eNewsletter: Issue XXIII, Aug-Oct 2010.
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On 03 October 2010 General Elections took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Turnout for elections is somewhat less than 2% compared to 2006 Elections – although according to all the forecasts a big decline in turnout was expected. CCI, in cooperation with other civil society organizations conducted numerous activities before and during the pre-election campaign drawing the public’s attention and putting the interest for real problems of BiH citizens in focus, while emphasizing the need and the obligation of all citizens who have a voting right to turn out for elections.  These activities were conducted as part of CAPP II Project which is financially supported by USAID. 

Turnout: The pre-election estimates about the expected fall of turnout of voters in the recent elections have proved to be wrong. Of total 3.126.599 registered voters, 57.06% voted in the elections (The percentage of turnour was increased by about 2%, source BiH CEC).  Compared to the previous elections (both general and local) this represents an increase of turnout (2006 General Elections – 55.31% of voters fulfilled their citizens' duty, while in 2008 local elections 55.28% of voters voted.  Source BiH CEC). This is absolutely the most important news in this election – the citizens' intention to respond to the lack of work of their representatives by their activism, instead of giving up to lethargy and passivity.  BH citizens showed the readiness to stand up after all; they showed that they cared about what is going on with their lives and with one of the greatest turnout in the last 15 years in BiH sent a clear message to the politicians that they had both the energy and the will to fight for their rights. This is something that the politicians will certainly bear in mind when making decisions in the next years. 

Results: The results of this election also demonstrated that the citizens were decided to act. The results are the second important news of the last elections. They are again a little positively surprising – while most analysts forecast low or no changes in the authorities after the elections, the citizens decided otherwise.  

The former approach of Stranka za BiH (Party for BiH) that was led by a sentence 'I do not promise anything' was punished in FBiH, barely giving them an opportunity to be part of the Parliament in which they had as many as 8 members before, and depriving the president of that party of the possibility to continue being a member of BiH Presidency. The similar situation is with SDA, although their fall is significantly lower than the one of SBiH.  The opposition – SDP especially - made progress. The ratio of the FBiH parties is now considerably more balanced, no-one has a dominant majority, and a broader compromise is the only way out in decision-making; all this has a capacity of bringing better news to the impoverished BH citizens.  

The ruling SNSD in the RS lost 4 seats in the RS Parliament and now needs a bigger help from its coalition partners to constitute the government.  Although not so significant in terms of numbers, this change is revealing as it shows the trend of fall of trust that the citizens have in the ruling structure as well as in its results of their work. There was a tie score also for the office of the representative of the Serbs in BiH Presidency, between Nebojsa Radmanovic, a representative of SNSD and the current member of this body on the one side, and Mladen Ivanic, the president of the Party of Democratic Progress on the other side.  It is exactly the race between these two as well as the minimum difference in the number of votes, and a huge number of invalid ballots (as high as 10%) that started a story about the theft of votes. Although he won, the representative of SNSD did so in far more modest manner, which confirms what we said before about the readiness of citizens to have a critical view of the work of their representatives.

The young: Even though the passivity of the young people and especially of the students in BiH is very much present, thanks to numerous activities of different non-governmental organizations, including CCI, the number of young voters has increased.  48% of the young voted in 2008 Local Elections, while in 2010 General Elections, of registered voters up to 30 years of age, 52.6% (CEC data), of them voted, which means that the number of the young people who voted increased by 4.26%. 

Speaking of the age structure of elected officials, of total 488 elected officials, 25, i.e. 5.12% are younger than 30, and 463, i.e. 94.88% are older than 30 (Data taken from Dnevni Avaz-BH CEC, 4 November 2010).

Many techniques and methods were used to try to awaken the voters and make them realize that it was the time for them to be involved in social flows and decide on their country’s destiny in the next 4 years by casting their vote in the elections. Big attention was paid to new technologies, such as the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, youtube etc.  SMS campaigns were carried out too, as well as a lot of street actions.  TV and radio jingles were produced and broadcast, targeting different population with their messages why it was important to vote. Website http://www.cistparlament.com/ consolidated and showed for the first time the results and the performance of every member in the parliaments at all levels of BH authorities, giving the citizens an opportunity to decide and vote about who should be removed from the parties’ list for the coming elections – based on the previous results in the work.   

