In the context of the European Union (EU) membership application process being advanced in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), EU institutions have been assessing the state of human rights, protection of minority groups and gender equality in the Southeastern European country.So far, EU expert missions have conducted various analyses in BiH with regard to “gender equality and women’s rights; non-discrimination; freedom of assembly; legal aid; and the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in detention”.
As part of the EU-BiH dialogue, in July 2018 the two partners launched a new action plan on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325). They also started the transformation of institutions for children without parental care (EUR 1.3 million), developed programs related to persons missing from the 1990s conflicts (EUR 3 million) and projects on the recovery from the 2014 floods (EUR 2 millions) with support from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
In addition, at the end of last year, the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) granted funds to 13 local organizations to work on the “promotion and protection of children, women, elderly, and LGBTI persons, the protection of consumer rights, and corporate respect of human rights.” Other initiatives that will be explored include youth empowerment and employability, Roma communities, people with disabilities and a greater participation of civil society in the EU integration’s further steps.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is also a beneficiary of the regional financial support provided by the EU – Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey.
Based on the Council of Europe’s membership responsibilities and EU integration process, BiH authorities showed commitment to a series of actions in the areas of democracy, human rights and the rule of law by signing an Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina 2018-2021 together with the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.