Key findings of the report

In December 2019, there were in total 27,195 legal entities, comprising associations and foundations, in the collective register of CSOs maintained by BiH Ministry of Justice. The register still records only organizations names, registration numbers, addresses, and authorized persons, but lacks any other contact information that would allow others to communicate easily with CSOs.

The financial situation in civil society is not favorable even the significant funds have been allocated every year to CSOs without adequate transparency as well as the proper public procedures. The main problem is that distribution of funds are closely connected with political affiliation not under competencies and skills of organization. At the other side international donors provide reduced frame of small grants and the large ones are not appropriate for the grass-roots organizations, as major group of CSOs. There are also existing a bad practice that large international organizations like UN agencies, OSCE, GIZ, etc. can applicate and take the large part of financial funds for their administration while the local organizations implement the project activities for the limited sources. There are positive examples that should be replicated or unified like LOD methodology implemented in UNDP programs even it is relatively complicated particularly for the local grass-route organizations.

The international community insists on better regulation of CSOs functioning particularly regarding financial procedures stipulated by Law on Associations and Foundations in order to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism. It is conditioned by Moneyval and FATF recommendations and position of Bosnia and Herzegovina at black or grey list.

The interested public is not adequately informed and involved in the decision-making   processes and positive practice e-Consultation platform at the Council of Ministers BiH should be adjusted and incorporated at the lower levels. The most of legislation at levels of entities and cantons have been formally adopted without any consultation with public or specific opinion provide by external experts or CSOs.

The problems that affected citizens do not reach adequately CSOs or their networks partly because the respective funds not corresponding with their needs but also that civil society don’t have the proper capacities. At the other side the public don’t see civil sector as the actors for change.

Key findings of the report
1. There is no unified mechanism for allocation of public funds to CSO – current mechanisms depend on the level of authority and the institution allocating funds. Procedures can vary significantly in terms of clarity and CSO participation in all phases of the funding cycle. The funding is still insufficiently transparent.
2. Lack of harmonization of the Laws on Associations and Foundation in accordance to the MONEYVAL and FATF recommendations and absence of legislation on voluntaries at the level of BiH
3. The Rules of Consultation formally provide CSOs with timely access to the draft documents and participation in the preparation of given legal documents, but this is substantially different in practice. There is no broad and systematic use of the Rules of Consultation except on the level of BiH Council of Ministers.
4. Political pressure and intimidation of journalists continued, including physical and verbal attacks. Cases involving intimidation and threats to journalists (including those reporting on the ICTY decision on Prlić and others), verbal and physical attacks, hacking of websites, political, institutional and economic pressure and defamation continued to be reported. Draft Law on Public Gathering in the RS was withdrawn after pressure CSO and the international community, in April 2019. This Law draft was very restrictive modeled on dictatorial regimes. Experiences of different CSOs says that the political climate further limits freedom of assembly, primarily in Republika Srpska due to protests by the “Justice for David” group
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