An enormous number of media reports on the activity of NGOs during the pre-election period is also an important piece of news.  A little more than 1300 media reports in only 90 days (so, a little more than 14 media reports a day) is a respectable result. The possibility of BH citizens to, no matter where they live, receive independent analyses on the work of the authorities, certainly influenced big turnout of voters during the election day. Electronic media (radio and TV stations) broadcast the total of 495 media reports in 90 days, concerning NGOs' campaigns and/or their analytic information about the work of the authorities and political parties.

Web portals in BiH covered our work and published more than 613 reports and information about the CCI's and NGO-grantees' activities on CAPP II Program.

Finally, the printed media published as many as 215 articles on the work of CCI and the grantees from mid-August to holding of the elections.

It was exactly the issues of the young people that were targeted by numerous activities supported by the CCI through the grant Civic Advocacy Partnership Program II (CAPP II).  We will state only some of the activities that were implemented throughout BiH.

By promoting the album and organizing a number of concerts of the band Dubioza kolektiv, as well as by using new technologies, primarily the Internet, an influence was made on the inclusion, education and generally raising awareness of the young people in the context of forthcoming elections. This band is known by its socially engaged texts, so their activities were used in this campaign to make an influence on awareness of the young people and on the need to evaluate those politicians that did not fulfill their promises.  

Special attention was paid to the education of the young people, especially those who have the right to vote for the first time, and education was carried out among them.  Campaigns (DON from Prijedor and DOP from Sarajevo) took place in secondary schools, with their pupils and at universities, among the students. 

In street stands organized throughout BiH the young people were given an opportunity to write what they expect from politicians, especially those who will be elected and to write their opinions about those who were in power during the previous term. Those messages were analyzed and presented both to the public and to newly-elected politicians (Forum of Citizens of Tuzla). 

Two types of TV shows were produced and broadcast in the most viewed TV stations and in prime times (the shows Hayd u Park produced by the Foundation for Creative Development and TV Kontrast by Open Network from Sarajevo); they drew the public's attention to the real problems of the citizens.

The budgets of the authorities at all levels in BiH and the manner in which public funds were spent have been analyzed.  The analyses treated how much money was allocated for solving the issues and problems that are the most difficult for the citizens and that the citizens themselves defined as being on top of their priorities (Citizens' Platform that was signed by over one million people before 2006 Elections).  The organization ALDI from Gorazde, which carried out the mentioned survey, kept the public up to date with the results. 

The Roma, the persons with disability and the refugees have not been left out either.  We have dealt with all these categories and the campaigns were run among this population aimed at educating them on importance of the election process and why their vote counted.   

How are the political parties being financed?  Do they spend more money for the campaign than they realistically have?  What is the real cost of pre-election campaign?  The answers to these questions were given through the project implemented by Transparency International.

What promises did the parties and the politicians make in 2006, and which of them did they fulfill by 2010?  How much did they lie to us and how much were their honest?  The answers to these questions were given through surveys of the programs, pre-election platforms and accomplished results. The Centre for Humane Policy from Doboj and the Association of Citizens Why not from Sarajevo were in charge of procuring this data. The latter association developed a special web application under the name Truth-Meter, which enabled the citizens to see, in a very appealing way, the devastating results of the authorities' performance.


As part of the strategy for adoption of strategies and action measures for employment plans conducted by the CCI within CAPP II project, financially supported by USAID, a campaign was run at the level of BiH Federation, aimed at adoption of the measures that should contribute to decrease of unemployment. The Government of BiH Federation adopted in September the Action Plan for Employment for the Period 2010-2013. the goal of which is decreasing the rate of persons who cannot find a job for a long time and other categories for whom finding a job is a problem. 

