EU priorities in the education sector were defined in the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) – Article 100. In all levels of education the objectives were to comply with the commitments assumed in the framework of relevant international conventions dealing with education issues. The priorities were focused on raising the level of general education and vocational education and training in line with Copenhagen Declaration.
A priority for higher education systems focused on the achievement of the objectives of the Bologna Declaration in the intergovernmental Bologna process and fulfilment of obligations regarding recognition of qualification in higher education as prescribed by Lisbon Convention. Bosnia and Herzegovina took part in relevant EU/Community programmes and instruments (TEMPUS, Erasmus Mundus, Youth in Action) which contributed to the upgrading of educational and training structures and activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
These programmes also contributed to increased mobility of students and academic staff. Establishment of links between labour market and education in order to contribute to development of knowledge based economic growth of the country was also considered as priority. In order to support institutional capacity building, the priorities were reform of public administration of the sector, development of relevant policy and strategic documents as well as legislative framework.
Under PHARE and OBNOVA programmes (approx. 5.5 Mio EUR) assistance was provided to vocational education and training, scholarships for secondary school pupils and university level students whose parents were victims of the war in BiH. CARDS (11.3 Mio EUR) assistance focused on continuous support to vocational education and training, public administration reform of the sector, reform of primary, secondary and higher education.
IPA assistance (7.5 Mio EUR) was provided for: continuous support to institutional capacity building of the sector, support to further development of vocational education and training in Life Long Learning context and entrepreneurial training in line with the requirements of the European SME (small and medium enterprises) Charter, support to reform of financing of the education sector and support to adult education and training. In addition, continuous participation in Tempus programme (between 2.0-2.4 Mio EUR per year from 1998 up to now) and Erasmus Mundus Programme since 2007 helped to reform the country further.