Open letter: To Inform the Public on Reasons for not Answering Certain Follow-up Questions

February 2019.

The Initiative for Monitoring the European Integration of BiH does not agree with the statement of Denis Zvizdić, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH, that “BiH has completed everything” regarding follow-up questions of the European Commission.

We are reminding the public on the five-month delay in preparation of answers to the follow-up questions, as well as to the more than one-year waiting for answers to the first round of questions from the European Commission’s Questionnaire.

We are warning the public that, despite the waiting and delays, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s response to more than twenty follow-up questions regarding different areas is: “We are currently not able to provide an answer to this question due to the lack of comprehensive information.”

Among these questions is the one from political criteria regarding the implementation of thirteen (13) verdicts of the Constitutional Court of BiH, but also a great number of questions from Chapter 22 Regional Politics and Coordination of Structural Instruments, as well as Chapter 26 Education and Culture.

It is troubling that the coordination mechanism failed to provide answers to the most simple questions in the field of education such as jurisdiction and roles of certain ministries on different levels, information on activities of the Agency for Preschool, Elementary and Secondary Education, how often has the Conference of Ministers of Education in BiH met, what are the responsibilities and jurisdiction of pedagogical institutes etc.

Furthermore, there were no answers regarding questions on arrangements for registration of private educational institutions, strategies and reforms of the educational system, as well as information on the implementation of the Action Plan for Development and Implementation of the Qualification Frame in BiH for 2014-2020. None of the data regarding implementation of the Reference Frame EU (Education and training 2020) which are available to the state Agency for statistics, were provided, as well as the information on the continuous specialization of the teaching staff.

BiH has not prepared information on the implementation of a common core of teaching activities and programmes on every level in the country, as well as the information on existing arrangements for the transfer of students from one educational jurisdiction to another.

It is evident that BiH institutions failed to correctly and timely fulfill their obligations on the path of European integration, nor did the coordination mechanism show its efficiency by preparing answers to the follow-up questions.

It is unreasonable to say that BiH’s institutions were not able to provide answers to some questions due to the lack of comprehensive information, while it was important to emphasize the fact that over thousand of state officials participated in the process of preparing answers.

Considering the delays, and the fact that great number of people were included in the process, as well as that it was previously accentuated that it is only a matter of technicality and that the coordination mechanism is already “well established”, the Initiative for Monitoring the European Integration of BiH calls upon the BiH authorities, primarily the Council of Ministers of BiH and the Directorate for European Integration of the Council of Ministers of BiH, to inform the public about the reasons for not providing answers to certain questions.

The Initiative for Monitoring the European Integration of BiH