A very high unemployment rate which has been continuously increased in BiH Federation over the past 10 years represents one of the biggest economic and social challenges for BiH Federation.  Despite the fact that FBiH records a constant growth of gross domestic product, that growth is not accompanied with an adequate employment growth.  The reasons for that should be sought in inherited unfavorable economy structure based on sectors with low added value and characterized by the domination of economic branches based on primary processing and raw-materials. In addition to inherited disadvantageous industrial structure, destroyed production capacities, the slow growth of employment was also brought about by transition processes and slow implementation of structural reforms. Big state-owned companies, that represented a source of employment, were either closed or work at 20% of the pre-war capacities awaiting privatization and/or restructuring process. On the other hand, the processes of founding new companies and development of entrepreneurship were not strong enough to mitigate a big loss of jobs caused by winding-up of pre-war big companies. These are some of the causes which resulted in a big number of new jobs being generated in informal sector (grey economy). The educational system in the Federation does not keep up with the needs of the labour market. A discrepancy between the structure of students’ professions who finish the high school and the structure of demand for labour is obvious. There is also a similar lack of harmony with regards to the higher education system, both from the point of view of the graduates' profiles and the number itself of higher education staff and in terms of the demand for that type of labour.

There is a big part of population capable of working and are not active in the labour market, i.e. about 57% of the population capable of working is economically inactive, which has a direct impact on very low employment rates, especially speaking of the women and the young. The unemployment rate is high, about 25%, and more than two thirds of the young active population is unemployed.

The key problems related to the structure of the population capable to work, to the work force and labour market in FBiH are as follows:

  • High unemployment rate (especially of the young and the women);
  • Low employment rate (especial of the women and the young);
  • High rate of inactivity, especially among women;
  • High percentage of inactivity with the older work force;
  • Extremely high level of long-term unemployment;
  • Very low level of inclusion of the needy groups in labour market (especially of the Roma and persons with special needs).

Target groups within this strategy were determined based on their specific position in the society. The employment strategy focuses on the young unemployed, women, older workforce, persons who cannot find a job and are inactive for a long time, the persons with the special needs and the Roma.

The employment of the young is an important part of this strategy. The strategy focuses on promoting easier transition from school to work, establishing the system of providing information on labour market, professional guidance and support in job search, development of the program of active measures aimed at the young (unemployed and inactive), with special emphasis on the young with low or medium level of education (as categories for whom finding a job is more difficult). Another part of the employment strategy is focused on the women part of the population capable of working and is aimed at increasing the employment rate, first of all in the group of inactive women. The strategy plans running the campaigns for activating the women in the labour market, inclusion the group of inactive women in the programs of active measures, elimination of gender-based discrimination in the market, linking education and labour market, and harmonizing the obligations in work and in the family.

A part of the employment strategy that relates to older workers promotes flexibility, re-qualification in accordance with the needs of the labour market, and thereby, an increase in employment of older workers.

An important part of the employment strategy relates to the persons who are unemployed for a long time. By preventing the long-term unemployment, the risk of inactivity, social exclusion and poverty of the population that is capable of working is excluded. The strategy focuses on establishing the system for identifying those with a potential to be unemployed for a long time, and defines the program of active measures (earning professional skills, training for gaining basic skills and knowledge, training for job search, guidance). Thanks to this set of measures, their capabilities and practical working experiences will be improved and the possibility for employment of this category will be increased.

One of the strategic goals of the strategy is to improve the connection with labour market, especially of needy groups such as the persons with special needs and the Roma. In that context, a special focus is on the policy of anti-discrimination and social inclusion of this category, enabling the persons with special needs to find a job more easily, improving education, skills and knowledge (which are a result of insufficient inclusion in the system of education and training) and inclusion and keeping the young Roma in primary and vocational secondary schools.

Concretely, 6 goals of the employment strategy of BiH Federation have been defined:

  • To encourage the growth, employment and improvement of the quality of jobs;
  • To ensure inclusive labour markets through preventing long-term unemployment, inactivity, social exclusion and poverty of the population capable of working;
  • To improve  harmonization of the offer and demand in the labour market;
  • To increase the investments in human capital and adjust the education and training systems to the demand for new knowledge and skills in labour market;
  • To strengthen the social and territorial cohesion and entrepreneurship;
  • To strengthen institutional capacities for the implementation of the employment strategy, and strengthen socio-economic dialogue in the field of education.

