First Training “Good Governance: Partner Work”

On October 31st and November 1st 2011 in hotel Termag on Jahorina, the first training entitled “Good Governance: Partner Work” was held. The training organized by the NGO Foreign Policy Initiative BH, if the first out of the planned three, and it was attended by the representatives of different NGOs form the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina. The trainings are conducted within the scope of the activities entitled “Monitoring Corruption and Protecting Integrity” with the financial support of the European Union under the IPA programs.

The training was attended by the representatives from the NGO sector in BiH who work on the fight against corruption through their projects and activities or express special interest in gaining these skills such as Centre for Security Studies, Centre for Investigative Journalism, the Association VESTA, Centre of Civil Initiatives, Transparency International BiH and representatives of organizations such as democratic Youth Movement, Citizens association WHY NOT? and other.

The NGO representatives had the opportunity to learn about the following subjects:

• Managing the organizational changes

• Leading the organizational changes

• Team and team work

• Acquiring skills for conflict transformation: conflicts, negotiation, mediation

• Efficient communication

• Creating efficient partner relations: using the media as partners

The training consisted of power point presentations, interactive communication and workshops/group exercises.

Within the scope of the activities of this project, the Foreign Policy BH will continue its work on fight against corruption by strengthening the capacities of the NGOs through the implementation of the other planned trainings. The next training entitled “Corruption Risk Management and Integrity” will be held by the end of this year and it will cover the following subjects: idea, diagnostics and measuring corruption, tools for creating a plan for fight against corruption and integrity, rick assessment and integrity management system.

First Regional Conference: ‘European Integration through Parliamentary Cooperation’

The Foreign Policy Initiative BH has organized the First Regional Conference of the Members of the Parliaments from the EU, BIH and the region. The Conference was attended by the presidents and the vice presidents of the Committees for the European Integration from Croatia, Montenegro and Macedonia.

Welcoming speeches were held by H.E. Peter Sorensen, Head of the Delegation of the European Union in BiH, H.E. Nigel Casey, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in BiH, Mr. Denis Bečirević, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly and Ms. Denisa Sarajlić-Maglić, the Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative BH.

In her introductory speech, the Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative BH, Ms. Denisa Sarajlić-Maglić stressed how the BiH European road is defined by the signature placed on the legally binding Stabilization and Association Agreement. Ms. Sarajlić-Maglić emphasized how the fact that there is no consensus on forming the Government, does not mean that the Parliament can relinquish its obligations towards the European Union or the responsibilities to those who elected them. The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Denis Bečirović added that the European Process is crucial when it comes to the relationship of legislative and the existing executive power. The head of the delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Peter Sorensen underlined in his introductory speech how the Parliament now has the key role; that role is in the hands of the Committees for the European Integration – one at the state level, and two on the level of entities. The UK Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina, H.E. Mr. Nigel Casey reminded that Bosnia and Herzegovina still has three key conditions to meet that concern adopting the State Aid Law, the Census Law and to demonstrate credible effort in implementing the decision of the “Sejdić-Finci” case.

The President of the Committee for the European Integration of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, Mr. Halid Genjac, stated at the conference that our country would have had a better pre-accession position today it its political leaders had used the wasted energy and time focused onto the issue of forming the new post-election Government, for fulfilling the European conditions.

Ms. Vesna Pusić, President of the National Committee in the Croatian Parliament and a member of the Committee for European Integration, stated as a Conference participant that the experiences of her country in the process of European integration are the “the most applicable” and useful for our country. .

Miodrag Vuković, President of the Committee for European Integration in the Montenegro State Assembly said that it is an important precondition of regional joining to the European associations – cooperation of the countries in the region, without which they cannot qualify.

Jani Makraduli, The Vice President of Sobranje, expressed hope at the Conference that the countries in the region will, all together, be in the European Union, although, for now, he fears the negative, December European assessment for his country due to unresolved issues with Greece.

