2015-2025 – Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU path

In cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Sarajevo University Faculty of Political Science ,we organized the panel discussion “2015-2025: Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU path”. The event was inspired by the discussion paper by Osman Topčagić, written with the aim to entice discussion and debate about the current process of European integrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the future of the Western Balkans countries.

Panel participants, Nedžma Džananović-Miraščija, assistant professor at the Faculty of Political Science Sarajevo, Svetlana Cenić, economic expert and Đorđe Tomić, senior assistant the Faculty of Political Science Banja Luka, underlined the need for structured and informed debates on this and similar topics in order for the public, and the key actors of the integration process, be more informed and make a substantive contribution.

Panelists also highlighted the importance of the separation of the reform processes from meddling of daily-political discourse so as to enable BiH to finally move forward with the stabilization and association process and do so for the well-being of all of its citizens, and not individual interests.

Discussion paper available here (only in local language) ⟶ 2015.-2025. – Evropski put Bosne i Hercegovine

2015.-2025. - Evropski put Bosne i Hercegovine

The Second Meeting of National PAR Working Group in BiH

Foreign Policy Initiative BH, organized the second meeting of National PAR Working Group in BiH in Sarajevo, 25.10.2017. The meeting is organized as part of the regional WeBER project, financed by European Commission and co-financed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Representatives of 23 civil society organizations from BiH, which form the NWG for monitoring of Public Administration Reform on local level in BiH took part in the meeting.

Previous results and achievements as well as future plans for activities within WeBER project were presented. Furthermore, OCDs which were awarded grants within the project presented their activities and future plans. Through discussion and familiarization with activities within their local communities, representatives of NWG concluded that it is necessary to further educate public servants on local and cantonal level about PAR. They also underlined that it is necessary to explain the process of PAR to the citizens and present them what a reformed public service should bring to them (efficient and professional administration, simpler procedures, no long queues, budget spending and public service recruitment transparency, etc).

In the afternoon session, Senior Expert Associate for Public Relations of PARCO in BiH, Vedrana Faladžić presented the activities of PARCO in BiH and invited the representatives of CSOs to actively participated in public consultations which are to be held in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. Aneta Raić, Head of the Unit for Donor Coordination, Finances, Monitoring and Evaluation spoke about the next step and plans of PARCO BiH.

Sastanak Državne radne grupe u okviru WeBER projekta

Training for members of Women’s Caucus of FBiH Parliament

Foreign Policy Initiative BH, in cooperation with Women’s Caucus of FBiH Parliament organized the three-day training on political economy and gender-sensitive budgeting in Konjic (9-11 October 2017). The training is the continuance of a long and successful cooperation between FPI BH and Women’s Caucus members with the aim to strengthen the capacities and offer expert assistance for the realization of plans and initiatives.

During the opening remarks, Kenela Zuko, Caucus President, underlined the significance of the cooperation of the Caucus with civil society organizations and intensifying of efforts towards various initiatives and the usefulness of such intensive training for the future activities of the Caucus.

The parliamentarians had the opportunity to discuss about political, economic and legal system of BiH, as well as the countries in the region, Europe and the world and the role of the state in economy and the world. One of the topics for discussion was the current state of affairs globally and its influence to BiH. By analyzing the economic programmes of political parties in BiH and Europe, Parliamentarians discussed about the possible solutions for the local economic governance. Irma Efendić Adžajlić held the lecture and interactive workshop on gender-sensitive budgeting and the influence the members of the Caucus can exert in ensuring increase in transparency of gender sensitive budget spending.

The project is financed by the grant from US Department of State.

 

Trening "Politicka ekonomija i rodnoodgovorno budzetiranje"

Monitoring visits to WeBER grantees

Foreign Policy Initiative BH organized visits and meetings with representatives of six civil society organizations which are grantees under the “Small grants for monitoring of PAR on the local level” WeBER programme in BiH from 14th to 27th July 2017. The visits were organized as part of the WeBER project, financed by European Commission and co-financed by Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Representatives of FPI BH WeBER team visited organizations from Sarajevo, East Sarajevo, Bratunac, Doboj, Banja Luka and Livno. During the meetings, the grantees presented the project activities, challenges and problems faced so far and the next steps in the implementation. Representatives of all six organization realized preparatory activities in their local communities and have begun the work on the research methodology.

