Improvement of transparent distribution and implementation of the public funds
The mechanisms of allocation the public fund should be more transparent and more respected by the relevant institutions having in mind that there are enormous figures whose aim is to provide better living environment for citizens. The mentioned improvements have to be focused at the whole process from the public call up to M&E and impact assessment. The selection results have to be accessible publicly at web sites of the relevant institutions as well as the list CSOs that do not perform the obligations properly.
Better inclusion of public in policy making decisions
The best practice implemented through the e–Consultation platform shows that citizens have proper interest, capacities, and experience to support the process of creation the legislation and other legal documents. The issues at the levels of local community provide
the largest scope of possibilities for engagement although governments of municipalities and cantons rarely use the opportunity to ask citizen what their problems and possible solutions are. The platforms like mentioned one, would provide the lot of ideas and suggestion useful for solving the problems.
Harmonization of Laws on Association and Foundation
The different and unharmonized legislation at Federation BiH, Republika Srpska, and District Brčko does not provides equal position of the same structure of civic activist at the whole territory of the country. It is necessary to create and adopt the Volunteering Law at level of Council of Ministers.
Strategy for civil society
The stagnation of civil society development is partly based on lack of strategic documents and views, action plans and resources, pathways, and ideas how to make the everyday environment more comfortable for citizens. The civil society, as one of the three main cornerstones of any society, seems more of a burden than a facility, part of a problem than a part of solution. The new established structures of Council of Ministers BiH should finish that important task.
The Center for Civil Society Promotion (CCSP) would like to thank the Balkan Civil Society Development Network for the engagement in the preparation of the Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the numerous CSOs experts, civil activists and individuals who contributed and supported the joint efforts in production of this report.
CCSP would like to express its gratitude to all the CSOs and representatives of public institutions, media, academia, the business sector, international organizations, and intellectuals who provided us with valuable opinion about civil society, and took the time to participate in our survey (through interviews, focus groups and questionnaires, FOAI). Due to the relevance of civil society activities in B&H, this input was crucial for a comprehensive and effective report.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is the country under supervision of the High Representative Office (OHR) even though they have domestic actors to take their roles and responsibilities in order to develop the state system in terms of rule of law and respecting human rights and freedom. However, in practice there are a lot of procedures and decisions that are confronted with the Constitutional Court decisions and lawyer juridical institutions. Courts and Prosecutor´s Office are under political control, people are not equal throughout B&H in several aspects – to elect and to be elected, to have the equal chance for employment in order to become officials in the State administration. At the other hand economy is under pressure of criminal privatization, Unions are week and mostly controlled by political parties. The level of corruption is enormously high and takes last position out of 180 world-wide countries and last in the region. Entire environment reflects the State of “captured country” even though the elections are supposed to be regularly organized, in Mostar held after 12 years of absence.
The development of civil society in B&H during 2019 stagnated, mostly due to the political deadlock. Results of the General elections in 2018 are not entirely implemented. The B&H Parliament has not been working properly due to the decision of the representatives from Republika Srpska who block it until the Council of Ministers forms, by rejecting the NATO Annual National Plan. On the other side, representatives of the main Croatian party HDZ, blocked the work due to their requests regarding the changes in the Election Law. The third side representing Bosnians rejected some of the candidates of the Serbs, due to conflict of interest and incompetence of the proposed candidates. The Government of Federation B&H still consists by structure from the elections in 2014. The Parliament of Republika Srpska is struggling and is burdened by the death of young David Dragičević, which involved the police forces and people with political influence.
The politics as well as decentralization of the State structure, had a significant impact on the ability of registered CSOs to carry out planned and budgeted activities and projects, as the Ministries are not entirely operating. Difficult situation remains with data gathering and information seeking from the State institutions. Significant aspect of the entire environment is the enormous pressure of migrants and refugees particularly concentrated in Sarajevo, Mostar, Tuzla and Bihać, lacking of the adequate reaction by the B&H Ministry of Security. The numbers of asylum seekers and migrants coming to Bosnia increased significantly in 2019. In September 2019 there was one state-managed asylum center and six temporary accommodation centers with total capacity of about 4,000 people, so that thousands of them were not able to access shelter and basic services. The local CSOs played the important role in overcoming the unacceptable treatment of migrants.