ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION APPROXIMATION PROGRESS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a potential candidate for EU membership. The Stabilization and Association Agreement between BiH and the EU entered into force on 1st June 2015. It replaced the Interim Agreement (2008). In July 2015, BiH adopted and started to implement the Reform Agenda, aimed at tackling the difficult socio-economic situation and advancing the judicial and public administration reforms. Significant progress in the implementation of the Reform Agenda is necessary, in order that EU considers an EU membership application from BiH.
BiH has not yet adapted the trade concessions granted under its SAA/IA with the EU to take into account its bilateral traditional trade with Croatia.
BiH is at an early stage regarding its approximation with European standards; the adoption of the Transport Policy in July 2015 is a positive step forward. Significant efforts are needed in the most of the policy areas for the country to further align them with the EU acquis. The country has complex institutional but inefficient system (lack of division of powers between the Entities, Cantons and municipalities/ cities).
Preparations in the areas of the environment and climate change are at an early stage but there was some progress. Concerning horizontal legislation, several strategic documents have to be adopted: the environmental approximation strategy and its implementing documents, specific implementation plans for selected environmental directives, and environment policy documents, implementation plans on environmental impact assessment, the protocol on strategic environmental assessment and the Basel Convention on hazardous waste, environmental monitoring data management and reporting strategy. Legislation on environmental protection of FBiH has to be adopted, and as well in Brčko District the strategy in this field. Air quality planning and monitoring systems need upgrading. A country-wide air monitoring network in not established. The FBiH is implementing the waste management strategy and waste management plan. An implementing legislation for waste from electrical and electronic equipment has been adopted. In Republika Srpska, a new waste management strategy is in preparation and implementing legislation on waste storage, treatment and disposal has been adopted. Promotion of benefits of the recycling and prevention of waste generation remains limited, there is a lack of the capacity to manage industrial and hazardous waste. In Republika Srpska, the strategy for integrated water management for 2015-2024 is awaiting adoption. The water management strategy in the FBiH for 2010-2022 is in the process of being implemented. In the Brčko District the water law transposing the Water Framework Directive is awaiting adoption. An action plan for flood protection and river management in BiH for 2014-2017 has been adopted. A project to draw up flood risk and hazard maps is in preparation. A list of potential Natura 2000 sites and the legislation for alignment with the acquis on protection of wild birds and habitats needs to be adopted. Investments in hydropower projects need to ensure that EIA, water legislation and nature protection obligations are respected, especially in national protected areas and areas of high natural value that could potentially become Natura 2000 sites. Development of the country's climate policy and strategy is required and needs to be consistent with the EU 2030 framework. Efforts are also needed to integrate climate action into relevant sectorial policies and strategies. BiH submitted in March the First Biennial Update Report on greenhouse gases to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Three Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions projects were finalised. BiH’s capacities for monitoring, reporting and verification remain weak and must be strengthened. Significant efforts are needed to align with the EU Monitoring Mechanism Regulation and ensure that the country's capacity to implement the expected 2015 Paris Climate Agreement is enhanced. The administrative capacity in the environment and climate sectors remains weak. No progress has been made on country-wide strategic planning or on a mechanism for comprehensively aligning with EU legislation. Capacity building is required to address the significant needs for greater capacity, cooperation and coordination. Public participation needs to be improved. Further efforts are needed to raise awareness on environmental protection and need for climate action at all levels of the country.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA AND EU INTEGRATION PROCESS
1997: Regional Approach. The EU establishes political and economic conditionality for the development of bilateral relations
June 1998: the EU-BiH Consultative Task Force (CTF) is established
May 1999: The EU proposes the new Stabilisation and Association Process for five countries of South-Eastern Europe, including BiH
June 2000: The European Council states that all the Stabilisation and Association countries are “potential candidates” for EU membership
November 2000: Zagreb Summit; the SAP is officially endorsed by the EU and the Western Balkan countries (including BiH)
2001: First year of the new CARDS programme, specifically designed for the Stabilisation and Association countries
June 2003: Thessaloniki Summit; the SAP is confirmed as the EU policy for the Western Balkans. The EU perspective for these countries is confirmed
November 2003: The EC produces a Feasibility Study assessing BiH’s capacity to implement a future SAA. The study concludes that negotiations should start once BiH has made progress on 16 key priorities
June 2004: the EU adopts the first European Partnership for BiH (amended in 2006)
October 2005: The EC judges that BiH has made sufficient progress in the implementation of the Feasibility Study reforms and recommends starting SAA negotiations
November 2005: SAA negotiations between the EU and BiH are officially launched
December 2006: SAA Technical negotiations between the EU and BiH are successfully completed. However, the Agreement cannot be initialled and formally concluded due to lack of progress on key reforms
December 2007: Following Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn’s assessment that there is sufficient agreement on reforms among BiH political leaders, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina is initialled in Sarajevo
1 January 2008: Visa facilitation and readmission agreements enters into force
18 February 2008: A new European Partnership is adopted by the Council
20 February 2008: Bosnia and Herzegovina signed the IPA Framework Agreement
26 May 2008: Visa liberalisation dialogue launched
5 June 2008: European Commission presented the Roadmap setting out benchmarks for visa liberalisation
16 June 2008: European Commission and BiH signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and the Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related issues
1 July 2008: Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related issues enters into force
31 July 2008: BiH and the EC signed the Financing Agreement for the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) 2007 National Programme
15 December 2010: Visa free regime introduced for all BiH citizens having biometric passport
1 June 2015: Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the EU and BiH enters fully into force
15 February 2016: Bosnia and Herzegovina submits application for EU membership
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