eNewsletter: Newsletter 46
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In the first half 2016, the work of BH executive and legislative authorities at all levels was marked by political instability and inefficiency of the current authorities  – this was shown by the reports on monitoring the performance of 13 governments and parliaments.

The reports on monitoring the performance of the authorities at the level of BiH, entities and cantons were presented to the public by CCI.

The main findings of monitoring show that there is political instability and inefficiency of the current authorities in FBiH, while in RS, the first half 2016 was marked with further radicalization of political conflicts. Deterioration of political relations in the country in the first half 2016 also reflected in the performance of state authorities. CCI warned the institutions not to allow the pre-election campaign to influence their productivity, and invited the political parties to run a positive campaign and dialogue with their political opponents. Moreover, increasingly bigger delays in implementing the annual work programs of the institutions are recorded. More and more laws are approved in an urgent procedure, and the government sessions are often held by telephone even when the important issues are discussed. Audit reports showed that the ministries violated a big number of laws (especially the Law on Public Procurements), and there is a tendency of increasing the number of laws that were declared non-constitutional by the constitutional courts.

These activities are implemented by CCI as part of the project Civil Society Sustainability Program (CSSP) supported by USAID.

All reports are posted on CCI website CCI www.cci.ba

Summary reports in English can be downloaded from the following links:

Council of Ministers and Parliamentary Assembly of BiH

Federation of BiH Government and Parliament of BiH Federation

Republika Srpska Government and Nation Assembly of Republika Srpska


Making pressure on the voters, buying votes, trading the places on polling boards, abuse of public resources are some of the most common instances of violation of election regulations and rules before the official beginning of the election campaign. 

The First Preliminary Report on Monitoring the Pre-Election Period in BiH was presented on September 2 by the Coalition „In the Spotlight“. The Report was based on 950 reports from the field. Political subjects, the election administration and the media were in the spotlight.   

The most common cases of violation of the election rules and regulations prior to the beginning of the election campaign made by the political subjects were:  making the pressure on voters, buying votes, trading the places on polling boards, abuse of public resources, paid public advertising, organizing different forms of celebrations and socializing with the citizens under a pretext of regular political activities. Making pressure on the voters and buying votes were reported by the Coalition “In the Spotlight” in 4 municipalities (Busovača, Šekovići, Sokolac i Velika Kladuša). Pressures on the voters and buying votes constitute the most severe form of violation of election rules and are a criminal act according to BH criminal legislation which provide for the fines of even up to 5 years in prison. Trading places on voting boards was reported in 11 municipalities in BiH (Foča FBiH, Han Pijesak, Istočno Novo Sarajevo, Kiseljak, Kotor Varoš, Mrkonjić Grad, Rogatica, Sokolac, Srbac, Teslić and Travnik).  In almost all municipalities the abuse of public resources in the time before the official start of the election campaign was noted, which reflected in significant intensifying of infrastructure works (reconstruction of roads and streets, local roads, apartment building, reconstruction of housing and other buildings) in local self-governance units and through using official and public rooms for the purpose of the campaign.

A certain number of other activities were also reported such as the party conventions, academic gatherings, which are not banned under the Law because they can be considered regular activities of political subjects. The Coalition reported that it was symptomatic that such activities were not organized in the same months of the years in which no elections are held, and are used for promotion of the candidates and often host highly-positioned party guests who are at the same time the holders of executive and/or legislative power.

The Coalition “In the Spotlight” assessed that the work of BH Central Election Commission (CEC) was positive in the part relating to the organization of elections and implementation of the activities provided for by the election calendar, given the fact that no irregularities in the work or violation of legal provisions and rules were reported. However, the Coalition states that in a big number of cases a concrete reaction of BH CEC is missing with regards to the noted problems, deficiencies and irregularities in the election process, especially concerning punishing the offenders. It was also noted that CEC rarely reacted ex oficio, as well as that adequate fines by CEC against grave violations of the election process failed to occur, especially speaking about trading the places on polling boards. Expressed doubts or objections related to the up-to-date character of the voting list were reported in 17 municipalities, with some information that voting lists of certain municipalities comprised the deceased persons too.

All the irregularities that were observed were sent to BIH Central Election Commission by the Coalition “In the Spotlight” – thus the attention was drawn to the need of starting the process of checking this information and punishing the offenders where applicable.

