The 4th meeting of the Public Administration Reform (PAR) Special Group for Bosnia and Herzegovina took place on 8 July 2020. It was co-chaired by Mr Josip Grubeša, Minister of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Ms Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for Western Balkans in the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission.
Participants discussed the main developments on public administration reform, including civil service reform and public finance management. The Commission highlighted that the reform of public administration and public finance management need to bring more tangible benefits to citizens and the economy. The Commission called upon BiH authorities to strengthen cooperation to ensure the implementation of this reform across all levels.
With regard to the PAR Strategic framework, the Commission acknowledged the adoption of the PAR Strategic Framework in Republika Srpska entity. It urged for the ministers’ commitment to adopt the Action Plan by the end of July, increase administrative capacities and budgetary resources on PAR at each level, and establish a political decision making body on PAR. PAR Coordinators were encouraged to establish a joint monitoring and costing system for the implementation of the Action Plan and publish monitoring reports on such implementation.
As for civil service reform, the Commission stressed the need to address the fragmentation of the civil service systems by harmonising the legislation on civil service and human resources management. It reiterated the importance of establishing a merit-based civil service, thus reducing political interferences. With regard to Public Finance Management (PFM) reform, the Commission recalled that in order for Bosnia and Herzegovina to be eligible for budget support a countrywide PFM strategy needs to be adopted. It welcomed the ministers’ commitment to finalise the individual strategies until by end of November 2020 and adopt the country-wide strategy by 2021.
The Commission urged BiH authorities to expedite the development and costing of the programme of EU Integration in order to ensure close coordination in reforming policy planning and the budgeting system across all levels.