Yesterday, SETimes reported the victory of NGO’s lobbying against the government regarding the thorny issue of 2013 census. As you can read in the article, the questionnaire model has been amended in order to guarantee a much wider span of possible answers and therefore granting BiH citizens the chance to define themselves in a more complete and coherent way.
I personally agree with the concerns expressed by Adnan Huskic, a member of Initiative for a Free Declaration and lecturer at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology. My disquietude is not just linked to the bad timing of the scheduled, or to the chronic lack of awareness of most BiH population on the matter (which will in any case, partially nullify the aforementioned great NGO’s achievement).
My personal concerns regard the well known ease shown by other Balkan societies in pairing the census to the political elections. Montenegro for example, passed from having a 98% Serbian majority to a 34% Serbian minority in less than a decade. No major migration took place in that short timespan. The leverage of power, however, definitely migrated from Belgrade to Podgorica, and this made the miracle happen.
I personally welcome the NGO’s work: it is a further demonstration that BiH civil society is filling the gap left by the non-existing federal government in a continuously increasing efficient way. However, I still believe that 2013 census figures will not show us any major change from the 1991 ones.
There has been a very marginal shifting of political power since than.