Social Assistance System in BiH: The Neglected Potential of Active Social Policies

Despite the poor economic environment, high poverty rates, and a large number of persons in social need, the BiH social protection system is inefficient and insufficiently developed.



Themes: Social WelfarePolicy Analysis


Current analyses point to three basic sets of problems in the social protection system in BiH: fiscal unsustainability, low efficacy, and inequalities in the access to social assistance.

Nevertheless, the problem of insufficient coordination and integration of social policies with the labor market ones, i.e. the insufficiently developed activation component of social measures, is what is largely neglected in present discussions on disadvantages and possible social protection system reforms. Even though this question reached the decision-makers' agenda long ago in the European Union, debates on the social protection system in BiH have mainly revolved around the above mentioned three sets of problems. 

Therefore, the goal of this paper is to present the existing EU policies and trends in the field of social policies, remaining specifically focused on the dimension of the activation of these policies, and to analyze the existing state and institutional framework of BiH in this context. Based on the deficiencies identified, several recommendations are given with the goal of advancing the existing social protection system in the direction of creating a basis for the realization of its inclusive function sand implementation of active social policies.

This publication is a result of the project „(In)equality in Social Protection: Multi-level Analysis of Intersectionality in Social Assistance Provision - A Comparative Study“ implemented by European Policy Institute – Skopje in partnership with Center for Social Research Analitika. The project is supported by Regional Research Promotion Programme (RRPP).

Policy brief in English is available HERE.