Grantees from BiH:

Udruženje građana CORDIS Istočna Ilidža

Project title: Monitoring, education of citizens and raising of awareness on public administration reform on the local level

Research will be conducted in six municipalities: Istočna Ilidža,Istočno Novo Sarajevo, Istočni Stari Grad, Trnovo, Pale and Sokolac.

Udruženje žena Priroda Bratunac

Project title: Monitoring of local assemblies – application of citizen mechanisms in the decision making process 

Research will be conducted in three municipalities: Srebrenica, Milići  and Bratunac.

Udruženje za razvoj civilnog društva Motivator Sarajevo

Project title: Local government – our service!

Research will be conducted in Sarajevo Canton – 6 municipalities (Opština Centar, Stari Grad,Novi Grad, Novo Sarajevo, Ilidža, Vogošća).

Centar za razvoj civilnog društva u BiH Doboj

Project title: Monitoring of responsibility and service providing by local government in municipalities Doboj Istok, Gračanica, Petrovo, Lukavac, Doboj Jug and Tešanj. 

Agencija za razvoj preduzeća EDA Banja Luka

Project title: Strengthening of CSOs and local media in improving transparency of local government 

Research will be conducted in cities of Banja Luka and Tuzla.

Centar za građansku suradnju Livno

Project title: Citizens for responsible local government 

Research will be conducted in four municipalities: Posušje, Grude, Livno and Tomislavgrad

For additional information please visit: www.par-monitor.org

 

Presentation of analysis “Reform Processes: BiH in the Labyrinth of (self)imposed Expectations

Foreign Policy Initiative BH organized today, June 14th 2017 in Sarajevo, the public presentation of analysis “Reform Processes: BiH in the Labyrinth of (self)imposed Expectations” by Igor Kosić.

The aim of the analysis, realized in the scope of the Young Professional Development Programme, financed by the Open Society Fund, was to demystify the process of achieving the goals from the Reform Agenda and provide with an objective overview of the situation which creates space for learning from previous lessons.

While commenting the analysis, Adnan Muminović, Political Economic Adviser in the Office of the EU Special Representative in BiH and Denisa Sarajlić, mentor on the analysis and President of FPI BH Assembly, highlighted the importance of the informative dimension of the analysis, which gives a unique and objective overview and evaluation of the progress BiH made in achieving the goals from the Agenda. Panel members underlined that one of the key problems in presenting the Agenda and its goals was the communication of the same with the wider public, during its drafting as well as during the implementation.

In the discussion which followed the presentation and comments were questions, dilemmas and different understanding about possible consequences of daily politics and blocking of the progress as well as the potential ending of Agenda’s implementation. It was pointed that the current stalemate in the implementation is the mirage of lack of determination by the government in ensuring the stability in the country and its progress towards EU membership. Even though the participants agreed that Reform Agenda was necessary in order to provide comprehensive and structured guidelines for the implementation of socio-economic reforms, numerous key social aspects were not taken into consideration which would ensure much visible progress in the implementation of reforms, both for the government and the wider public.

Read the analysis here (only available in Bosnian) ⟶ “Reform Processes: BiH in the Labyrinth of (self)imposed Expectations”

Predstavljanje analize "Reformski procesi: BiH u labirintu (samo)nametnutih očekivanja"

Grant award with WeBER project

On the first day of the workshop for grantees of WeBER project “Small Grant Facility for civil society monitoring of PAR at local level” from BiH, the contracts with grant recipients were officially signed.

CSOs grantees from BiH are: Udruženje građana CORDIS from East Ilidža,, Udruženje žena Priroda from Bratunac, Udruženje za razvoj civilnog društva Motivator from Sarajevo, Agencija za razvoj preduzeća EDA from Banja Luka, Centar za razvoj civilnog društva u BiH from Doboj and Centar za građansku suradnju from Livno.

