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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Top Findings

Finding
1 Majority of EU Directives were transposed to the local laws and policies but the serious problem is that those laws are not implemented in practical life. Thus Bosnia and Hercegovina administratively is satisfying approximation process procedures, but in real everyday living the laws and policies are not monitored by responsible bodies (state, district, city/municipality inspections and responsible bodies). The laws are often in shelfs of the institutions and not promoted and implemented as the way of practice to the BiH citizens.
2

Water law is not fully transposed from EU water Directives. The date of full implementation is foreseen for 2027, and it is not realistic since the most deadlines set up before were not met.

3

Horizontal legislation of the EU Directives into local laws and policies is not fully transposed. Overall transposition of the EU horizontal legislation remains at the early stage. In the Republika Srpska the SEA Directive 2001/42/EC is fully transposed.

4

The main legislation regarding Renewable energy sources has been adopted at BiH, Federation of BiH and Republika Srpska level. This legislation includes Laws on renewable energy as well as Action plans for use of renewable energy sources. Implementation of adopted legislation remains at a low level.

5

Public authorities, CSOs and other relevant public and private bodies as stakeholders of the environmental protection in BiH are not jointly involved and are not cooperating on legislation processes transposition and implementation. The monitoring and the protection of the environment is not at satisfying level.

6

Top Recommendations

Recommendation
1

The responsible state public authorities (inspections and local responsible bodies) must be more organized in order to monitor the implementation of the state and local laws and policies. The rule “polluter pays” would bring to the state more budget incomes and the environment would be protected.

2

The efforts on the Water laws are required in order to implement key directive’s requirements related to the protected areas, and water quality monitoring in order to meet environmental objectives of water protected areas. All this is necessary because of serious problem of the concessions that are given and will be given to the private investors that will use water basins for own purposes for the hydro power plants. These problems will destroy BiH rivers and their ecosystems.

3

The efforts on fully transposition EIA and SEA are necessary, the Federation of BiH is few steps behind the RS in the SEA transposition. However the implementation is not recorded and the responsible bodies should focus more on the implementation processes. The practice of public participation in decision making process and public information should be more increased.

4

Implementation of adopted legislation on Renewable energy sources should be supported. Efforts on promotion of benefits and potential of renewable energy are needed. Furthermore, focus should be on exploitation of renewables without impacting the environment of local eco-systems.

5

The stakeholders must cooperate more, be more involved and respect each other opinion, since they all are concerned about environmental protection. Administrative capacities must be strengthened and the state authorities must cooperate more with CSOs.

6


EU environmental policy categories

Legislation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The transposition of Water Framework directive 2000/60/EC into local legislation is estimated at 95%. The transposition of the Water Framework Directive is already well advanced. Provisions of the Water Law (Official Gazette of FBiH, No 70/06) and the Decision on surface water and groundwater characterisation, reference conditions and water status assessment parameters and monitoring (Official Gazette of the FBiH, No. 1/14) have transposed majority of the Directive’s provisions.
Republika Srpska: The transposition of Water Framework directive 2000/60/EC into local legislation is estimated at 75%. The Water Framework Directive is partially transposed through provision of the existing Water Act (Official Gazette of RS, No. 50/06, 92/09, 121/12).

Implementation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Date of full implementation is scheduled for 2027. However, this date does not appear realistic, as most deadlines set based on the provisions of the Water Law have not been met. There has been no progress in implementation of all water quality directives.
Republika Srpska: Implementation of the Water Framework Directive is at an early stage and the precise implementation plan has not been provided. So far, draft RBMP for Trebisnjica has been prepared, while work continues as regards development of Sava RBMP. Further efforts are required in order to implement key directive’s requirements related to protected areas, water quality monitoring in order to meet environmental objectives for surface waters, ground water and protected areas.

Legislation Gaps:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Full transposition of the Directive into Water Law was planned for December 2014, and has been postponed to 2018, when the amendments to the Water Law are scheduled for adoption.
Republika Srpska: Full transposition is expected in 2017 following the adoption of the relevant secondary legislation.

Implementation Gaps:

Lack of institutional systems for tracking the implementation at local levels
Lack of the punishment and forcing payment systems

Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The transposition of Groundwater directive 2006/118/EC into local legislation has not yet started. No information has been provided regarding plans for this directive.
Republika Srpska: Transposition of the Groundwater Directive is at an early phase and is estimated at 17%.

Implementation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: n/a
Republika Srpska: Precise implementation plan for the Groundwater Directive has not been provided. Implementation of specific requirements is linked to the adoption of the national legal framework, which is expected to take place in 2017.

Legislation Gaps:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: the Directive transposition is not even started
Republika Srpska: drafting of the national transposing legislation has been initiated and the deadline for achieving full transposition is set for 2017.