Within the Project Monitoring and Evaluation of Implementation of the Strategy for the Reform of Justice Sector in BiH, the initiative of 5 non-governmental organizations involved in the project under the name Justice is to Blame was promoted in October.  With this initiative, a public invitation was sent to the leaders of political parties to proceed to further implementation of the justice sector in BiH in a responsible manner. The project activities were supported by the Embassy of the United Kingdom. 

Based on the Memorandum on Establishing Mechanisms for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Implementation of the Strategy for Reform of the Justice Sector in BiH signed between BiH Ministry of Justice and 5 non-governmental organizations (Centres for Civic Initiatives – CCI, the Association for Democratic Changes – ADI; the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights; the Association Your Rights of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Office for Human Rights Tuzla), the activities on making quarterly reports for each field were continued.  As part of the started initiative, the representatives of civil society organizations publicly asked the leaders of the political parties to which the citizens gave their biggest support in the past election, to propose professional people for the key positions in the justice system at all levels of the government in the country, i.e. people who will be ready to deal with the burden of efficient implementation of the mentioned reform.  This reform is certainly one of the priority reforms awaiting BiH, because it should contribute to the building of an equitable and efficient system of justice for all BiH citizens.  This is one of the conditions for faster economic growth and improvement of the living standard, as well as for sooner approach of BiH to Euro-Atlantic integrations.

Relying on many years of their experience in advocacy in the field of democratization and human right protection, and their knowledge of the problematic of the justice sector in BiH, the civil society organizations joined the process of monitoring and evaluation in order to contribute to the building of an independent and efficient justice system in BiH, accountable to all its citizens.  In that regard, establishing of the mechanism of evaluation and monitoring of the implementation of the Strategy of Reforms of Justice Sector, for civil society organizations, is an indicator of positive changes and opening of the institutions of the justice sector in BiH.  Signing of the Memorandum for Establishing the Donor Fund for the Implementation of the Action Plan for the Strategy of Reform of Justice Sector in BiH, is an excellent indicator of this willingness for co-operation.  According to the Memorandum, about 30.000 EUR will be allocated from the future fund on the annual level for the civil society organizations that are included in the process of monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the Strategy in BiH.  The justice ministers at the level of the state, BiH Federation, High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council of BiH and the Judiciary Commission of BiH Brcko District gave their positive assessment of the mentioned Memorandum, therefore it is expected that the Republic of Srpska Justice Ministry will also recognize its importance soon, and ensure the beginning of the work of this fund by giving its signature, which would mean an important step forward in the efficient and consistent implementation of the goals set in the Strategy for the Reform of the Sector.

So far the recommendations have been made for five strategic areas as well as concrete measures for overcoming the observed problems.  The following strategic areas have been identified: Judiciary, Execution of Penal Sanctions; approach to justice, Support to Economic Growth and Well Managed and Co-ordinated sector.   

The civil society organizations involved in the project committed to reporting on the progress of the implementation of the Action Plan.  By the end of the year the annual report on realized activities of the Action Plan, with the results will also be presented to the public. 


Candidates' Forums were organized by CCI in six University Centers as part of the project „Be an Active Student – Turn Out and Vote“. Through a direct contact and by asking many questions to political candidates the students inquired about the views of the parties and of the candidates concerning the issues that mostly have to do with the problems of the young people.  The purpose of this project was to contribute to an increase of turnout of the young for the elections in BiH, who are the most numerous abstainers and motivate them, by being given concrete answers and promises from the representatives of political parties, to turn out for elections and vote. The Project was supported by the Council of Europe. 

