SDP BiH is a modern leftist-oriented political organisation of labour and creativity consisting of workers and members dependent on labour. The organisation is of autochthonous, constituent people (and ethnic minorities) and citizens who develop and cherish the values related to social issues, sensitive state and civil society. This political party focuses on promoting employment, individual and collective prosperity, thus giving all people the possibility to use their potentials. SDP BiH permanently and consistently fights exclusivity and poverty in order to coordinate and harmonise material progress, safeguarding the environment and human responsibility towards future generations. The Party is focused on establishing an appropriate social position for workers which will enable them to influence the social and political developments of the society in a significant manner.
SDP BiH based its establishment and development on the principles of European and Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Social Democracy, on peasant and worker movements, on lectures and messages of the People’s Liberation Anti-Fascist War (1941-1945), on the positive values of social development after the end of the Second World War, on the basis of reforms and democratic steps made by the Communist Party and the Alliance of Reformists of Bosnia and Herzegovina towards a multi-party system and a political and economic democracy at the end of the 80’s and the beginning of 90’s.
SDP BiH’s principles are rooted in the Social Democratic Party of BiH founded in 1909 “as an expression of the political needs of the working class”. This party also attempted to overcome the mono-ethnic character of political organisation, multiethnic polarisation and confrontation. The Social Democratic Party continued its work to preserve co-habitation, political sovereignty, territorial integrity and the independence of BiH between 1992 and 1995. After the war it has been working within the framework of implementing the Dayton Peace Accord and has been fighting to establish a democratic society and state grounded in the basic principles of social justice and equality, solidarity and responsibility towards other people.
From the social aspect, the Social Democratic Party of BiH articulates and politically supports the interests of those who financially support themselves primarily by working and their knowledge and abilities. This is a wide spectrum of different layers of society, which includes: workers and peasants, entrepreneurs and scientists, as well as academics with a humanistic orientation. SDP BiH supports the development of private entrepreneurship and rejects ultra-left dogma on private property. Private initiative, with adequate taxes and financial policies and socially sensitive state functions, is a necessary and rational form of material development for the society of Bosnia and Herzegovina. SDP BiH will work whole-heartedly in its political mission of establishing social democracy and adequately and consistently articulating the interests of trade unions, expressed in their requests for an economic democracy and social justice.
The theoretic foundation of the Social Democratic Party of BiH consists of a wide range of philosophical and scientific movements and schools of humanistic orientation and emancipation; it also includes the most valuable components of social democratic and Marxist thoughts. Everything that further develops the domain of human liberty, justice and solidarity and the basic values of human civilisation is not only an integral part of the programme identity and political practice, but is also its foundation. We are opposed to making democratic socialism and the fight for its development consist of only one way of thinking, one ideology, one social class and one truth.
Keeping in mind the tradition of social democracy and the general societal conditions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the leftist political orientation of SDP BiH most adequately expresses the character and the current activist tendencies of SDP BiH for the future. On this ground, SDP BiH primarily defines its universal and lasting values which will never be relinquished – life safety, social justice and equality, solidarity and responsibility, freedom and equal opportunities for everyone.
The basis for the overall set-up of society in Bosnia and Herzegovina and for mutual relations with its members should be the establishment of democratic socialism, which encompasses person’s freedom from all kinds of political and economic subordination and alienation as well as the creation of conditions ideal for freedom, equality, democracy and solidarity so that every individual can be provided with a chance for a life with dignity. The main pre-condition for this is minimizing the differences between social classes through the development of democracy and the building of pluralistic relations, both of which will lead to a more humane and just society and making relations more socially just and equal.
This vision is of a new BiH, a BiH in which – unlike the Dayton BiH and the increasing nationalistic tendencies, which lead towards the dissolution of BiH – the citizen is the main component and the basic political subject, not subject to any kind of economic or political subordination, and the civil rights and freedoms are of European and international standards and every individual is given the chance for a life with dignity. In the state of BiH, the citizens are the bearers of sovereignty. Equal and constituent peoples and groups participate in the structures of authority. The political progress in BiH is guaranteed by the sovereignty of citizens and equality of peoples, both of which are realized through a multi-party parliamentary democracy, the proportion principles defined in the Constitution, parity and consensus. As inspired by the European regionalisation concept, BiH should be a decentralised state with a high level of regional and local self-governance.
SDP BiH is a multiethnic party which functions throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. Currently, SDP BiH has about 50,000 members. From the moment of introducing political pluralism, SDP BiH has been a parliamentary party which has its delegates in the legislature and at all other levels of political organisation. SDP BiH is a very strong oppositional party at the moment. Together with other political parties that promote civil society, it won the mandate to run the country between 2000 and 2002 and between 2010 and 2014.