Bosnia in 2023: Hoping against Hope

Bosnia enters 2023 with a new state government and the fillip of EU candidate status. But will anything really change?

To the untrained eye, 2023 might look like a year filled with long-awaited change for Bosnia and Herzegovina as a newly-minted candidate for European Union membership. In truth, say experts, hope for change does not mean change will come.

At a moment of crisis, the EU’s decision in mid-December provides an incentive for Bosnia’s institutions “to get serious and take responsibility for fulfilling the priorities,” said Edo Kanlic, programme coordinator of the Initiative for Monitoring European Integration.

The move, loaded with symbolism for Bosnia three decades after the start of a war that killed 100,000 people, coincided with the creation of a new state-level coalition government, formed in record time following October elections.

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