EU-BiH 3rd Subcommittee on Innovation, Information Society and Social Policy

Sarajevo, 13 February 2019

The 3rd Subcommittee meeting on topics related to Education, Research and Technology, Information Society, and Social Policy between the EU and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) took place on 13 February in Sarajevo. Representatives from the European Commission (Commission) discussed with relevant authorities the most recent developments in these areas. The meeting was co-chaired for the EU by Mr Georg Ziegler, Deputy Head of Unit for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations and for Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Mrs Biljana Čamur, secretary to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The Commission welcomed the progress achieved by BiH, in the past year, particularly regarding the implementation of the Platform for development of preschool education for the period 2017-2020 and with the participation for the first time in PISA 2018. The Commission expressed strong concerns in view of the failure to re-accredit higher education institutions and accredit new study programmes in BiH. This seriously risks leading to an exclusion of some Higher Education Institutions from BiH from a number of actions under the Erasmus+ programme and needs to be addressed with the highest urgency. The Commission noted the lack of dialogue within the Conference of Ministers of Education, the highest coordination body in BiH, as there were no meetings held in 2018.

BiH was asked to finalise the drafting of the Law on Electronic Communication and to adopt the new Law on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions (e-Signature Law). In this context the Commission stressed that EU law requires to have one single body for Supervision and Accreditation of Certifiers per country. The Commission asked BiH to fully implement the legislation on public service broadcasting. The Commission noted positively the good results BiH has achieved in Horizon 2020. The Commission encouraged BiH to speed-up the development of a Smart Specialization Strategy and to increase the investments in research and innovation. The Commission welcomed the implementation of active labour market measures and the reform of labour market institutions and asked BiH to adopt the country-wide strategy on employment, as well as the vocational and educational strategy.