Bosnia is stuck in a constant cycle of political turmoil, brought on by leadership that is not interested enough in this country’s future, the outgoing head of the OSCE, Bruce G Berton, said in his outgoing address on Tuesday, adding that It’s time to break the cycle.
“BiH is stuck. As a result, there is little policy debate or action regarding issues that matter to BiH’s citizens, and little progress on the path toward European integration. Instead, leaders use degrading rhetoric and imagined crises that deepen mistrust and keep the country deadlocked,” Berton wrote adding that it is time to break the cycle.
It is time “to break the cycle of intransigence that does not allow negotiation or compromise, resulting in the current lack of government formation.
To break the cycle of leadership more concerned with themselves and their political base, at the expense of the country, its citizens and the reforms that are needed to move BiH forward.
To break the cycle of patronage and corruption that undermines rule of law, discourages investment, delays European integration and costs the people of BiH billions of marks.
To break the cycle of focusing only on past wrongs rather than creating a brighter future.
To break the cycle of believing that you owe your allegiance to a political party rather than to a country.
To break the cycle of apathy and hopelessness that discourages political participation and encourages citizens to leave for other countries,” he wrote.
Berton argues that there are plenty of reasons why one should blame the politicians but Bosnian citizens must demand a change for the better, they must participate in the democratic process and “remember that change starts with them.”
“In four years I have had the opportunity to travel extensively within BiH. It is a dramatically beautiful country with wonderful people and huge potential… who are willing to work together, willing to compromise, willing to act on behalf of the people they represent.
This country needs those people now more than ever. And it is to those people I offer my sincere gratitude for the past four years and my fervent hope that your efforts are recognized and rewarded, for the sake of all of BiH’s citizens,” Berton concluded.