resulting lack of credibility seems to undermine this transformative effect. The second half of this chapter will demonstrate how these inconsistencies play out in an actual case through studying the EU’s conditionality policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina before 2008. It will be shown that the credibility of conditionality policy was seriously compromised during this period as the EU practically accepted partial measures, which were never quite enough for putting the reforms in place as they were originally intended.

Keywords: European Union, Western Balkans, enlargement, human rights, conditionality, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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