Bosnia and Herzegovina is an ethnically diverse society and the country’s post-war years were marked by permanent political crisis, a tense social atmosphere and high levels of corruption. The political structure set up under the terms of the Dayton Peace Accords includes the national government, the division of the country into two entities: Republika Srpska and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzogovnia, as well as canton and municipal governments. This complex structure makes for a difficult and ineffective system of government, as public institutions fail to take responsibility for real issues, and focus instead on ethnic animosities, using disinformation to maintain tensions between Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.
While the country boasts a vibrant civil society and media scene, journalists are often subject to threats and political pressure and there are few independent media. Many citizens, particularly young people, choose to emigrate as they fail to see a future for themselves in the country, and those that stay opt out of public life. This remains a challenging environment for progressive political, civil society, media and other stakeholders to engage in discussions on democratic values and on European perspectives in general.
EED approach and added value
- Core start-up funding to independent media and journalists, including pro-democracy content production
- Complementary support to civil society sector to ensure financial survival and implementation of new actions based on priority citizen needs
- Support to civic engagement, including youth
Examples of supported initiatives
- Funding of media content production advocating for a unified school programme to help reduce inter-ethnic tensions
- Support to investigative journalism in the field of anti-corruption
- Individual grant to a renowned journalist focused on reconciliation and youth education
- Theatre initiative working with youth to engage them on human rights issues.