Mr. Tim Judah, author and frontline reporter for “The Economist” and Ms.Petra Blass, former Vice President of the German Bundestag had also participated in the panels of the Conference.

Statement by the Foreign Policy Initiative BH media on the occasion of the latest progress reports on BiH

According to all the announcements, BiH Progress that the European Commission will present tomorrow, it will be one of the worst that BiH has so far received, because Bosnia has violated the Interim Agreement, and we did not create the conditions for the entry into force of the Stabilisation and Association ratified by all 27 member states of the European Union.

Progress Report will note the problem in the process of EU integration, both technically and essential level, and it is high time to understand it with a large dose of seriousness. The House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly this report should even be paid to the extraordinary session. Parliament would also need to draw some conclusions and recommendations for BiH institutions that are recognized in the chain of responsibility, to devise an action plan to unfreeze the Agreement on Stabilization and Association Agreement, and urgently address the remaining requirements for the submission of applications for EU membership by the end of the year. This would show that domestic institutions are worthy partner in the intentions of the EU Delegation and the European Commission that the current crisis in Bosnia exploit an opportunity.

Fourth Seminar/Workshop under the Project: “Introduction to the Lisbon Treaty for the Staff and Members of the BiH Parliament”

The fourth workshop/seminar under the project: “Introduction to the Lisbon Treaty for the Staff and Members of the BiH Parliaments”, organized by the local NGO the Foreign Policy Initiative, and with the financial support of the Government of Great Britain was held on 03.-04.10.2011 in the Hotel “Garden City Konjic” in Konjic. The participants of the Seminar were the members of the state and entity parliaments, as well as their expert staff.

The Lisbon Treaty is introducing important innovations into decision making processes in the EU. However, due to a wide spectrum of local political issues which dominate within BiH, the influence of the Lisbon Treaty on EU and on the potential EU candidate states has not been given sufficient attention. Therefore, it is the purpose of this project to offer a detailed review of key changes that have been introduced to the manner in which the EU functions through the Lisbon Treaty.

With that purpose in mind, FPI BH has organized four seminars with presentations on key areas of institutional development: widening the field of common decision making between the European Parliament and the European Council; the new role of the state parliaments within the scope of the new regulations of the Treaty; the changed nature of the presiding over the EU with the creation of permanent position of the EU President; the new architecture for governing the EU foreign policy which comes from the changed role of the High Representative and the establishment of the European External Action Service.

Third Seminar/Workshop under the Project: “Introduction to the Lisbon Treaty for the Staff and Members of the BiH Parliament”

The third workshop/seminar under the project: “Introduction to the Lisbon Treaty for the Staff and Members of the BiH Parliaments”, organized by the local NGO the Foreign Policy Initiative, and with the financial support of the Government of Great Britain was held on 30.06.-01.07.2011 in the Hotel “HERCEG ETNO SELO” in Međugorje. The participants of the Seminar were the members of the state and entity parliaments, as well as their expert staff.

The Lisbon Treaty is introducing important innovations into decision making processes in the EU. However, due to a wide spectrum of local political issues which dominate within BiH, the influence of the Lisbon Treaty on EU and on the potential EU candidate states has not been given sufficient attention. Therefore, it is the purpose of this project to offer a detailed review of key changes that have been introduced to the manner in which the EU functions through the Lisbon Treaty.

With that purpose in mind, FPI BH is organizing four seminars which will encompass presentations on key areas of institutional development: widening the field of common decision making between the European Parliament and the European Council; the new role of the state parliaments within the scope of the new regulations of the Treaty; the changed nature of the presiding over the EU with the creation of permanent position of the EU President; the new architecture for governing the EU foreign policy which comes from the changed role of the High Representative and the establishment of the European External Action Service.

Dinner discussion with Daniel Serwer: “Bosnia and Herzegovina: What kind of State“

Daniel Serwer was special guest of the Foreign Policy Initiative BH at a dinner held on Thursday, 16. June 2011.

