War or Famine?The people of Bosnia-Herzegovina have been struggling to survive twenty years after the war. We have not been successful in this struggle. The results have emerged a few days ago. People have been quiet simply to avoid a war, for there is nothing worse, but we are facing famine for the first time since the war. This is different than before, when everyone went hungry during the war, for now some have full bellies. A system cannot be built over the hunger of the masses while some are full. There will be no peace in a place where there is no equity or justice. The people now face the question “war or famine”. Is reorganisation in public administration needed?It is not possible for Bosnia-Herzegovina to develop with its present state structure. While the Dayton Agreement may have brought peace, it did not bring stability. It has led to an overly complicated administrative structure. A very complex bureaucracy has emerged. This has delayed decision making and services. It has also caused a lot of resources being allocated to those employed by the Government, the ministries and the local administrations. So much so that in proportion to the population, there are probably more civil servants employed in Bosnia-Herzegovina than by the Pentagon. Such a structure cannot bring efficiency or equality. We have more civil servants than workers. It is therefore necessary to reorganise public administration. The people once trusted the government and the administrators. However, administrators and politicians have failed in their duties and abused the trust placed in them. It should nevertheless be emphasised that the people of Bosnia are patient and enduring but will not be silenced in the face of injustice. Do we have an economic plan and programme?Bosnia’s situation worsens daily with unemployment approaching 70 per cent, factories shut or closing down and poverty deepening and intensifying. What is the economic policy of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Does it have five, ten or 20 year span economic plans? It is natural for the people to react when these questions are not answered affirmatively. However, there was no need for vandalism, the destruction of archives and other property. Bosnians have never been vicious. We have always been proud. A new vision befitting the nation is being an agricultural and economic power in the region. Otherwise, we will regress. We need a new movement. We can only overcome these problems through production. A new economic policy which takes investment as its basis and which will improve productivity, especially the culture of entrepreneurship is needed. We need to focus intently on production. We will side with those who run factories and not shut them down. In doing so we will object to the government’s illegal and unlawful ways. We will strive to attract foreign investment. We will support tourism. Our future is the future of all Bosnians.
Emina KARO** Representative of Balkan Countries at the Eurasian Federation, PhD student at the Department of Public Administration, University of Istanbul. firstname.lastname@example.org