Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has benefited from the co-operation programmes of the Council of Europe since 2003. The implementation of the first Action Plan (2015-2017) provided a more strategic approach to the overall co-operation, designed to help the country, by bringing national legislation, institutions and practice further in line with European standards in the areas of human rights, the rule of law and democracy.

Encouraging results achieved through the first cycle of co-operation, paved the way for the adoption of a new Action Plan by the Committee of Ministers in June 2018, covering the period 2018-2021. The main purpose is to support the authorities through country-specific and regional actions in advancing the strategic reforms in the areas of human rights protection, anti-discrimination, inter-ethnic dialogue and reconciliation, justice, fight against economic crime, freedom of expression, local democracy and electoral reforms. The new Action Plan is tailored according to the findings of the most recent Council of Europe monitoring reports, while equally reflecting the country’s European integration agenda and the reform priorities enshrined in national strategic documents. The overall estimated budget of the Action Plan is €18.1 million.

The first overview of the latest round of co-operation shows a number of positive achievements, particularly in the area of penitentiary reforms, anti-discrimination through the assistance to the Ombudsman Institution, inter-ethnic dialogue at a local level, inclusive education and the protection of national minorities.

Bosnia and Herzegovina plays an active role in regional European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey and participates in other regional programmes (on cybercrime, Roma, freedom of expression, human rights education for legal professionals).

The Council of Europe office in Sarajevo plays a key role in co‑ordinating and supporting project implementation in accordance with the co‑operation decentralisation policy.