Scientific and expert conference with international participation
THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION FOR BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
March 14th and 15th 2019., Neum
Rector's Assembly of the Republic of Croatia
University of Mostar
Under the auspices of the Croatian National Congress of BiH
In 2019, it will mark the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which also contains a Constitution that gave Bosnia and Herzegovina long-desired peace and a new model of organization under the formula "two entities for three constituent peoples". A structure was founded that secured peace as a prerequisite for further survival and protection of the rights and interests of constituent peoples and other citizens of BiH. After a series of unsuccessful attempts to amend the Constitution, the process of aligning BiH's constitution and its legal framework with international, but also domestic values and standards, remains the most serious obstacle to the European future of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In which principled direction the changes are to go? It is a key assumption that they must follow the European acquis, namely European law in the narrower (EU and member states) and wider (EU + Council of Europe, OSCE, etc.) sense.
Meanwhile, several judgments of the European Court of Human Rights have been passed, as well as a very important decision of the Constitutional Court of BiH in the Ljubić case, which refers to the constitutionality and the principle of 'legitimate representation'. Will BiH be able to follow only one of these norms or strive for their unification and to choose the path of seeking ways of harmonizing them: constitutionality as a traditional constitutional category and human rights as general-universal? How can this be achieved? Which understanding of the constitution and its necessary changes opens the way for the consolidation of the BiH political system so that it can protect collective and individual rights in the spirit of European law and tradition?
The solution to these issues is a prerequisite for the reform steps BiH must take to stabilize economic and social conditions, and to strengthen the European political culture in BiH. In this context, the European Constitution for BiH aims to look at Bosnia and Herzegovina's issues as a multi-ethnic state of constituent and equal peoples and the "Others" in the context of BiH's accession process to the European Union, and the country's overall ability to undertake the necessary reforms and fulfill European standards. In all of this, the issue of the constitution is imposed as a matter of all the issues. This ultimately means finding a response to the question of how constitutionality and equality as irreconcilable elements of the constitution of BiH are positioned within the framework of the European acquis, constitutional practices and theories at EU level and its members, especially those who in their arrangement apply elements of power distribution agreed with the aim of harmonization and diversity management.
In this regard, special attention will be given to the European tradition of federalism and its experience in the sense of overcoming the liberal-communal dispute, ie the creation of socio-political systems that effectively protect individual and group rights. This, in the methodological sense, includes openness to referrals dealing with case studies, comparing BiH's political system with EU countries systems, constitutional teleology, constitutional law, constitutionalism, issues such as the type and distribution of sovereignty, internal self-determination, consensus, international contract law, etc.
III. ON THE SCIENTIFIC AND EXPERT LEVEL, WE ARE SEEKING THE ANSWERS FOR THE NEXT GENERAL QUESTIONS:
1. What are the key principles and elements of constitutional law in Europe and the world?
2. What is the political value of the European Union and what is the basis of its legal heritage to which BiH has to adapt, and how BiH is "constitutive" in that framework (perhaps a special panel), ie how to reconcile the values and principles of the BiH Constitution with the acquis communautaire?
3. What are the methods of harmonizing individual and collective rights and how are the peoples rights and individuals' rights in the EU protected and harmonized? (the state of implementation of ECHR decisions in Member States, in particular in Belgium and Switzerland as member of the EC);
4. Question for the Concluding Debate and the Last Panel: How do you go from the Dayton to the Brussels phase: from post-conflict stabilization to full EU membership, ie to simultaneously improve the democratic framework and strengthen stability with the full consensus of the three constituent peoples and all citizens of BiH?
The specific questions to be considered at the conference are:
1. Equality of the constituent peoples and equality of citizens in terms of exercising the right to run and free choice of political representatives? (question of compliance with the constitution and decisions of the Constitutional court of BiH);
2. The balance of collective and civic through BiH's bicameralism;
3. Equality of the constituent peoples from the aspect of autonomy and co-decision process in executive, legislative and judiciary powers;
4. The issue of constitutionality throughout the territory of BiH and how it is being implemented (what are the real effects and domination of the Constitutional Court's judgment on the constituency of peoples throughout the territory of BiH and how is it to be implemented?).
The conference will bring together academics from different parts of BiH, the scientific elite from BiH, Europe and the world for the area of law, politics and sociology and philosophy, which will gain broader publicity and significance. In an environment in which political positions are buried and clashed, it is necessary to conceive dialogue on a neutral, apolitical and scientific level; To establish communication and understanding between the academic communities of the three peoples, primarily the Bosniak and Croat, so it could be taken over by the politics.
The conference is interdisciplinary and will have 3 panels - general, political and constitutional-legal.
I GENERAL PANEL
In the general panel, the views on the fundamental values and principles of the Constitution of BiH, European Treaties, countries that inherit the tradition of differences management, are provided, and whose constitutions contain the federal principles. It is necessary to point to these principles, to establish their common links, and to consider the possibilities and ways of overcoming them in constitutional and legal concepts in accordance with established EU principles and standards. In this segment, teleological considerations of the constitution, interpretation, constitutional hermeneutics, wider areas of constitutionalism and factors that determine them are desirable. The focus is on the social assumptions of the "new" BiH organization and to what extent the existing structure meets the objective needs of the BiH society and its peoples, taking into account the post-conflict characteristics of the BiH society, as well as all that implies the prospect of EU membership.
II POLITICAL PANEL
Political debates deal with the concepts of unitarism, federalism, multinational federalism, confederalism, decentralization, devolution, constitutionalism, democratic principles in the context of the EU's legacy and the constitution of countries in which there are constitutional, political and social analogies in relation to BiH. It is important to clarify these terms in order to purify the registry for their proper use in public discourse and shattered stereotypes. The public in BiH is either unfamiliar or disinformed about these issues. This also depoliticizes and purifies conceptual register of misinterpretations and prejudices that have become dominant in the domestic public, thus enabling them to be further used.
III CONSTITUTIONAL LEGAL PANEL
The Constitutional and Legal Panel is intended for the interpretation of the most critical aspects of the DMS and the Constitution of BiH, as well as the identification of evolutionary directions and clarification of disputed terms such as special relations, signatories or the relationship of the legal norm of constitutionality towards BiH social-political reality; provides an overview of the solution of the antinomy of individual and collective rights in the EU and BiH. They analyze the European law and jurisprudence of member states in addressing all issues of diversity management, referring to their experience in resolving and implementing decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.
In the light of policy guidelines aimed at bringing BiH closer to the constitution of the European constitutional and legal tradition, as well as common statements as the basis and the assumptions of understanding the basic values and principles of BiH constitution and ways of adjusting them to European constitutional and political standards. Conclusions of the conference will serve as a platform for political dialogue between representatives of all three constituent peoples.
VII. IMPORTANT DATES
of abstracts – January 15th 2019
Notification of acceptance of abstracts – January 31th 2019
Date of the Conference – March 14th-15th 2019
Acceptance of complete works – May 15th 2019