The Dayton-Paris Peace Accords, signed on 21 November and 14 December 1995, brought an end to three and a half years of fighting that killed tens of thousands, displaced half the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina and devastated the country’s social and economic infrastructure.
The DPA established the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina within internationally recognized borders. It contains the country’s constitution, providing, among other things, for a tripartite State Presidency and setting up two Entities within the State.
In the ten years since Dayton, peace in BiH has been maintained and stability has developed; democratic elections have been held and massive infrastructure repair has been completed. More than a million people have returned to their homes. In recent years, an ambitious series of structural reforms have been undertaken successfully as part of a Euro-Atlantic integration process aimed eventually at securing membership for BiH in the European Union and NATO.
Though there is along way to go before the rudimentary structures of the BiH State become fully effective, increasingly the questions faced by BiH today are associated with the transition to a modern European market economy, rather than that of peace stabilisation.