Western Balkans Enabling Project for Civil Society Monitoring of Public Administration Reform – WeBER – is a three-year project funded by the European Union and co-financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

For more information about the project please visit www.par-monitor.org

Dodjela malih grantova u okviru WeBER projekta

Seminar for CSO from BiH: “Effective monitoring of public policies”

Foreign Policy Initiative BH organized a seminar for civil society organizations from BiH “Effective monitoring of public policies”, within the framework of the WeBER project, financed by European Commission, and co-financed by Kingdom of the Netherlands. The seminar was organized in partnership with Visegrad fund and held in Ilidza, from 18-21 April.

The participants  discussed the Concept Papers of the National Working Group on Public Administration Reform (PAR) and the establishment of the National Working Group in BiH (NRG). The NRG is a national consultative mechanism for civil society participation in dialogue with relevant state bodies on the design and monitoring of the PAR process in BiH. 22 organizations from BiH became members of the National Working Group in BiH.

Representatives of CSOs and media had the opportunity to listen to lectures about the process of writing and monitoring of public policies from Corina Stratulat from European Policy Centre from Brussels and about monitoring of the process from PAR expert, Milena Lazarević from European Policy Centre, coordinator of WeBER project from Belgrade.

For more information about the project visit http://www.par-monitor.org/

Seminar za OCD iz BiH: "Učinkovito praćenje javnih politika"

Final conference of the project “Support to the EU Integration Process of FBiH”

The final event of the project “Support to the EU integration process of FBiH” was held today in Sarajevo. During the last eleven months, Foreign Policy Initiative BH implemented the project in cooperation with Public Administration International from London with financial support by the UK Government. H.E. British Ambassador to BiH, Edward Ferguson opened the event which was attended by Prime Minister of Canton 10, cantonal coordinators for European integration and partners in implementing the project activities.

During the introductory address, Ambassador Ferguson pointed that the aim of the project was to build capacities of cantonal governments in order for them to “answer to obligations like providing answers to the EU Questionnaire and fulfilling the acquis. The cantons managed to answer their parts of the Questionnaire timely, and as far as I know, adequately. This only confirms that where the political will exists this country can make progress and achievements, especially on its path to the EU.” The Ambassador highlighted that the support provided through the project is “just another example that United Kingdom remains devoted to helping Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path to membership in the EU and it will continue helping in implementing the necessary reforms after Brexit”.

Prime Minister of Canton 10, Draško Dalić underlined the relevance of the role of the cantons in the process of joining the EU and that, while there are many obligations ahead he hopes they will manage to fulfil them. Dijana Dedić, Coordinator for EU integrations from Una-Sana Canton stated that through the implementation of the project they managed to primarily form the capacities and then work on capacity building and through that we had the opportunity to successfully answers to questions in the Questionnaire.

Lejla Ramić-Mesihović, FPI BH Director stated that the aim of the project was raising of internal and human capacities of cantonal governments for the EU integration process, strengthening of the network of cantonal coordinators for EU integration and support in continuing the implementation of structural reforms. Project activities aimed to help cantonal governments to adequately answer to questions from the EU Questionnaire and effectively contribute to the work of coordination mechanism.

Završetak projekta "Podrška procesu EU integracija FBiH"

Challenges of the Enlargement Process and Regional Cooperation

Foreign Policy Initiative BH, in cooperation with Faculty of Political Science of Sarajevo University organized the panel discussion “Challenges of the Enlargement Process and Regional Cooperation” on 17 March in Sarajevo. Event was organized in an effort to entice the debate on successes and challenges of the accession process of Western Balkan countries as well as the relevance of regional and bilateral diplomatic cooperation and the involvement of civil society organizations and academia in the process.

Members of the panel, Minister of European Affairs on Montenegro and Chief Negotiator, Aleksandar Andrija Pejović, Director of BiH Directorate for European Integrations, Edin Dilberović, Assistant Professor from Sarajevo Faculty of Political Science and FPI BH Director, Lejla Ramić-Mesihović presented activities for enhancement of regional cooperation and the significance of clearly defined goals and efforts in ensuring the stability and prosperity of the region. Economic development and regional cooperation are crucial in providing stability to the region and it is necessary to limit negative political influence which often hampers cooperation and retrogrades its effects.

