The Federally confederated states of Milorad Dodik

Savez država ili jedna federalna država?

In a recent speech in Bijelina, Milorad Dodik outlined the state he envisages Bosnia to be. According to Nezavisne novine, he argues for a federal state, but there is an interesting ambivalence in his statement. On one side, he is arguing for a Federal state (federalna drzava), on the other, he seems to argue for an alliance of states, which sounds a lot more like a confederation. In Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian a savez država could be confused with a savezna država, but the former emphasizes the individual units as states, with the later the center is the state. To confuse matter further, he called the RS a Federal state in the framework of BiH (“RS federalna država u okviru BiH”), which is simply incorrect, unless he plans to federalize the RS. Now all this confusion of language might be down to bad journalism–not impossible–but it also seems plausible that it reflects a greater lack of clarity between these different types of state organization in the Bosnian debate.

When he outlines what this means, it sounds a lot like the status quo, plus the important additional committment he proposes is to have all competences necessary for EU integration at the state level (if only to coordinate). This seems like a reasonable starting point for further debate. The distinction between confederal and federal is largely semantic if the substance is argeed on and it might be best to leave the definition of what kind of state BiH unsaid, as it has been.

One Response to The Federally confederated states of Milorad Dodik

  1. Dany says:

    No, none of that will happen, not because under some regular circumstances it would not be a good idea, but because of particular circumstances of the present case. The tide is about to shift balance of powers significantly in Bosnia, since the over-decentralization v. over-centralization v. Brcko model experiments have shown its results.

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