"Political Participation of National Minorities in Local Governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina: State of the Art, Prospects and Ways Forward" by Edin Hodžić is the report published by Analitika - Center for Social Research in October 2011. This report is a result of the research project "Political Participation of National Minorities in Local Governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina," supported by the Local Government and Public Service Reform Initiative of the Open Society Foundations.
Political participation of national minorities is a relatively new standard in the field of minoritys rights, and a relatively new practice in BiH. According to the Article 15 of Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (1995), participation of national minorities in decision-making processes needs to be effective, which is ensured trough two main mechanisms: political representation of national minorities and consultations with persons belonging to national minorities through various consultative bodies and processes.
In that sense, Analitika's research on the participation of national minorities in decision-making processes at the local governance level, conducted during 2010 and 2011, has showed, inter alia, that consultations as an irreplaceable aspect of inclusion of national minorities in decision-making processes are completely neglected, that minorities' organizing at the level of local governance for the purpose of participation in decision-making processes is insufficient, and that general mechanisms of citizens participation are not adapted to the special status of national minorities in decision-making processes, in accordance with international standards.
In addition to a conceptual and international legal framework, this report offers an overview of the legal framework in Bosnia and Herzegovina with respect to participation of national minorities, and analyzes the practice of political participation of national minorities through the mechanisms of representation and consultation in nine local government units in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The report also offers a number of recommendations for the purpose of improving the current situation.
The English language version of the report is available HERE.
The version of the report in local languages is available HERE.