Candidates' Forums were organized in six university centres – Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Istočno Sarajevo and Zenica.  The students' unions in all towns were co-organizers. The political parties recognized the value of such meetings and showed how much this population was important to them. In six forums the students had an opportunity to hear about the programs and views of 17 political parties and 2 coalitions. The political parties' candidates were mostly leaders on their lists either for the entity or the cantonal level of the authorities or presidents of some party bodies, and they are in the lists for 2010 general elections. We have deliberately chosen the candidates for the cantonal and entity levels of the authorities because these are the levels where the problems relating to the students (education, employment, etc.) are mostly solved.  All the information regarding holding of forums, questions and answers of the candidates were available to everyone interested in them via CCI's web sites, student's unions' websites and Facebook profiles; they were posted solely to motivate the young people to come out and vote. In addition to that, the conclusions of all candidates' forums were printed out, and flyers were distributed to citizens on 1 October in the streets of all major cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.   

The questions asked by the students can be summarized as follows:

  • Consistent application of the Bologna declaration;
  • Employment of the young people with university degrees;
  • Better living conditions in campuses and dormitories;
  • Transparent award of scholarships;
  • Autonomy of University;
  • Market-oriented educational system;
  • Higher participation of students in decision-making processes at Universities.

Although passivity of students in BiH is very much present, thanks to numerous activities of different non-governmental organizations, including the CCI's activities through the project Be an Active Student – Turn out and Vote, there has been a certain change in this election compared to the previous one.  In 2008 Local Election 48% of the young voted, while in 2010 General Elections, out of registered voters up to 30 years of age, 52.6% (Information from CEC), of them voted, which means that the total number of the young who voted increased by 4.26%.  

Speaking of the age structure of the elected officials, of total 488 elected officials, 25, i.e. 5.12 %, are younger than 30, while 463, i.e. 94,88% , are older than 30 (Information taken from Dnevni Avaz-CEC BiH, 4 Nov 2010).

In the last local elections, the total of 55.3% of registered voters voted, while in this election 57.06% of the total number of registered voters cast their votes (Information from CEC).

It is certain that CCI, with its pre-election activities, has contributed to the rate of citizens' turnout for elections, as well as to the rate of turnout of the young; this is confirmed by our implemented activities and by the reactions of the citizens and the media to them, as well as by the visits of the citizens to our website, Facebook profile, turnout to stands, forums, etc.

The problems of academic community in BiH are numerous. We will address here one important aspect of the behaviour of the young people, which we observed during project implementation.  Students have a big fear of public action.  Student organizations do not have built capacities to be recognized as students' leaders.  Students do not sufficiently recognize the student organizations as bearers of the changes or leaders, so the same organizations and their leaders are exposed to pressures, both by the politicians and the academic community itself.  This is certainly a problem the solution of which deserves both attention and action.  The autonomy of the university is a burning problem and the academic communities should be bearers of changes in the society, and students, as future academic citizens, should be members of the society who express their views and opinions freely, stand up for and act in the direction of changes. 


Responsibility Forums held in Srebrenica and Bratunac. In order to make these meetings between the government representativies and the citizens as efficient as possible, CCI representatives organized a workshop for the selected members of local communities included in the project Sustainable Participation of Citizens in Decision-Making Processes in Srebrenica and Bratunac, during which they gained /acquired knowledge and skills that are necessary to organize and hold a successful Responsibility Forum.  The overall objective of the Responsibility Forum was to increase trust between representatives of the authorities and the citizens. These activities were financially supported by Caritas Switzeralnad and the Government of Lichtenstein. 

The Responsibility Forum in Srebrenica was held in the Local Community Sase; it was attended by the citizens and the representatives of LC Gostilj and Potočari/Dugo Polje. On the other hand, the invitation for participation in the Forum was accepted by the municipal mayor Osman Suljić, and heads of the Department of Social Activities Svetozar Mitrović, Department of Economy and Development Miloš Vukosavljević and Department of Physical Planning and Housing and Public Utility Affairs Mirsad Mustafić.

The municipal mayor explained the current situation with the budgeting process in this year compared to the period of the beginning of the mandate, emphasising the local communities included in the Project CARITAS. After that he answered the questions prepared and asked by the Organizational Board, with an emphasis on the budgeting and the projects in LCs.