The work of the Coalition 'In the Spotlight“ was supported by the Delegation of the European Commission in BH and by USAID. 


'Do the governments and institutions only record or really employ the jobless?' is the name of the new CCI policy brief study which reports the data on active employment policies in BiH and provides an overview of the effects of the implementation of the Reform Agenda Policies to the end of reducing the unemployment rate in BiH

In the document „The Reform Agenda 2015-2018 for Bosnia and Herzegovina“ a special focus was placed on the problem of long-lasting high unemployment rate in the country. The institutions in charge of the employment policies and programs in BiH were often assessed as non-efficient, inadequate and inconsistent with the real needs in the labour market.

Considering the Reform Agenda as a comprehensive and important reform package that can most directly influence the life of BH citizens, CCI started the monitoring of the implementation and the effectiveness of the Reform Agenda.

The findings of CCI monitoring of the implementation of the reform agenda in the domain of implementing the active employment policies have shown, among other, the following:

-         The short-term effects of implemented reforms in the field of labour market were practically invisible when trends over several years are taken into account,

-         The positive changes recorded in the past few years are a continuation of a previous trend and of some ad-hoc measures,  

-         Seen in absolute numbers and in rates, the improvements in the labour market are symbolic and insufficient.

A conclusion may be drawn from this that the results of the implementation of the Reform Agenda in the past 12 months were not commendable. Time will show whether this is because of the failure to implement adequate measures for revitalization of labour market or because non-realistic goals and expectations in this segment of the Reform Agenda were set.   

The promotion of the analysis started with a press conference that was held in Sarajevo, and then was followed by a number of street actions taking place in Bijeljina, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Sarajevo and Mostar. The goal of street actions was to introduce the citizens to the problems of employment in BiH, as well as to make them more aware of the role of employment bureaus and of the fluctuations in the labour market itself.. The street actions received considerable media attention too, which at least partly helped that in the pre-election period the vital topics were discussed rather than political, especially considering the fact that most party pre-election campaigns are built on the latter.

CCI has been implementing the project „Reforms and Jobs“ since September 2015, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in BiH – its primary goal is to contribute to increasing the responsibility of BH authorities for reducing the unemployment through active participation in initiating, passing, implementation and monitoring of key economic reforms and new public policies contained in BiH Reform Agenda for 2015-2018. 

 The project will offer periodical reports on the progress of the implementation of the Reform Agenda, the effects of reformed public policies on the standard of living, and will at the same time initiate and advocate a number of activities that will contribute toward new job creation. More on the Campaign „Job to the People“ is available on the website www.posaonarodu.ba


Over 6000 BH citizens, by signing the petition, gave their support to de-politicization of the public sector primarily to the employment in public administration. 

The process of signing the petition for public sector de-politicization, primary employment in public administration, public health sector, education, public enterprises, etc., was initiated as part of the campaign „Competent and Not Suitable“, which officially started in June 2016. An online petition gathered over 3.000 signatures in a short period of time of few weeks. The petition is available at the campaign web portal www.spdobnimanepodobnim.ba

At the same time, in 6 towns throughout BiH, 10 street actions were held in order to collect the signatures of the support to the petition in hard-copy format. The travelling petition visited Bijeljina, Tuzla, Doboj, Banja Luka, Mostar and Sarajevo and in this manner close to 3.000 signatures were collected.  The actions drew considerable media coverage, recording about 30 media announcements. CCI will continue with the petition in the forthcoming period too, and ensure at least 10.000 signatures for support of the campaign goals before starting the policy initiatives at the level of BiH and entities.

Also, after the start of the pre-election campaign, CCI drafted the Statement for the Candidates at Local Elections by which they made a written promise for contribution to the de-politicization in case of being elected a mayor or local councilor. During the first fortnight of the campaign, the statement was signed by several dozens of the candidates, and this will be much more by the end of the campaign, i.e. that will be a relevant sample of the candidates. The statement is available at the link http://sposobnimanepodobnim.ba/izjava

CCI actively advocated passing of the new Law on Public Service in Canton Sarajevo in July, and insisted on a number of important clauses that would secure significantly higher level of de-politicization of administration at this level. The Sarajevo Canton Assembly unanimously approved the new Public Service Act on 28 July. The final version of the Act also includes all the requirements provided by our project/campaign (e.g. the election of the best ranking candidates, limiting the mandates of leaders, dissociating their mandate from the political mandate of the government, etc.). This Act is completely contrary, concept-wise, to the federal law which was partly refuted at the Constitutional Court, because of the very same critical clauses. The Act will serve to CCI as a model for other cantons too, as well as, with adjustments and corrections, for higher levels too.

