This book represents the first ever comprehensive study of the EU’s foreign and security policy in Bosnia since the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation in 1991. Drawing on historical institutionalism, it explains the EU’s contribution to post-conflict stabilisation and conflict resolution in Bosnia. The book demonstrates that institutions are a key variable in explaining levels of coherence and effectiveness of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and that institutional legacies and unintended consequences have shaped CFSP impact over time. In doing so, it also sheds new light on the role that intergovernmental, bureaucratic and local political contestation have played in the formulation and implementation of a European foreign and security policy. The study concludes that the EU’s involvement in Bosnia has not only had a significant impact on this Balkan country in its path from stabilisation to integration, but has also transformed the EU, its foreign and security policy and shaped the development of the EU’s international identity along the way.
Chapter 2 examines the process of institutionalisation that has unfolded since the establishment of European Political Cooperation (EPC) in the late 1960s. The chapter shows that the institutionalisation of the EU’s foreign and security policy has increased over time as shown by the establishment and development of bureaucratic organisations, formal rules and the informal norms shared among policymakers. Second, this institutionalisation process developed by default rather than design. In this regard, path dependency, unintended consequences and learning have become key driving forces behind the institutionalisation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). This chapter also sheds light on how political conflict (that between supranationalists and intergovernmentalists) shaped the institutional development of the EU’s foreign and security policy since its early days. Having embarked upon an intergovernmental path at the outset, successive reforms failed to communitarise this policy. However, because of unintended consequences and institutional legacies, the resulting institutional outcome – a hybrid mode between intergovernmentalism and supranationalism – differed from that originally foreseen by its designers, the member states.
Chapter 6 illustrates the dynamic engagement of the European Union (EU) in Bosnia since 2002 with the launch of several initiatives: the EU Special Representative (EUSR), the EU Police Mission (EUPM) and a military mission (EUFOR Althea). The EUSR has clearly helped improve the coherence of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) thanks to the establishment of numerous forums for coordination. The position has also increased the visibility of CFSP activities, but only partially its effectiveness. However, similarly to other peacebuilding ventures, the EU confronts in Bosnia the problem of how to promote reforms while ensuring local ownership and the sustainability of reforms. As for the EUPM, it suffered greatly from the EU’s inexperience in civilian crisis management which led to problems with the design of its mandate. Institutional and local politics also affected the mission. Finally, EUFOR Althea has presented high degrees of effectiveness. What is revealing from this third period is the high degree of consensus among the member states vis-à-vis EU policy towards Bosnia, which has facilitated the Europeanisation of the country. There was also an increased consensus concerning the need to use civilian and military instruments.
Chapter 5 explores the intervention of the European Union (EU) in the aftermath of the war. During this period, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) was characterised by a low level of activity, a continuation of past initiatives and a secondary role in Bosnia in comparison with Community activities and the operations of international organisations such as the United Nations (UN) or NATO. The EU could be best characterised during this period as a civilian power. This chapter begins with an examination of the EU’s civilian administration in Mostar (EUAM). Greater effectiveness of the CFSP was evident from this case study. However, institutional turf wars, as well as problems of strategy and political obstructionism, undermined this initiative. A non-decision on military intervention is then examined. This case study best exemplifies the (self-imposed) paralysis of the CFSP during this period and the consensus among the member states that the EU should not resort to the use of military instruments. The crisis in Kosovo in 1998–99 triggered changes in the EU’s approach towards Bosnia with the launch of the Stability Pact, but time and institutional constraints meant this initiative did not significantly improve levels of coherence and effectiveness.
Chapter 4 deals with the early stages of the intervention of the European Community (EC) in Bosnia. It examines three key initiatives: the European Community Monitoring Mission (ECMM), the EC Peace Conference that opened in September 1991,and a non-decision on military intervention. During this period, low degrees of coherence and effectiveness were seen, resulting from a combination of factors: a lack of appropriate institutions and crisis management capabilities (including military capabilities), EC inexperience in managing international conflicts, a poor understanding of the situation in the Balkan region, an unwillingness of the member states to get militarily involved in the conflict, and inflated expectations both from insiders and outsiders of what the EC could do in the situation. In spite of these limitations, the member states showed a willingness to engage in conflict resolution under the EC umbrella, in particular during the early stages of the conflict, and some degree of foreign policy innovation.
The concluding chapter summarises the findings and further reflects on the institutional and political challenges to the EU’s foreign and security policy in Bosnia. It reviews the impact of institutionalisation on the EU’s foreign and security policy, the politics of coherence and effectiveness and the overall contribution of EU foreign policy to conflict resolution in Bosnia. The case study of Bosnia provides evidence to support three key findings. First, that institutions have had a crucial impact on levels of coherence and effectiveness over time. Second, that contrary to rationalist assumptions about the purported efficiency of institutions, the increasing CFSP institutionalisation has not done away with problems of coherence and effectiveness and in some cases it has raised new ones. Unintended consequences, path dependency and obstacles to the institutionalisation of learning can be blamed in this regard. Third, the concluding chapter also provides evidence that intergovernmental, bureaucratic and local political contestation have played a key role in the formulation and implementation of a European foreign and security policy.
This chapter provides a brief overview of the conflict in Bosnia and the European Union’s role since the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation in 1991 to date. It then introduces the historical institutionalist framework that will guide the analysis of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in Bosnia, looking in particular at the role of learning, path dependency and unintended consequences. In this chapter it is argued that a focus on institutions and political conflict can help us better understand the development of EU foreign and security policy in the past two decades and, in particular, the vexed issues of coherence and effectiveness. This chapter also provides a brief outline of the content of the book.
Chapter 3 introduces the concepts of coherence and effectiveness and different categories that will guide the empirical analysis. It also situates these terms within broader political and academic debates. In particular, it draws attention to the political and contested nature of these two concepts. Coherence, it is argued, has become a buzzword in official and academic debates. What is not often acknowledged, however, are the positive and normative connotations associated with this term as a proxy for success, integration or supranationalism. As far as effectiveness is concerned, how these problems are approached depends, inter alia, on the conceptualisation of EU foreign policy and of the EU more broadly (as a state-like entity, an international organisation or sui generis), the components of the external action considered and the timeframe of the analysis. The chapter also discusses the complex but not always positive relations between coherence and effectiveness. Finally, the chapter turns to examine the role of intergovernmental, bureaucratic and local politics in explaining coherence and effectiveness.