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2010 | EUISS Paper: The EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Powers, decisions and legitimacy, by B.M.J. Szewczyk

The author adopts a theory of legitimacy to analyse the issue of the Bonn Powers in Bosnia where the Office of the High Representative (OHR), on the basis of the Dayton Agreement, can enact laws and remove elected officials. This paper provides for an analysis of all the decisions of the OHR and gives critique on those decisions that appear to be inconsistent with the Dayton Agreement and its principles (pp. 36-50).

The paper finds that the use of the Bonn Powers is generally legitimate. The author recommends that the Bonn Powers be retained by the EU, but are restricted in that they are used only to preserve the peace, promote the democratic process, and protect human rights. To further enhance the legitimacy of the decisions a full and transparent examination of the arguments is recommended. This can be done through a public hearing or submission of documents.