The second meeting of the EU-BiH Public Administration Reform Special Group held in Sarajevo

The 2nd Meeting of the Public Administration Reform Special Group (PAR SG) for Bosnia and Herzegovina took place on 30th of January 2018 in Sarajevo. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr Dragan Ćuzulan, the Public Administration Reform Coordinator of Bosnia and Herzegovina and by Ms Michela Matuella, the Head of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina Unit at the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.

The purpose of the PAR SG meeting was, in the framework of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, to continue the regular policy dialogue between the European Commission and Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to discuss and assess the progress in the implementation of the reforms of public administration on six key areas, notably the strategic framework for public administration reform, policy development and coordination, civil service and human resources management, accountability, service delivery and public financial management.

The European Commission welcomed the further progress in developing the PAR Strategy also through a dedicated workshop with the authorities concerned. It outlined the importance of ensuring strong leadership for coordinating the implementation of the reform and the continuation of the PAR Fund as one of the main resources for the implementation of the PAR Strategic Framework.

In the area of Public Finance Management, the European Commission expressed concern on the announced timetable for the development of the country-wide strategy. In the area of civil service reform, European Commission called on all levels of government to prevent any further politicisation of the civil service by harmonizing and aligning civil service laws with Public Administration principles. In the area of policy development and coordination, Bosnia and Herzegovina was encouraged to increase the harmonization of sector policies, enhance the quality control of policies and clarify the institutional responsibilities for policy making.

In view of improving the quality of legislation and policies, the Commission highlighted the importance of public consultation and increased use of impact assessments. On accountability, the Commission recommended that institutions ensure pro-active disclosure of information to the public, including availability of consolidated legal texts and implementation of Ombudsman recommendations.