Media reports underlined the role of CCI, and proclaimed de-politicization (!) as the key feature of the law.

These activities are implemented by the Centres of Civic Initiatives (CCI) with the support of the European Union, as part of the project „strengthening the Integrity of the Public Sector: De-Politicization for the Rule of Law“ which aims at contributing to the rule of law and good governance in BiH, advocating the professionalism and the integrity of the public sector, especially the procedures of appointment and employment in the public sector.  


BiH citizens showed great interest for non-party monitoring of elections. More than 7000 BH citizens applied for civil and non-party monitoring of October 2 Local Elections.  

At mid-July, an invitation to citizens to apply for monitoring the Local Elections to be held on October 2, was published by the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections – In the Spotlight

The number of citizens who applied is bigger than expected – by the beginning of September about 7000 citizens applied.  

The work of the Coalition In the Spotlight is supported by the Delegation of the European Commission in BiH and by USAID.  


Social partners in BiH openly speak about the obstacles for free associating and more efficient collective bargaining. 

„Public Social Dialogue“ Forum was held at the end of August and beginning of September in three towns: Zenica, Gorazde and Banja Luka. The Forums were attended by more than 70 representatives of representative trade unions, employers' associations, representatives of cantonal and entities' labour ministries, NGOs and the media.

After the discussion and the proposals that were made by the participants, the following general conclusions may be drawn: firstly, the social dialogue in BiH is still going on according to an ad-hoc principle and is not recognized as a permanent process of consensus-building and development of society; secondly, there is a pronounced problem of contesting the representative nature of the association of employers and trade union organizations at different levels; thirdly, there is still a strong dominant role of the governments in the social dialogue, although the new legislation promotes equal treatment in three-partite and seeking of bi-partite dialogue, without the government involvement, and, equally importantly, there is strong mistrust between the social partners and difficulties in finding common interests, rather than insisting on differences.

As part of the promotion and the advocacy campaign in this period, CCI finalized the four video materials on good practices and experiences from the Netherlands, and on the social dialogue process in both entities. The promotional material contains the interviews with the experts from the Netherlands, representatives of trade unions, employers and relevant ministries. The video stories were broadcast in September on www.inicijativa.tv, as well as through social networks, and on trade unions' and employers' websites. CCI's activities in the forthcoming period will be focusing on the preparation for holding of the central conference on social dialogue in BiH.

The Project „Strengthening the Understanding and Capacities of Social Partners in BiH in Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining“, supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in BiH has a goal to contribute to strengthening the social dialogue and collective bargaining in both entities in order to increase the social cohesion and the development of Bosnian-Herzegovinian society.

After successful implementation of the training sessions for social partners on the subjects „Social Dialogue“ and „Collective Bargaining“, the CCIs' activities focused in two directions: continuous monitoring of social dialogue and collective bargaining between the representatives of the governments, trade unions and employers in BiH, on the basis of the newly adopted entities' labour legislation. Another set of activities focused on organizing three Social Dialogue Forums in order to start the public social dialogue on all the subjects and obstacles for more efficient collective bargaining, mutual respect and work on a common interest – effective social dialogue.      


The educational FB quiz „I Elect for the First Time“ in the service of increasing the turnout of the young for the elections.    

The „In the Spotlight“ Coalition started a quiz which was primarily intended for the generation 1996 – 1998 who, for the first time, have the right to turn out for the elections and vote. The goal of the quiz is to additionally educate and motivate the young people throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina to actively exercise their voting right and achieve the record turnout for elections to be held on 02 October. 

As of Friday, 16 September, the young will have an opportunity, through the „I Elect for the First Time“ quiz to take part in the  contest of the Coalition In the Spotlight, and check their knowledge of the elections in the competition of all the young in Bosnia and Herzegovina and win one of 23 valuable rewards. The first three rewards are intended for the generation 1996-1998, while all the other generations have the right to participate in the quiz and win the other rewards.

The Facebook quiz „I Elect for the First Time" was designed as part of the education of 15.000 participants of secondary school seniors and college freshmen throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina who for the first time have the right to vote in the elections, and is financially supported by the European Union and USAID.