BiH Parliamentary Cooperation Mechanism

Concept on the parliamentary cooperation mechanism for BiH Parliaments in the tasks of the EU integration process

Cooperation at the level of Speakers and Collegiums

Speakers and Deputy Speakers as the highest representative of their institutions are to meet on a regular basis discussing issues of common interest especially related to the European integration.

Political guidance, strategic orientation, coordination of parliamentary agendas.

Participation and scope of activities:
The participants are the Speakers and – due to the constitutional structure of BiH Parliaments – Deputy Speakers.
The Conference of Speakers gives the primary impetus for all political and administrative cooperation and set up the blueprint how the BiH Parliaments cooperate in the EU integration process. The Conference of Speakers takes initiatives to facilitate the cooperation of the sectoral committees of the Parliaments.
The Conference can adopt legally not binding documents (such as declarations, conclusions), which concern only the participating Parliaments.

Regularity of meetings:
Twice a year, or more often when specific questions appear, or when issue of strategic importance arises.

Preparation / support of the work:
In order to prepare the Conference, the Secretaries (General) of BiH Parliaments should meet for preparatory meeting and agree on the draft agenda.

Cooperation of EU integration committees – the Parliamentary Forum for EU Integration

In order to develop the positions of BiH at different stages of the EU integration process as well as to ensure the implementation of EU related policies and the EU law approximation with the same result in the entire territory of the country close coordination and cooperation are needed among the Parliaments as well. This is to be provided by the Forum of the EU integration committees, i.e. the Forum of the parliamentary bodies dealing with EU issues on an everyday basis.

Focal point of political level cooperation in EU matters, ensuring detailed discussion on the tasks related to the EU integration process, coordination on BiH positions and implementation of BiH tasks, exchange of information on oversight activities on respective executive bodies, provision of publicity to the general public.

Participation and scope of activities:
The members of the Forum are the members of the Committees for European Integration of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, of the National Assembly of Republika Srpska, of the Parliament of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the Brčko District Assembly and Speakers or their representatives of the cantonal assemblies. Moreover, representatives of the Directorate for European Integration and the Delegation of the EU to BiH are permanently invited to attend the meetings, and depending on the agenda other institutions can also be invited.
The activities of the Forum focus on the cooperation of the actions of the Parliaments of BiH in EU matters, and provide the possibility for exchange of best practices and consultation among its members. The Forum deals with: general issues related to European integration; specific issues of EU related policies; preparations on the agenda of meetings of the Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee and briefing after the meetings; progress in the implementation of the SAA; EU Country Reports on BiH and the BiH contribution before its submission to the EU institutions; resolution on Country Report on BiH adopted by the European Parliament; coordination and monitoring of progress of the legal approximation tasks; coordination and monitoring of the implementation of policies and legal regulations related to the European integration; progress of the implementation of the Programme for the Integration of BiH into the EU; accession Negotiations; use of funds of the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
The Forum can adopt legally not binding documents (e.g. statements, conclusions, declarations, guidelines), which concern only the participating Parliaments. The Parliamentary Forum makes public its standpoints from the session in a declaration which shall be agreed upon by the Collegium of the Chairs.

Chairmanship and venue of the meetings: 
The meetings are chaired by the President/Chairman of the Committee for European Integration of the host institution and co-chaired by the Chairman of the Joint Committee on European Integration of PABiH.
The venue of the meeting is either the PABiH or the PFBiH, NARS, BDA based on rotation.

Regularity of meetings:
The Forum meets quarterly, preceded by a preparatory meeting of the Collegium of the Presidents/Chairmen of the Committees. In case of necessity extraordinary meetings of the Forum can be convened.

Preparation / support of the work: 
A Collegium composed of the Presidents/Chairmen of the Committees for EU Integration of the Parliaments coordinates the activities of the Forum, decides on the agenda of the forthcoming meeting, on the convocation of the meetings and on any organisational matters. The decision of the Collegium is always taken by consensus.
On behalf of the administration of the Parliaments the secretaries of the Committees for European integration, later the colleagues of the EU units to be established ensure the professional support of the activities especially the preparation and follow-up activities of the meetings.

Rules of Operation of the Parliamentary Forum on EU Integration

Cooperation of standing committees

Sectoral committees have an important role to play when specific policy areas and legislative issues are tackled, which concerns specific parts of the EU acquis.

Coordination in the implementation of the legal approximation tasks ensuring timely and harmonized adoption of legal acts required by SAA/Programme of Integration and avoiding conflicting or ambiguous actions and regulations.

Participation and scope of activities:
Meetings among the sectoral committees of BiH Parliaments are to be based on the competences related to the policy areas of the discussion.
The meeting of sectoral committees can adopt legally not binding documents (such as conclusions and guidelines), which concern only the participating Parliaments.

Regularity of meetings:
When specific issues concerning their competences are to be discussed upon the initiative of any committee or the Speakers of the Parliaments.

Preparation / support of the work:
The secretaries of the respective sectoral committees in collaboration with the colleagues of the EU units ensure the professional support of the activities especially the preparation of the meetings.

Cooperation at administrative level (Secretaries General, EU units, committee secretariats)

Any political cooperation among Parliaments can only be successful if the necessary preparatory work, support and follow up activity is adequately and continuously provided and organized by the administrative level.

Regular cooperation, exchange of information, preparatory and follow-up actions.

Participation and scope of activities:
Secretaries (General) of the BiH Parliaments meet at least every half a year to discuss relevant issues and specially to prepare the Conference of Speakers. The main communication channels among the Parliaments are to be provided by the EU units (EU adviser in case of the BDA). 
The EU units are responsible to establish and operate regular cooperation framework with one another especially with the aim to prepare properly the cooperation at political levels. EU units are to communicate via electronic communication channel and the focal points of the network of EU units to be developed also meet regularly, at least quarterly. PABiH EU Section to be established is to play the coordinative role in administrative aspects.

Other, ad hoc cooperation

Within the framework of the cooperation mechanism, other actors can intervene and other forms of cooperation might arise on an ad hoc basis in relation to the EU issues (e.g. roundtables with civil society, thematic hearings, other communication activities of BiH Parliaments, etc.).