Conference on Administrative Legal Framework in Western Balkans held in Sarajevo on 21-22 February 2017
Over the past two years, all countries in the Western Balkans, except Bosnia and Herzegovina, have enacted new General Administrative Procedure Acts (GAPAs). These laws are essential for public administration reform, and thus for improving the services that the public administration provides to citizens and businesses. The experience of countries in the region that have carried out reforms in general administrative procedure can greatly help and facilitate Bosnia and Herzegovina's accession to such reforms. For this reason, the Ministry of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Regional School of Public Administration (ReSPA) organized a two-day Conference on New General Administrative Procedure Acts in the Western Balkans, that was held in Sarajevo on 21-22 February 2017
Participants at the Conference were experts in domain of administrative law and administrative justice from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Western Balkans region and EU countries. The topics covered during the Conference included: principles of administrative law in the EU; experiences of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia in preparations for implementation of new regulations on general administrative procedure; new institutes in domain of general administrative procedure, as well as situation analysis regarding administrative law in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Some institutes that have been introduced in the new legislation on general administrative procedure in the countries of the region, such as guarantee act and administrative contract, actually are new for all. Therefore, this Conference was an opportunity to present the results and discuss problems in practice.
Motivated by this undertaking and premised on the fact that regional cooperation has no alternative, ReSPA has recognized the need for exchange of experiences in the area of administrative procedure and administrative justice, among the Western Balkans countries, as well as with peer EU countries. In response to this need, ReSPA supported the publishing of a regional comparative study entitled “Legal Remedies in Administrative Procedures in the Western Balkans” which was presented at the Conference. This Study analyses new General Administrative Procedure Acts in ReSPA members, and compares the developments in the Western Balkans with the experiences of Croatia, Slovenia and Austria.
Among recommendations from the Conference is the initiative to prepare an analysis that will facilitate policy decisions related to the area of general administrative procedure, and provide feasible options for Bosnia and Herzegovina and its entities. ReSPA contribution will be reflected also in the organization of study visits to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg for the judges of administrative courts from ReSPA members. Also, there is a plan to make a collection of case-law from the European Court of Human Rights relating to administrative disputes from the Western Balkans. In addition to the mechanism for immediate expert intervention in response to specific problems in ReSPA members, the 'Regional peer to peer mechanism' was presented.