by Damir MILJEVIC
Of course, the next year will be again full of reforms that will make us more efficient and better; these reforms will increase employment, boost the economy, increase salaries, double the pensions; Bosnia-Hercegovina will become a happy place that will not only not suffer from brain-drain, but will actually start importing work force from abroad, while investors from abroad line up to invest billions of dollars. Which reforms am I talking about, you wonder? Well, I was convinced that you'd immediately guess that I was referring to the Police reform, the main priority for the coming year, as defined by our old "partners", also known as the international community.
Haven't you already figured out that only a single, highly centralized police structure that will be based on three principles specified by the EU (true, everyone interprets them differently) can bring back Bosnia-Hercegovina on the path towards the so-called "European integrations". It is true that we already have OSA and SIPA at the B-H level with more than 1,500 employees, so what harm would it be if we also got a police at the B-H level? I propose that its abbreviation [OSA stands for wasp, SIPA for squid in the Serbo-croatian language] invokes a land animal, so that our police zoo reflects all the richness of fauna - in water, on land, and in the air.
After all, you've seen how beneficial the military reform was? You haven't? Let me explain. First, we were accepted into the Partnership of Peace (although only conditionally and for one year only). If we behave and remain in the Partnership for Peace we'll be given an opportunity to replace our obsolete military technology with obsolete military technology of developed NATO countries. Of course we'll have to pay for that privilege. Secondly, only 12,674 persons employed by the Ministry of Defense in B-H sit in barracks and offices, doing nothing and nevertheless receiving their salaries. Ultimately that is good, since they are not the only ones being paid to do nothing. True, some of them have the opportunity to enjoy the smell of gun powder and adrenaline rush in all sorts of peace missions and on the front in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thirdly, all that satisfaction cost only KM 278 million [roughly $140 million] in 2006 - obviously not much if we recall that unreformed military cost us as much as KM 243 million [roughly $120 million] in 2005, i.e. 35 KM million less. Thirty five million KM is a small price to pay for the satisfaction we got. You don't think so? Well, you are wrong! In the coming three years that price tag will be considerably higher and will increase to KM 363 million per year. In other words, the completely reformed Ministry of Defense on the state level will spend trifling KM 120 million per year more than unreformed entity armies. After all, that's only KM 100 [$50] from the pocket of each one of us. A small price for a great partnership!
The military reform clearly shows the right path towards reform in Bosnia-Hercegovina and is an excellent indication of what we should expect from the future Police reform.
You don't think so? You don't think there is any need to centralize police at the state level? You think that better coordination of the already existing police forces can result in more efficient work? You are convinced that the police organization model used by Germany, Spain, or even the USA would be more suitable for B-H? You believe that all of that will cost a lot of money and that the effect will be negligible? You think it's time to focus on economy and start creating new values and work on developing the economy? Do you agree that our state and its bureaucracy are too expensive and that we get too little return on our investment into the state bureaucracy? Do you agree that the police reform will increase that bureaucracy and make it even more expensive? Do you think...? You think...? You are still thinking...? Stop thinking! That is dangerous for your health, and also useless. I've just decided to stop thinking, while waiting to be taken on the true path towards Euroatlantic and European integration.
This article was published in issue 195 of Novi Reporter