CCI also coordinated the activities on holding of the 'Responsibility Forum' in Bratunac, the Organizational Board of which was comprised of the representatives of LCs Podčauš, Selišta, Hranča and Mihaljevići/Krasanpolje. The Forum was held in the town, and it was attended by the citizens from local communities invovled in the project and other local communities in this municiplaity.

On the other side, the invitation for participation in the Forum was accepted by the municipal mayor Nedeljko Mlađenović, head of the department for Budget Radmila Tešić, president of the Municipal Assembly Mustafa Golić and deputy president of Municipal Assembly Miodrag Lončarević.

In the first part the municipal mayor explained the current situation with the projects in the municipality, with an emphasis on the local communities involved in CARITAS project. Then the president and deputy president of the Municipal Assembly spoke about the scope of work of the Municipal Assembly. After that the representatives of the authorities answered the questions, prepared and asked by the Organizational Board.

At the end of the Forum, it was concluded that such a form of the meeting with citizens be held for other LCs of Municipality Bratunac too, that is to say, those that are outside of the CARITAS project. Also, there is a conclusion that such meetings contribute to the improvement of the ’climate’ and the relations between the citizens and representatives of the authorities, that is to say, that they should be continued in the next period too, in order to strengthen mutual trust. 


The first support grants of the CCI Advocacy Fund distributed. The Fund was established in 2009, with an aim to support the work of the civil society organizations in BiH, that have a critical approach to the work of the authorities, and carry out the activities on democratization of decision-making processes and on making the public policies more efficient and more oriented toward the real needs of the citizens.  So far the following organizations have been given the support grants: Transparency International, Center for the Education of the Young and the Association of Citizens Tender. 

Transparency International received a support for the activities that should lead to amendments to the laws governing the field of financing political parties in BiH.  TI has made the analyses of the legal framework governing this field and identified many shortcomings in the laws themselves, as well as the discrepancy of the laws at various levels, leading to inadequate application and enabling non-transparency and non-accountability during raising funds for financing the parties. It is because of that that TI is putting efforts in advocating necessary amendments to the Law itself, which would provide supervision mechanisms, not only by CEC but the civil society and the citizens in general, i.e. enable them to have an insight in donations and in the ways the parties' funds are spent.

The Center for the Education of the Young from Travnik has conducted a public advocacy campaign that was directed to political coalitions and independent candidates in October 2010 elections, as well as to the young people in BiH.  The purpose of the campaign was to advocate the fulfillment of promises that especially concern the young people, the promises stemming from the recently adopted Law on the Young of FBiH, and to animate as many young people as possible to turn out for elections. The campaign was implemented in the territory of Central Bosnia. 

The Association of Citizens Tender from Banja Luka conducted the advocacy activities focusing on citizens and representatives of political parties who run for the House of Representatives of BiH Parliament with a view to fight corruption in public procurements.  Specifically, the project aimed at further operationalization of the so-called watch dog function and it goal is to increase accountability and transparency in the process of public procurements, especially in reference to political platforms and the political parties' programs.

The primary goals of the Advocacy Fund during the period 2009 – 2014 are as follows:

  • Strengthening accountability of BH authorities toward the citizens, and adoption and amending of the policies directed toward decrease of: corruption, unemployment, spending of public funds for unintended purposes, protection of the environment, social and health protection and education; 
  • Improving active participation of citizens in decision-making process as well as the positive image of SCOs in the public.

Revitalization of local communities is a project by which CCI makes its contribution to strengthening the role of local communities, as the places through which the citizens participate in decision-making at the local level.  The results of a survey on the position of local communities in BiH, as well as the views of the public on this issue, have been recently presented to the public. The project was financially supported by Open Society Fund BiH. 

CCI started the project of revitalization of local communities to the end of further development of participatory democracy at the local level in BiH and strengthening the influence of citizens in decision-making processes.  The existing legislative solutions at various levels in BiH treat the local communities differently, which opens up the area for manipulation.  Very frequently LCs become local cells of political parties.  One of the problems that were identified is a lack of the capacities of leaders in LCs who do not have enough knowledge to perform the tasks of a leader in communities, and are prone to fall under the influence of politically powerful people.  Due to all that, the CCI has an intention to use this project to contribute to the improvement and upgrading of the Law on Local Self-Governance in order to improve the efficiency of work of the LCs from the point of view of citizens' participation in decision-making processes.   

