Bosnia and Herzegovina: 2012 Progress Report and Country Conclusions

The overall conclusion on Bosnia and Herzegovina in the fields interesting for WBC-INCO.NET read as follows:

Little progress was made by Bosnia and Herzegovina in improving the functionality and efficiency of all levels of government, which continued to be affected by fragmented, uncoordinated policy-making. Little progress has been made in the area of public administration reform.

Economic and social rights are broadly respected. Little progress was achieved on making schools more inclusive. Ethnically based and divided education systems remain an obstacle to achieving inclusiveness in education and to sustainable returns.

Bosnia and Herzegovina made little progress towards meeting European standards on a number of sectoral policies.

In more details, the report informs:

4.1.9. Education and research
Little progress can be reported in the field of education.

The Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina Education Ministers started their bi-monthly meetings and confirmed a new format for coordinating education reforms, albeit along ethnic lines. The State-level strategy for entrepreneurial learning in education for 2012-2015 was adopted, along with the implementation plan. Implementation of the baseline qualifications framework has not started. The Federation made some progress on harmonising Cantonal laws on vocational education and higher education with the framework laws.

There was a slight increase in the number of children attending pre-school education.

Republika Srpska adopted amendments to the Law on Pre-school Upbringing and Education, requiring at least a secondary school diploma for staff working with children with special needs. No progress was made on harmonising Cantonal Pre-school education laws with the framework legislation. Republika Srpska adopted the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Higher Education. There is no State–level law on recognition of higher education qualifications. The Conference of Ministers of Education adopted guidelines on recognition of higher education qualifications, that address the problem of different practices in different parts of the country, but the Guidelines are not legally binding. Due to the lack of harmonised legislation, different practices continue to be used throughout the country for recognition of diplomas and qualifications in higher education. The process of accreditation of higher education institutions has begun. There was no progress on statistical reporting in education.

Despite its previous expression of interest, Bosnia and Herzegovina decided not to participate in the Lifelong learning programme.

There was some progress in the area of culture. An action plan to implement Bosnia and Herzegovina’s cultural policy strategy for 2011-2014 was adopted and endorsed by Entity and Cantonal ministries. The ‘Methodology for statistical monitoring of indicators in the area of culture’ was published by the Agency for Statistics. Bosnia and Herzegovina continued to participate in the EU’s Culture programme. An expression of interest in participating in the EU’s Media programme was submitted. The legal and financial situation of seven cultural institutions of the country was not solved. Some operated without appropriate budgetary allocations for several years and were forced to close some activities to the public.

Some progress was made on research and innovation policy. The country actively promoted cooperation on research and innovation with the EU, resulting in a slight increase in the number of submissions under the Seventh EU research Framework Programme (FP7). The overall success rate is nevertheless low. Further steps were taken to facilitate integration into the European Research Area (ERA) and to contribute to the Innovation Union, but the research and innovation capacity building at national level needs to be strengthened and coordination remains to be improved.

With respect to FP7, the administrative capacity improved by increasing the number of National Contact Points, organising training sessions and promoting events on FP7. Cooperation with COST and EUREKA was strengthened.

Regarding the integration into the ERA, the overall level of investment in research remained low. Due to the lack of reliable statistics, it is not possible to monitor progress made or to establish investments made by public or private sector. Some progress was made on human capital building and a register was set up to monitor the number of researchers. Republika Srpska adopted the Law on Scientific Research Activities and Technology Development for 2012-2016, and relevant by-laws. The Republika Srpska strategy on science and technological development for 2012-2016 was adopted. Republika Srpska established an electronic database on researchers and research organisations and agreed to build a unified science library information and bibliographic system based on COBISS, the cooperative online bibliographic system and services. The Federation supported projects of technology modernisation, research and education institutions. The Federation Law on the Science and Research and Development System and Policy was not adopted.The EURAXESS network was established and functions well. Communication and coordination between the different science ministries and Entities is insufficient.

There was little progress in the areas of education and culture. Strategies and framework laws and the baseline qualifications framework need to be fully implemented. Sub-national higher education and vocational training legislation remains to be harmonised with the relevant framework legislation. The country is participating in the Culture programme. Preparations for future integration into the ERA and the Innovation Union continued, but national research and innovation capacity remain to be strengthened and investment in R&D to be increased. Adoption of the legislative framework for science and research has yet to be completed. Overall, preparations are moderately advanced.

Source: EC Europa

Document type
  • Report


Publication Year


European Commission
Geographical focus
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary

Entry created by Danaja Lorencic on October 11, 2012
Modified on October 11, 2012