Implementation Gaps:

n/a

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Legislation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The majority key provisions of Urban Waste Water Treatment directive 91/271/EEC have been transposed by the Order on conditions for wastewater discharge to natural recipient or to public sewage (Official Gazette of FBiH 4/12).
Republika Srpska: Transposition of the Urban Waste Water Directive 91/271/EEC is considered fairly advanced and estimated at 49%. Requirements of the UWWT Directive have been transposed through several legal acts: the Water Act (Official Gazette of RS, No 50/06, 92/09 and 121/12), the Regulation on conditions of waste water discharge into surface waters (Official Gazette of RS, No 44/01) and the Regulation on conditions of waste water discharge into public sewer (Official Gazette of RS, No 44/01).

Implementation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: n/a
Republika Srpska: Implementation of the UWWT Directive has not started yet and the precise implementation plan has not been developed. Current efforts are focused on establishing a national regulatory framework.

Legislation Gaps:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Transposition of the remaining provisions of the Directive is foreseen for the end of 2016.
Republika Srpska: Full alignment of the national legislation with the provisions of this Directive is planned for 2017.

Implementation Gaps:

Current efforts are focused on establishing a national regulatory framework.

Legislation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Transposition of the Water Quality Standards Directive has not started and the precise transposition plan has not been developed yet.
Republika Srpska:
Transposition of the Water Quality Standards Directive 2008/105/EC is at an early stage and is estimated at 16%. Further transposition efforts are still required in order to fully align the national legislation with the requirements of this Directive.

Implementation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina:
n/a
Republika Srpska:
Implementation of the Water Quality Standards Directive has not started yet and the precise implementation plan has not been provided.

Legislation Gaps:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Information on the transposing legal act and the estimated date for achieving full transposition has not been provided.
Republika Srpska: The estimated deadline for achieving full transposition has not been determined yet.

Implementation Gaps:

n/a

Legislation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Overall, transposition of the EU horizontal legislation remains at an early stage. The transposition of Directive 2003/4/EC Public access to information into local legislation is estimated at 65%. Progress is expected following adoption of the new Environmental Protection Law.
Republika Srpska: Directive 2003/4/EC Public access to information has been fully transposed into local legislation. The last year’s progress monitoring indicated that only two provisions concerning the grounds for refusal when the request relates to emissions into the environment (Art. 4(2) and the obligation to provide for expeditious and inexpensive procedure as determined in Art. 6(1) remain outstanding. Those provisions are now assessed as fully transposed but the information on the transposing legal act has not been provided.

Implementation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bosnia and Herzegovina ratified the Aarhus Convention in September 2008. The general rules related to public access to information have been determined by the Law on Free Access to Information in Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of FBiH, No. 32/01).
Republika Srpska: n/a

Legislation Gaps:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Environmental Protection Law is in the parliamentary procedure for two years. In addition, the estimated date for its publication has not been provided.

Implementation Gaps:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Detailed arrangements for ensuring public access to environmental information will be defined by the new Environmental Protection Act, but the precise implementation plan has not been provided.

Legislation: Implementation:
Legislation Gaps: Implementation Gaps:
Legislation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Overall, transposition of the EU horizontal legislation remains at an early stage. The authorities have not provided information regarding Directive 2001/92/EU Environment Impact Assessment.
Republika Srpska: The authorities have not provided information regarding Directive 2001/92/EU Environment Impact Assessment.

Implementation:

n/a

Legislation Gaps:

The status of transposition of this Directive 2001/92/EU Environment Impact Assessment is unknown.

Implementation Gaps:

n/a

Legislation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Overall, transposition of the EU horizontal legislation remains at an early stage. Transposition of Directive 2001/42/EC Strategic environment assessment into local legislation is estimated at 74%. Progress is expected following adoption of the new Environmental Protection Law.
Republika Srpska: Directive 2001/42/EC Strategic environment assessment has been fully transposed into local legislation.

Implementation:

n/a

Legislation Gaps:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Environmental Protection Law is in the parliamentary procedure for two years. In addition, the estimated date for its publication has not been provided.

Implementation Gaps:

n/a

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Legislation:

The Council of Ministers of BiH has adopted the Action plan for use of renewable energy sources in BiH on 28.03.2016, based on Directive 2009/28/EC and respecting its obligations to the Energy Community. This action plan defines the goals and actions to be achieved. The national action plan obliges the governments of FBiH and RS to adopt their Action plans for use of RES.
Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: The alignment of the national legal framework with the EU acquis in the field of climate change is at an early stage. The Law on use of renewable energy sources and efficient cogeneration (Official Gazette of FBiH 70/13) regulates this field. FBiH has adopted the Action plan for use of RES
Republika Srpska: The main legislative documents regulating RES is the Law on energetics (Official Gazette of RS, 49/09) and Law on Renewable energy sources and efficient cogeneration (Official Gazette of RS, 39/13). RS has adopted the Action plan for use of RES.

Implementation:

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Implementation of the climate acquis has not started yet. Lack of strategic approach and precise implementation planning is noted in the sector. Implementation efforts are only reported in respect of the legislation on ozone depleting substances.
Republika Srpska: n/a

Legislation Gaps:

n/a

Implementation Gaps:

Lack of institutional systems for tracking the implementation at local levels
Lack of the punishment and forcing payment systems

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