Zoom, 16:00-17:30 CET

Recent issues of the SEER Journal for Labour and Social Affairs in Eastern Europe have focused on the Dayton Peace Agreement which put an end to the Bosnian War and set BiH on a path towards European integration. The path is, however, ill-defined, rocky and meandering – and has yet to result in the actual accession of any of the states of former Yugoslavia other than Slovenia and Croatia.

Meanwhile the future of the region has again become a hot topic with Germany’s proposal for a new High Representative (an international institution, intended to be ad hoc, which is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the civilian aspects of Dayton); the publication of ‘non-papers’ proposing a re-drawing of borders, not least ahead of Slovenia’s upcoming Presidency of the EU; and talk, heightened during the Trump Presidency of the US, of ‘land swap’ arrangements between Kosovo and Serbia. All this, on top of the continuing political stalemate within BiH, raises major questions of contemporary relevance for the EU and provides the opportunity for a considered assessment of the current position.

This workshop – which will be held online via Zoom – will feature three authors who have contributed to recent issues of the SEER Journal and who are extremely well-placed to review and debate where we stand and the current lie of the road ahead. It will explore the Dayton Agreement both in its historical and its future perspective, examining what remains to be addressed to realise European integration and stability both in BiH itself and in the wider region.


16.00 Opening and welcome   Bela Galgoczi, editor of SEER, senior researcher ETUI

Moderator: Peter Scherrer, former Deputy General Secretary of ETUC, member of SEER editorial board

16.10 Bosnia and Herzegovina’s eroding Dayton constitutional order Jasmin Mujanović, PhD,  political scientist, writer and commentator

16.25 The Dayton Agreement and social reform Željko Mirjanić,  Professor in the Faculty of Law, Department of Administrative Law, Labour and Social Law of the University of Banja Luka

16.40 Deconsolidation and de-democratisation on the western Balkans Christophe Solioz, Professor of Philosophy at the Collège de Genève Download here his contribution (draft version)

16.55 Discussion

17.30 End of the workshop


Each presenter will have 15 minutes maximum to present their paper as published in the SEER Journal and the most central aspects of their theme. The workshop will then turn to an opportunity for questions and responses, with the aim of constructing a dialogue about how the issues can practically be resolved, concluding within 90 minutes. The working languages will be English and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Montenegrin.

Possible discussion points for the workshop

  • what can be done within BiH through the political process to resolve the status quo?
  • what does a new social contract between the citizens of BiH look like and how can it be delivered?
  • what is the role of the EU in encouraging reform and accession of the western Balkans?
  • what should the new High Representative be looking to achieve within his first 100 days in office?
  • what can regional co-operation realistically achieve and how does this encourage accession?

Background reading

Željko Mirjanić and Marko Šukalo: The Dayton Agreement and social reform: Omne principium difficile est

Jasmin Mujanović: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s eroding Dayton constitutional order

Christophe Solioz: Deconsolidation and de-democratisation: Current western Balkans experience of the transition

Christophe Solioz: Catch your breath