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BiH Council of Ministers: Answering to EC questionnaire should be priority for all-level authorities

SARAJEVO – The Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina tasked competent institutions within the Council of Ministers, and recommended to the Entity, Brčko District of BIH and Cantonal Governments, to urge their respective institutions to follow the “Guidelines for drafting answers to the European Commission questionnaire for preparation of an opinion on membership application”, adopted at the 51st session of the Council of Ministers of BIH.

The Council of Ministers of BIH Institutions should, while the Entity, Brčko District of BIH and Cantonal Governments were recommended to, task their institutions to take the drafting of answers to the European Commission questionnaire as a priority task, to comply with the recommended deadlines, and to secure a full cooperation with the Directorate for European Integrations.

The Directorate for European Integrations under the Council of Ministers of BIH was tasked to organise the process of translating the answers into English language.

Simultaneously, all Council of Ministers of BIH institutions were tasked, while Entity and Brčko District of BIH and Cantonal Governments were recommended to task their institutions to translate into English language their laws and by-laws and other documents from their respective competences, which will be submitted as attachments to the answers to the EC questionnaire.

The Directorate for European Integrations of the Council of Ministers of BIH was tasked to keep the public informed of the course of preparations of answers to the EC questionnaire.

The BIH Institutions should have prepared answers to the EC questionnaire by January 31, 2017, while work groups should technically finalise and confirm the answers of BIH.

The above conclusions are based on a “Proposal deadlines for preparation of answers to questions from the European Commission questionnaire” and report on previous activities on preparation of answers, both drafted by the Directorate for European Integrations.

Economic Reforms Programme adopted: 18 reforms for better life in BiH

The Council also adopted an Economic Reforms Programme of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ERP) for 2017-2019, which is an all-comprehensive plan of structural reforms to be implemented by BiH authorities for the goal of improvement of economic growth, competitiveness, preserving of fiscal and monetary stability, with continued restrictive fiscal policy and austerity measures in place within institutions.

This year’s EPR contains 18 priority structural reforms, half of which to be jointly implemented by the Entities and State, i.e. Entities jointly, which, as a result of a better coordination in the drafting process, proves a considerable progress in respect to earlier programmes.

The Economic Reforms Programme is the output of a joint exercise by representatives from Ministries of the Council of Ministers of BIH, Central Bank of BIH, coordinators designated on behalf of the Government of the Federation of BIH and Government of Republika Srpska, representatives from Entity Ministries and Directorate for Economic Planning and Cooperation with the European Commission and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Stop to misuses in tariff quotas distribution

The Council took a Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations-proposed Decision on management of tariff quotas defined under a Protocol to the Stabilisation and Accession Agreement between the European communities and their member-countries, on one side, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the other side, so as to take regard of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union.

The Decision provides for the ways and criteria for distribution of tariff quotas on import of certain products within the approved customs-free quota, in addition to improving transparency and disabling misuses thereof.

The adoption of the Decision creates conditions for an even and rational quotas distribution, though a public call, which will be benefit both business development and employment.

A full quotas distribution, under the Decision, should start this July, until when the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations and Indirect Taxation Administration shall have created conditions to enable importers timely preparation.

Until then, one third of quotas will be issued chronologically as per relative date of receipt of application for putting goods to market.

Preparations for 1st meeting of Sub-committee for Innovations, IT Society and Social Policy

Among other things, Council also adopted information on holding of the first meeting of the Sub-Committee for Innovations, IT Society and Social Policy, scheduled for February 2, 2017 in Banja Luka. Adopted was also a Discussion Document for the meeting, which the Directorate for European Integrations will send to the European Commission.

A Delegation of BIH was designated for discussion with the European Commission representatives on information society, electronic communication and information technologies, audio-visual policy and media, education and trainings, youth and cultural activities, employment and social policy, and plans for investments into research activities.

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