One of the issues that will be addressed by the study is what the place of the local communities is in the system of local self-governance and what their real position and the possibilities to articulate the citizens' needs are. The study is a result of a survey conducted by CCI.  The first version of the report is available to the public.   After the public debate and piloting, the findings will be finalized and made available to the public.

We shall here state some of the most interesting findings and the recommendations of this survey.

          Centralism is rooted in the BH municipalities.  Such a system prevents the citizens from participating in decision-making processes.  The examples from practice and the past indicate that decision-making on the matters that directly concern the citizens should be completely decentralized and brought down to the level of local communities, which have been for centuries a well-established mechanism by which the citizens are involved in public discourse.   

          Legal position of local communities in BH entities is not equal.  In the RS the municipalities have a final word as to whether local communities will be part of it or not.  Most municipalities in the RS kept the local communities only apparently, while factually abolishing them. In FBiH the local communities are obligatory, however municipal administrations treat them as if they did not exist, so we can say that in this entity the local communities exist only normatively but not factually.  The surveys have shown that all or almost all respondents both from FBiH and RS believe that the current model of the local communities is dysfunctional and that it should be changed.   

          What should be done to modernize the local communities' institutions, to activate its democratic potentials and use the social capital that they most certainly have, that is to say, to revitalize a local community?  

          The position of local communities should be consolidated in a legal manner, that is to say, their status, responsibilities and financing should be guaranteed by law.  Before that it is necessary to have political agreement on the need of decentralization of municipalities, which implies transferring of certain municipal responsibilities to local communities.  In the RS this was done declaratively by adoption of the Strategy of Development of Local Self-Governance from 2009 to 2015.  In FBiH the situation is more difficult because of strong cantonal centralism; therefore, the political action should be directed to that level.   

          Municipalities must be decentralized because this represents the main obstacle to affirmation of local communities.  Therefore, the relation between the municipality and local communities should be precisely defined by the law and the statute.  Additionally, the local communities must be given efficient mechanisms by which they can prevent adoption of the decisions detrimental for them.   

          It is necessary to envisage a possibility of existence of several types of local communities, that is to say, something that already exists in practice should be made legal.  Local communities in the country and in towns deal with different issues, therefore it would be logical to define two types of local communities by law – i.e. rural and urban, with different competences.   

          The organizational structure of local communities, as well as the manner of election and authority of their bodies – LC's councils, commissions and presidents should be more precisely elaborated.  In any way, what should be prevented is for the parties' conflicts and fight for power to come down to the local communities' level.   

          Local communities must be actively involved in the processes of planning the municipal budget.

          Informing the citizens about what is going on in municipalities and local communities also imposes itself as an issue of great importance. Today there are almost no local radio stations that would only address the local issues. Although most municipalities have local portals and forums, most people do not have access to this form of communication.  Due to strategic importance, local informing remains one of the most significant issues of local communities.   

          Financing the local communities should be solved differently than is the case now, i.e. leaving this issue to the good will of the mayors.  Local communities should get their assets and the right to manage them.   

The above-mentioned recommendations are a model of a preferable local community in BiH. In order to achieve it, political conditions should be met.  This requires good will as well as the readiness of municipalities for decentralization. Another condition for transformation of the local self-governance includes creating of the critical mass in the communities themselves.

Preliminary results of the survey and the study itself have been presented to the public.  After the public debate and piloting, the results will be promoted and made available to the public. 


Within the Project Local Governance and Citizens, monitoring of the work of the local governments in 14 BiH towns was carried out. The report on monitoring covered the period of 2009 and the first half 2010. The work of local governments on improving the quality of citizens’ lives, especially of employment policies, social and primary health protection, road infrastructure, public transport, culture, sport and tourism have been analyzed in each municipality and compared. These activities are implemented thanks to the financial support of the European Commission and BiH Open Society Fund. 