Daniel Serwer is a professorial lecturer and visiting scholar in Conflict Management, as well as a senior fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is also a professorial lecturer at George Washington and Georgetown Universities.

Serwer served from 1994 to 1996 as U.S. special envoy and coordinator, mediating between Croats and Bosniacs and negotiating the first agreement reached at the Dayton peace talks.

Presentation: “Wine Separatism Without the Geographic Origin – In Vino Plebiscitum”

Second presentation, in a number of presentations organized by the Foreign Policy Initiative BH (FPI BH) and with the support of the Open Society Fund, was held on May 9th 2011 in Mostar, with the topic “„Wine Separatism Without the Geographic Origin – In Vino Plebiscitum“, analysis which was previously made by FPI BH.

The lack of legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding viticulture and enology is causing huge financial damage to the BH economy. Three years ago the ‘Law on Wine, Brandy and other Grapevine and Wine Products’was adopted, but during the drafting of the relevant by laws it was established that more than half of the articles of the Law could not be implemented in practice with the result that this Law is not being enforced. At the same time the Entity laws are also full of shortcomings. According to the current Law the Federation of B&H has almost no competence in this field making it very difficult to monitor the development of the viticulture and enology sector. Shortcomings in the current Law have prevented the adoption of relevant bylaws as a result of which the Federation of B&H now has a problem with marketing of wine, protecting designation of origin and geographical indication of wine, conducting quality control of wine and so on. This sector is much better organised in Republika Srpska.

After preliminary analysis we have defined a fewspecific steps that could be undertaken to better organise the viticulture and enology sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina:

1. A more favorable legislative ambience should be ensured for sustainable development of the viticulture and enology sector by establishing and maintaining a single and well organised wine market pursuant to EU standards.

2. There should be a Law at the State level to define foreign trade aspects of this sector and create legal preconditions for marketing local products on foreign markets. Detailed solutions could be provided in parallel and harmonised entity laws.

3. There should be an efficient system and mechanisms for quality assessment and organoleptic assessment of the wine (control over the production of grapevine, control of wine production, wine quality control, protection of designations of origin and geographical indication, wine marketing, establishing of registries, etc.).

4. In certain areas there should be clearly defined competencies of all levels of power, in particular in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and an efficient system of inspectional control and supervision in the viticulture and enology sector.

The Foreign Policy Initiative BH presented the project entitled “Monitoring Corruption and Protection of Integrity“

The official presentation of the projects of the eight NGOs implementing EU grants on fight against corruption was held on April 14th, 2011 in Sarajevo. All projects are financed by the European Union to the tune of 1,4 Million Euro. At this event, the Foreign Policy Initiative BH presented its project “Monitoring Corruption and Protection of Integrity”. The project is implemented with financial support of the European Union within the scope of the IPA 2009 program.

Information about the project

Led by the idea that the prevention is a critical instrument to manage corruption risks in the long run, the Foreign Policy Initiative BH is implementing the project entitled “Monitoring Corruption and Protection of Integrity”. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to democratic stabilisation through strengthening the capacity and role of civil society in combating corruption.

The purpose of the project is to strengthen the activities, projects and measures initiated by civil society to identify the corruption and develop practical instruments to prevent and monitor corruption. The project consists of two components. First component aims at strengthening the operative capacities of the NGOs in fight against corruption through provision of trainings with practical focus that is based on training needs assessment of the NGOs. The second component has a goal of establishing a coherent system for monitoring corruption.

Considering the fact that fight against corruption represent one of the key aspects of BiH accession to the EU, this project aims at creation of improved working platform for NGOs to monitor corruption. We believe that the NGOs will, through the implementation of this project have at their disposal the instruments to combat corruption and mechanisms for monitoring the level of efficiency and accountability of the government.