During the discussion, panelist talked about the need for develop the spirit of confidence needed for the reaffirmation of EU enlargement despite the comprehensive context of instability of the Union and the need for a structured and efficient cooperation of institutions with civil society organizations, academia and media. Faced with limited capacities for the enlargement process, through close cooperation with non-governmental sector, academia and expert community, Montenegro managed to sustain the integration process and strengthened the work of the institutions and ensure the quality of the process. Participants also underlines the importance of cooperation with the media in order to spread positive news on progress with the reforms and that it is crucial present the process to the citizens in an understanding way which would ensure their interest and participation in the process.

Minister Pejović presented the course of Montenegro’s enlargement process and the ways in which they managed overcome obstacles and ensure undisturbed progress towards membership. As the Chief Negotiator for Montenegro, Minister Pejović highlighted the potential challenges BiH will face and solutions for overcoming them, pointing out the necessity of bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the region so as to provide for transfer of knowledge and good practices.

In order for Bosnia and Herzegovina to ensure positive momentum and be able to use all advantages of the pre-accession funds, it is necessary to adopt strategies and solve internal challenges and to have a clear vision of the path the country will take. DEI Director underlined that BiH needs to develop in this aspect and to use it as a comparative advantage. On several occasion, participants highlighted that compromise is inwrought in the core of development and functioning of the European Union and that it is necessary for everyone wanting to function within European structures.

Panel diskusija: Izazovi proširenja i regionalna saradnja

Presentation of policy analysis “SDGs in BiH: Reform Processes – Leaving No one Behind”

Foreign Policy Initiative BH, in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung BiH and University of Sarajevo Faculty of Political Science organized today, 20th February 2017 public presentation of policy analysis : “SDGs in BiH: Reform Processes – Leaving No one Behind” by Igor Kosić.

At the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit,  the 2015-2030 Agenda was adopted by all members of the UN, including BiH. All countries obliged to implement the Agenda, which contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as an “universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity“. SDGs are built upon their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were recognized as a success and a useful tool in focusing achievement of specific development targets. During the period of the implementation of MDG policies, Bosnia and Herzegovina has signed the Stabilization and Association agreement with the European Union which came into force in 2015.

New challenges for BiH lay ahead on the path towards EU integration, and the “Reform Agenda” stands out among the policy frameworks to deal with these challenges. While the short-term “Reform Agenda” (2015-2018) is the most prominent policy-framework for progress and development as of now, the implementation of a far wider-ranging “Reform Agenda”, the Sustainable Development Goals, has started. The Policy Analysis shall shed some light on this important long-term policy framework in a political environment that is mostly preoccupied with day-to-day politics.

Commentators of the analysis, Mr Miloš Prica, national coordinator BiH for Central European Initiative (CEI) with the BiH Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mrs Envesa Hodžić-Kovač with the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in BiH, highlighted the importance of the educational and informative dimension of this analysis, which offers an overview of the past development policies in BiH and an evaluation of the progress made. The author wanted to analyze the level to which SDGs are in line with current development strategies of BiH and present the priority areas for BiH through the comparison. The commentators agreed that the implementation of SDGs are a global agenda will bring to better results in peace and security and that no country can to that by itself, but rather that the exchange of information and practices will help in more efficient implementation of the Goals.

The presentation was attended by representatives of media in BiH, expert in the field of sustainable and economic development, civil society organizations, international organizations and academic community. During the discussion which followed after the presentation were questions and dilemmas regarding the efficient coordination and implementation of SDGs and to which level will the fulfillment of obligations from the Reform Agenda help in BiH’s development. Even though every transition is filled with challenged and difficult tasks, SDGs should serve as a good and comprehensive framework in which current and future sustainable development strategies should adequately be implemented. The participants agreed that cooperation between institutions, civil society and BiH is citizen is needed in order to raise awareness on the importance of SDGs in BiH and to find efficient solutions which can ensure sustainable socio-economic growth and prosperity in BiH.

Analysis “SDGs in BiH: Reform Processes – Leaving no One Behind” is available at this link

Predstavljanje političke analize: "Ciljevi održivog razvoja u BiH: Reformski procesi u koje su svi uključeni"