Monitoring covered the municipalities and towns of Banja Luka, Mostar, Trebinje, Doboj, Novo Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla, Pale, Foča, Bihać, Travnik, Široki Brijeg, Livno and Zvornik. We have analyzed the work of the local authorities in the previous years on improvement the quality of life of citizens.

According to the general findings, although the trend of decreased municipal budgets revenue inflow continued in the year 2010, almost nothing was done in the last year by 14 municipalities that were the subject of monitoring, covered by the Project, to reduce the public administration. In most municipalities the number of public servants compared to the number of population of the municipalities remained the same compared to the year 2009, or was worse, with Mostar and Trebinje still leading by the size of the administration, with 1 public servant per 200 inhabitants. It is true that most municipalities, due to a decrease of budget, reduced salaries of the local administration staff, however, looking in percentages, a share of allocation for the salaries of the administration recorded an overall increase.

The municipalities covered by the project did not start reprogramming the planned budgets by mid-2010, and, taking into account the current situation, most municipalities will have to make reprogramming by the end of this year. Although social allocations suffered the least impacts in the sense of decrease of allocation in budgets in the year 2010, due to the doubled number of requests for social aid in practice, by the end of the year there will not be enough founds to cover all the social allocations according to the budget plans made at the beginning of this year. If we take into account increased spending of funds for projects in infrastructure during the pre-election campaign, it is questionable whether the reprogramming will be able to solve the problem of increased social demands.

As far as employment is concerned, the most difficult situation is still in the territory of municipalities Livno and Foča, where there is one employed person on every 8, i.e. 6.5. inhabitants. The situation in Foča deteriorated drastically, as in this municipality only one year ago there was 4.6 inhabitants per 1 employed person. Increased unemployment is to a large extent noticeable in the territory of Municipality of Doboj, too, where there is one employed person on 5.5. inhabitants, which is by 20% worse compared to the same period of the last year. The situation is still the least disadvantageous in the municipalities of Novo Sarajevo and Banja Luka, where there is 1 employed person on 3.5 inhabitants on the average.

In the field of education, regardless different competences in the RS and FBiH due to the existence of the cantonal level of the authorities, different allocation from local budgets looking by the entities cannot be observed. The fact that bigger cities in FBiH (Novo Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla) allocate less than 3% for education, while the municipalities of Široki Brijeg, Doboj, Banjaluka and Travnik have allocated more than 10% from their budgets for this field is an exception. Some municipalities have considerably decreased allocations for the sector of education due to lower inflows in the budget. Thus, for example, the municipality of Bijeljina has cut almost by half the allocations for education compared to the year 2008, which was especially noticeable in the field of subsidies for pre-school education. On the other hand, there is a very affirmative example of reducing subsidies for the stay of the children in private kindergartens, through reprogramming, from planned 250.000 KM to 130.000 KM, which was at the end reduced to only 68.000 KM. These funds were completely erased from the draft budget for the year 2010, but, due to the pressure of the public, this item was kept with the modest 50.000 KM. 

The quality and the price of public utility services varies drastically in certain municipalities. In most municipalities the cost of disposal of solid wast went up, and the cost // of water was increased in municipalitie Bijeljina, Tuzla, Livno, Široki Brijeg and Trebinje. Bijeljina is the town with the most expensive monthly rates /payments/ for water and sewarage (kanal.), with 2.04 KM/³, and Zenica has the lowest rate which is 0,60 KM/m³. City heating plants are mainly not solvent companies, and without the subsidies from local budgets they would not be able to offer quality services to citizens.

Within this Project, an opinion poll was conducted in all 14 towns, with regards to the perception of quality of life of citizens themselves. On the average, the citizens are most happy with the rendered public utility services, and this is followed by the primary health protection, public transportation, culture, sport and tourism. Road infrastructure and employment incentives are on the last place.

The Centres for Civic Initiatives will continue to follow the work of local administration in the next period in order to cover the entire four-year mandate of elected representatives and evalute their work.