Presentation of the Second Semi-annual Report for 2009 under the Project “Monitoring of the BiH European Integration Processes”

The Foreign Policy Initiative BH (FPI BH) invites you to take part in the Presentation of the Second Semi-annual Report for 2009 under the Project “Monitoring of the BiH European Integration Processes” UNITIC Conference hall, Fra Anđela Zvizdovića 1, on 26.02.2010. at 11.00. am

H.E. Bosse Hedberg, Ambassador of Sweden will give the introductory speech. Honourable Judge, Mr. Faris Vehabović, Judge of the Constitutional Court of Federation BiH, H.E. g. Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of Mission of the Delegation of European Union in BiH, and Ms. Nevenka Savić, Director of the Directorate for European Integration of BiH, as well as FPI BH and NGO representatives will take part in the panel discussion.

The Project is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and implemented by The Foreign Policy Initiative BH. FPI BH is a non-government, non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to debating and analyzing foreign policy, international relations and international commitments of Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly the EU integration process and fulfilment of the obligations under the Interim Agreement – SAA. This project aims at demystifying the process of European Integration and explaining and bringing it closer to BiH citizens in order to provide a platform for discussion on targeted matters based on arguments and facts between the civil sector and BiH Institutions.

One of the main findings of the report is that there has been a significant improvement concerning the implementation of the obligations under the Title VII – Justice, Freedom and Security; especially in the complementary part of the Road Map for the Liberalization of the Visa Regime. The progress was also made in the area of protection of the intellectual property (Title IV) and financial cooperation – the applications for the IPA Funds. However, in most of other areas BiH is more or less in stagnation. The general assessment would be that the progress in the realization of the obligations under the Interim Agreement is visible in areas where there is an undivided political interest of the members of the coalition government and in expert areas where, because of the professionalism and enthusiasm of those doing the job, the political influence on the reform activities was avoided.

We ask you kindly to confirm your attendance on phone 033 555 265, or through the e-mail admin@vpi.ba until 25.02.2010 the latest. Simultaneous translation on official languages in BiH and English will be available. VPI BH does not cover the cost of transport for the participants. You will be able to find the electronic version of the report at our web page www.vpi.ba after 25.02.2010., while the hardcopies of the report will be available at the presentation. If you are not able to participate please forward invitation to your colleagues.

The first workshop of the Project “Introduction to the Lisbon Treaty for the Members and Staff of the BiH Parliaments”

Lisabonski sporazum uvodi važne inovacije u način donošenja odluka u EU. Međutim, zbog širokog spektra domaćih političkih pitanja koja dominiraju u BiH, utjecaju Lisabonskog sporazuma na EU i na države potencijalne kandidate za članstvo u EU nije posvećeno dovoljno pažnje. Stoga je cilj ovog projekta da pruži detaljan pregled ključnih promjena koje su uvedene u načinu na koji funkcioniše EU kroz Lisabonski sporazum.

The Foreign Policy Initiative BH has begun with the implementation of the Project “Introduction to the Lisbon Treaty for the Members and Staff of the BiH Parliaments” financed by the British Embassy in Sarajevo. The first workshop was held on 30th and 31st of March 2011, on topic “Introduction to the Lisbon Treaty” where the participants of the workshop were Members of Parliament and expert staff of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, the Parliament of the Federation of BiH as well as the BiH Parliamentary Assembly. For this occasion, the FPI BH had prepared a Guide through the Lisbon Treaty and European integration of BiH, as well as an Address Book of the European integration.

The Lisbon Treaty introduces important innovations into decision-making process in the EU. However, due to wide spectrum of local political issues dominating in BiH, the impact of the Lisbon Treaty on the EU and potential EU membership candidate states was not given sufficient attention. Therefore, it is the goal of this Project to offer detailed overview of key changes that were introduced through the Lisbon Treaty into the manner in which the EU functions.

For that purpose, four seminars/workshops are planned, which will encompass presentations on key areas of international development: widening of the field of the common decision making between the European Parliament and the Council; the new role of the state parliaments within the scope of the new provisions of the Treaty; the change in the manner of presiding over the EU with the creation of the permanent President of the EU; the new architecture of managing the EU which comes from the changed role of the High Representative and the established European External Action Service.