eNewsletter: Newsletter XXXIX
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Season's greetings!!! Wishing you a Season filled with beautiful moments and cherished memories.


General Elections 2014 Under a Magnifying Glass ... Citizens' monitoring of BH General Elections Successfully Completed.  2.655 observers were organized at 1355 polling stations by the coalition of 7 NGOs from BiH, who were present at polling stations from opening to the end of counting votes. More...

'Under a Magnifying Glass' Coalition, composed of seven non-governmental organizations in the territory of the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina has carried out this year a non-party observing of 2014 General Elections. This was the first time after 12 years that the citizens of this country had an opportunity to participate in a process like this and monitor the elections.

These activities are conducted within the project „...because we care!“ and it is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the British Government, the American Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Delegation of the European Union in BiH .

The engagement of observers on the Election Day
This year's monitoring of the election process on behalf of the Coalition was carried out by 2.655 observers, on 1.355 polling stations. They worked in two shifts during the day, from 06:00h to 16:00h and from 16:00h to the end of counting on polling stations. Five percent of Coalition's observers worked double shift because not all the hired observers appeared on polling stations. The cooperation with the Central Election Commission and the local election commissions was at the satisfactory level, which is confirmed by the fact that 98.7 percent of observers were allowed access to polling stations.  
Mobile teams
The Coalition 'Under a Magnifying Glass“ also had 50 mobile teams on the ground on the Election Day who covered these polling stations that were not covered by regular monitoring. The mobile teams, who visited 550 polling stations, were comprised of a total of 100 observers. Their work resulted in reporting about 42 so-called critical situations i.e. election irregularities that required instant reaction.  
Local election administration
Monitoring the work of election administration was one of the Coalition's activities. The Coalition engaged 143 observers to monitor the work of 134 municipal election commissions. 
Call center
A special call center was also opened during the Election Day by the Coalition – it was located in Ilidza in Sarajevo and equipped with 50 laptops and 50 mobile phones operated by 58 operators whose task was to receive the information from the ground concerning critical situations, receive the results from the ground, communicate with the observers and record the result in specially designed forms.
More than 2.000 calls and 19.000 SMSs were received in the Call Center. The observers sent the information about 79 critical situations on the ground, while the citizens reported 372 cases of potential irregularities.
SMS reporting
This year it was the first time that SMS reporting was used during the election process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Every observer had a task to send three SMS messages in the first shift, and five or six messages in the second, depending on the entity in which he/she lives. SMS messages were used by the observers to answer to the list of questions they had previously received, through which they reported on the situation on polling stations.

A summary of the election irregularities reported to the Coalition during the Election Day and of the reports sent to BH Central Election Commission is presented in graph below.

By the end of the year the Coalition 'Under a Magnifying Glass' plans to publish and promote its final report and to announce their own recommendations for amending the BH Election Law and technical procedures related to the voting process itself. 
More information about the Coalition is available from www.podlupom.org


CCI published reports on monitoring the work of governments and parliaments on all levels of power in BiH for the mandate period 2010-2014 These acctivities are supported by USAID. More...

CCI presented to the public reports on monitoring the work of governments and parliaments in BiH for the mandate period 2010-2014. The reports were published just before the general elections held on October 12 and had their influence on the people and their voting choice. A total of 26 reports on monitoring the work of governments and parliaments during the mandate period have been presented.
• Summaries of these reports in English may be found at the following links:
Monitoring of the Council of Ministers BiH 2010-2014 http://www.cci.ba/dokumenti/Short_version_Summary_COM_english.pdf
• Monitoring of the Parliament Assembly BiH 2010 – 2014 http://www.cci.ba/dokumenti/Short_version_of_Summaries_PBiH_english.pdf
• Monitoring of the Government of FbiH 2011-2014  http://www.cci.ba/dokumenti/Summary_Government_FBiH_english.pdf
• Monitoring of the BiH Federation Parliament 2010 – 2014 http://www.cci.ba/dokumenti/Summary_FBiH_Parliament_english.pdf
• Monitoring of the Republika Srpska Government  http://www.cci.ba/dokumenti/GOVERNMENT_OF_RS_eng.pdf
• Monitoring of the National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska 2010 - 2014 http://www.cci.ba/dokumenti/NA_RS_2010_2014_eng.pdf 



