|Title / Titel||The Swiss Contribution to Constitutional Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1)|
|Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)|
|Summary / Zusammenfassung||1. Backround
The current constitution of BiH is based on Annex IV of the Dayton Peace Agreement and does not provide an adequate framework for a prosperous future of BiH. Switzerland is strongly supporting the process of constitutional reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2005. The support was implemented in the frame of programs called “Platform Bosnia and Herzegovina: Contribution to Constitutional Changes”. Till now, two phases were implemented (Phase I and Phase II) and a third phase is planned to be implemented in the period August 2008 – August 2010. The previous phases were implemented with the vision of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina aware of the need for and supportive to the process of constitutional reform as one of the principal conditions for development of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Programs were tailored to achieve sustainable sensibility over constitutional issues of wider public, especially local communities; support for local actors in the process of constitutional changes; network approach and promotion of political culture (dialogue and participation) in the context of the constitutional reform debate.
With the signature of the “Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA)” in June 2008, BiH faces a complex reform process in order to comply with EU standards. Without constitutional changes numerous reform steps will practically be impossible. Certain progress in BiH has been achieved, but some very important problems as political divisions vs. reconciliation or differing views on the role of the state and the relation between the state and the entities and their functioning are still unresolved. In response to these issues, SDC’s new initiatives in the third phase attempts to overcome the difficulties, bringing together the main domestic actors, authorities and civil society.
The project will address three additional dimensions: 1) support und facilitation of demand-driven activities, and contribution to institutional capacities 2) collaboration with upper level of government/institutions and 3) regional/inter-municipal level while the previous two phases tracked a decentralised, local approach.
2. Objectives of the project components (Zentrum für Demokratie Aarau)
1) Capacity building of BiH Parliamentary members (MP) and other politically relevant stakeholders is built up, in order to facilitate power sharing with special emphasis on consensus making and strengthening institutional processes and decision-making:
• An “Advisory Group” consisting of the chief councillors of the man party leaders in constitutional matters is set up. This provides a basis for building a political consensus, culture of dialogue and exchange of experiences between the Swiss, international and BiH experts;
• Expertise/workshop for BiH MPs and key political party advisors dealing with the issues of power sharing and consensus-making in the context of constitutional changes are organized
2) Basic knowledge about the constitution and its meaning is improved among future leaders, in particular within young academics and master students. The emphasis is on the development of students’ capability to critically analyse ways of designing mutual comprehension in a divided society:
• University course for future decision-makers on democratic institutions for plural societies is provided
3) Capacity of civil society exponents is built up through exchange visits in Switzerland, enabling them to report neutrally and with good background knowledge on constitutional reform incorporating their informed opinion into the process of reform building:
• Working excursion to Switzerland for high profile journalists and opinion leaders is provided
• Quality of media coverage of constitutional reform process is increased
• Citizens access to proper information on constitutional reform process is improved
• Opinion leaders learn about the functioning of local authorities in multilingual settings in Switzerland
|Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
|Funding source(s) /
|Other Public Sources (e.g. Federal or Cantonal Agencies)
|Duration of Project / Projektdauer||Aug 2008 to Nov 2010|