Improvement of the Business Environment in BiH With support from Canada Fund for Local Initiatives – CFLI CCI started implementation of the project “Improvement of the Business Environment in BiH”.  The project has an aims at gathering the representatives of the business and civil sectors in order to identify the key measures for improving the business ambiance in BiH in the segment of ‘parafiscal’ charges, as well as bringing of the public’s attention to the obstacles existing in the operation of business subjects. More…

The document of the Memorandum on Cooperation was prepared by CCI in November and sent to the representatives of the associations of employers of BH Federation and the Republic of Srpska. At the beginning of the campaign implementation CCI wish to start intensive cooperation with the employers from both entities, tie up the details of joint activities and possibilities of using both CCI’s and employers’ potentials during the campaign implementation.
In parallel to the activities on negotiations about the cooperation with the employers, in November CCI gathered all relevant documents, i.e. analyses prepared in the period 2011-2014 which deal with the situation in BiH economy with an accent on ‘parafiscal’ charges. Also, a number of meetings were held with the sole proprietorship businesses – in trade and service sectors, in order to make direct contacts and learn about the problems of private business.
The above activities had a goal to collect the information and the data necessary for realization of the campaign “less is more: less ‘parafiscal’ charges, more economic growth”, in which the start of advocacy will be announced and the current situation in BH business ambiance presented, with an accent on ‘parafiscal’ charges; the first recommendations for improving the business ambiance will also be made during the campaign. 


Education and Job As part of the project “Education and Job”, and in cooperation with ALDI, CCI has been focusing on adoption of a coherent and harmonized legal framework throughout the country, relating to education, re-qualification and additional qualification of adults, in order to improve the situation in the labour market, i.e. decrease unemployment and improve the position of socially marginalized groups. This project is supported by EU Delegation in BiH. More…

This two-year project started in 2014; its aim is to improve the workers’ rights and the workforce mobility by establishing a legal framework for adult education, i.e. by designing, advocating and monitoring the legislative for adult education at the level of cantons, entities and District Brcko.
After the Assembly of Bosnia-Drina Canton Gorazde (BPK) adopted the Draft Law on Adult Education on 07 November 2014 a public debate was held on the Draft Law. CCI and ALDI took an active part in developing the Draft Law contributing their comments and suggestions. It is worth reminding that the Law on Adult Education had been previously adopted in Zenica-Doboj Canton, at CCI’s initiative, while the process of passing the Law on Adult Education is ongoing in Tuzla Canton too.
In the last quarter of the year CCI representatives participated in the meeting of the representatives of education ministries and NGOs dealing with the issue of adult education, organized by DWW and SEC. The activities on the project, the CCI’s initiatives for passing the law on adult education as well as the findings of monitoring the implementation of public policies of adult education in BiH were presented in the meeting.
CCI representatives also actively participated in the workshop “Adult Education Policies and Legal Regulation”, held in Mostar. The goal of the workshop was to make an overview of the situation of legislative organization of the adult education field in FBiH and to give recommendations and guidelines for future activities. Networking was carried out with other organizations dealing with adult education through founding of an informal network where CCI would have a key role in advocacy and lobbying for passing of the law.


De-politicization of Public Sector During the pre-election campaign CCI offered to all political subjects in BiH to sign a Political Declaration, by which they would publicly commit to de-politicization, professionalization and strengthening the efficiency of public administration during 2014-2018 mandate, in case that they participate in the authorities after elections. Until the Election Day, a total of 23 political parties signed the Political Declaration. This is a part of the activities carried out within the project „De-politicization of Public Sector“ which is supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy. More…

By signing, i.e. non-signing of this document, all political subjects in BiH showed their attitude toward the subject of de-politicization and their readiness to advocate it. This contributed to the improvement of pre-election dialogue in BiH, as an opportunity for the citizens to keep up to date with these activities before the Elections, from the media or via the website www.drzava.ba, learn what the parties in BiH could offer to solve this problem, and subsequently choose to whom they would give their vote in elections.
Of 20 leading parliamentary parties in BiH, 12 of them signed the Declaration, namely: SDA, SBB Fahrudin Radončić, HDZ 1990, Demokratska fronta Željko Komšić, Stranka za BiH, PDP, SDU, Naša stranka, HSP, DNZ, Stranka Nova Srpska and HSS. In addition to them, the Declaration was also signed by the following parties: Stranka dijaspore BiH, SRS RS, Stranka nova Srpska, Regionalni demokratski savez Tuzla, Posavska stranka, Demokratska obiteljska stranka, Snaga Bosne, Seljačka stranka, Bosanskohercegovačka narodna stranka, Prva bosanskohercegovačka stranka, Liberalna stranka and Snaga naroda. In this way CCI won allies among the political subjects in further de-politicization of public administration.
The website www.država.ba was upgraded in November, in a way to allow viewing the term of the mandate of leading and managing positions in public administration. This website will allow the public to monitor whether there will be replacement of the staff in these positions before the end of the mandate, as this was the practice so far, after the end of elections.
In the forthcoming period CCI will hold a big number of meetings with the parties signatories of the Political Declaration, in order to agree on concretization of further activities on de-politicization of the public sector...
CCI has been implementing the project „De-politicization of the Public Sector“ since May 2014. The project is supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy, and its aim is to analyze the level of influence of political parties on the election of leading and managing bodies within the entire public sector. The analysis and the recommendations will be used to launch an advocacy campaign for de-politicization of the public sector and clear splitting of political from professional functions.


Job to the People. Findings of monitoring the work of public services for employment in BiH presented. As part of the analysis of work of these institutions, CCI offered recommendations for amending the current legislation. The campaign "Job to the People" is supported by EU Delegation in BiH. More...

The cooperation with competent ministries was intensified as well. During the promotional activities on the project „Improving the efficiency of public services for employment“, i.e. the campaign „Job to the People“, supported by EU Delegation in BiH, the focus was once again placed on the decreased efficiency of work of employment services due to the lack of organization of records of the unemployed persons caused by the manner of exercise of the right to health insurance and other social benefits.

On 23 October 2014, a round table was organized in Brcko District on which the 4th  report on monitoring the work of PES was presented as well as the analysis in which the recommendations were offered for amending the concerned legislation in the district. After this meeting the cooperation was intensified with the competent departments in BD Government in an attempt to make sure that the new legal solutions find themselves in the procedure as soon as possible.
In the last quarter of 2014, the 4th report on monitoring the work of PESs was made and presented in Sarajevo and Banja Luka. The panel discussion was organized in Sarajevo on 19 November with the participation of the leading people of all key institutions, ministries and employment bureaus. This panel discussion resulted in an official announcement that the packet of amendments to the concerned law in FBiH would be discussed in FBiH Government by the end of the year. On 02 December a press conference was organized in Banja Luka, in which the findings of the monitoring were presented and once again the decreased efficiency of the work of PESs was brought up, caused by lack of organization of records of the unemployed due to the manner of exercise of the right to health insurance and other social benefits.
As part of the campaign „Job to the People“, a third circle of street promotional stands was organized by CCI in October and November 2014 in the following cities: Brcko, Mostar, Trebinje, Sarajevo, Zenica, Bijeljina, Pale and Travnik. On this occasion too the citizens were made aware of the key information concerning the employment policies and the role of public employment services. A number of consultative meetings were held too with the representatives of the Employment Bureaus of BH Federation, the Republic of Srpska, District Brcko and Zenica-Doboj Canton.

The campaign website www.posaonarodu.ba was regularly updated and made available to all people who looked for job vacancy announcements or information about the exercise of their rights related to work and employment. Also a radio jingle was created and broadcast on a number of radio stations, as a promotional part of the campaign.

Since the beginning of 2013, CCI has implemented the project supported by EU, in order to advocate the reforms in the employment field, and especially the amendments to the current legislation that defines the work of public employment services (PESs). In order to increase the responsibility and efficiency of PESs, this project, implemented by CCI, is aimed to monitor the work of the said institutions, their policies and practices. More on the project is available from www.posaonarodu.ba