BIH Strategy For Prevention and Fight Against Terrorism by 2026 Adopted

The Council of Ministers of BIH took the Ministry of Security-proposed decision to adopt Bosnia and Herzegovina 2021-2026 Strategy for Prevention and Countering Terrorism, drafted by an earlier formed work group.

It is an important strategic document, that confirms the commitment of all-level BIH institutions for the prevention and fights against terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization, which lead to terrorism, in accordance with international obligations of the state, member of the United Nations, Council of Europe, Organization for European Security and Cooperation, Antiterrorist Coalition, and a prospective EU candidate.

The Strategy defines aims, principles, and measures that Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to take, as well as a time span for realization thereof in terms of prevention and fight against terrorism.

The Strategy aims to set up an all-level effective, coherent and sustainable mechanism for prevention and fights against terrorism, violent extremism, and radicalization, which lead to terrorism, and which should make our society resistant to these challenges.

A work group that drafted the Strategy will prepare an Implementation Action Plan and provide it to the Council of Ministers of BIH for adoption.

The Strategy implementation will take place at all levels of authority in accordance with constitutional and legal authorizations of BIH, Federation, Republika Srpska, and Brčko District institutions, under action plans that will follow the Strategy aims and measures, including through setting-up surveillance and evaluation models.

The Ministry of Security of BIH will form a Coordination Body to follow the Strategy implementation.

Also, Governments of the Federation of BIH, Republika Srpska, and Brčko District of BIH will develop their own action plans for the Strategy implementation, within 90 days from the Strategy adoption.


The MPs in N. Macedonia Adopted New Amendments to the Law on Associations and Foundations


writes: Aleksandar Cekov

On 02.11.2022, MPs adopted the amendments to the laws on associations and political parties, which ban civil associations, foundations and political parties from using names, nicknames, pseudonyms that are related to fascism, Nazism, genocide, the Third Reich, etc.

These changes were initiated after a larger group of citizens held a protest on 07.10.2022 in Ohrid, N. Macedonia against the announced opening of the Bulgarian club “Boris III”.  The citizens’ protest, according to the organizers and citizens, was directed against an association that bears the name of “a famous fascist statesman from the period of the Second World War (Tsar Boris III) , who was in close relations with Hitler” [1]. Thus, a debate was opened in the public about the need to legally regulate the use of names, nicknames, pseudonyms that would cause negative feelings among a certain ethnic community or if the goals were in the direction of changing the constitutional order of the state.

Soon after, on 17.10.2022 at the initiative of the parliamentary group of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, the deputies in the Assembly of the Republic of N. Macedonia  gave their support for the adoption of the Draft Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Associations and Foundations[2]. As was explained by one of the petitioners of the initiative, these legal amendments aim to put an end to the opening of associations and foundations whose programs, goals, activities and actions are aimed at the violent demolition of the country’s constitutional order, at encouraging and calling for military aggression, as well as inciting national, racial, religious hatred or other intolerance, intolerance, hatred, genocide, extermination, spreading or supporting, inciting and endorsing fascism, Nazism, National Socialism and the Third Reich, as well as undertaking related activities with terrorism or activities contrary to the Constitution [3].

Taking into account that the new legal provisions additionally regulate the registration of civil organizations, defining the status of non-profit organizations as well as the method of their financing, in this blog amendments to the law are presented, in order to outline the impact of the legal changes on the enabling environment for civil society organizations.

Paragraphs 4 and 5 are added to Article 8, paragraph 3 of the Law on Associations and Foundations, which read:

“Names that on any basis in the past have been associated and cause racial, religious, national, ethnic and other intolerance, hatred, genocide, extremism, spreading or supporting fascism, Nazism, National Socialism and the Third Reich cannot be used. If such a name is included in the name of the association, approval is given by the Minister of Justice, upon the recommendation of a Commission that will be formed by the Minister of Justice with representatives of the Ministry of Culture, the Institute of National History, Macedonian Academy of Science and Arts and the Ministry of Justice.”

Furthermore, changes are foreseen in article 18, paragraph 2, paragraphs 2 and 3, where the following text is added:

“The goals of the association must not cause racial, religious, national, ethnic and other intolerance, intolerance, hatred, genocide, extermination, spread or support of fascism, Nazism, National Socialism and the Third Reich.”

“The activities that achieve the goals must not cause the above-mentioned intolerances”

In Article 31, paragraph 2, paragraphs 2 and 3, it is stipulated that the objectives of the association or foundation shall not cause any impatience, intolerance, hatred, as well as the spread of fascism.

The law also has a retroactive effect and applies to already registered associations and phonations. Namely, in the final provisions it is proposed that the associations and foundations that do not act according to the mentioned changes, cease to be valid by force of law and are deleted from the register after the Minister of Justice makes a decision.


The “RADKO” case

The opening and registration of the association “Tsar Boris the Third” has many similarities with the so-called “RADKO” case, when a debate was practically opened in public about the use of disputed (controversial) names and nicknames. Namely, “Radko” is the pseudonym that was used by a controversial figure in Macedonian history – Ivan (Vancho) Mihajlov, and was used as the name of a citizens’ association registered in the Republic of Macedonia.

In 2001, by decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Macedonia, the association “Radko”, which was registered in 2000, was abolished. The association contested the decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of N. Macedonia before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which ruled [4]in favor of the association stating that the right to free association was violated. Furthermore, the decision states that such tensions can occur, but that they are a product of pluralism, and the state is obliged to ensure tolerance between different societal groups.



[1] https://www.dw.com/mk/klubot-car-boris-treti-vnese-nemir-vo-ohrid-obvinuvana-za-predavstvo-i-provokacii/a-63371327

[2]Official Gazette of the Republic of Moldova no. 52/16.04.2022 available at: https://www.slvesnik.com.mk/Issues/623772ADC92FEE42A1DB496E1E190648.pdf

[3] https://novamakedonija.com.mk/makedonija/pratenicite-od-vlasta-i-opozicijata-ednoglasni-za-izmenuvanje-na-zakonot-za-zdruzhenija-i-fondacii/

[4] https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/app/conversion/pdf/?library=ECHR&id=003-2612931-2834655&filename=003-2612931-2834655.pdf

Blog smart (1)

A Brief Overview of the EU Enlargement Methodology

A Brief Overview of the EU Enlargement Methodology


Writes: Aleksandar Cekov, Program Manager at CRPM


One of the main objectives of the SMART Balkans project[1] that has been set for the next 4 years is “… to contribute to the strengthening of participatory democracies in the Western Balkans…” in light of supporting the European integration processes in these countries, by strengthening the capacities of civil society organizations and their active involvement in the negotiation process. Thus, through the mechanisms for monitoring the reform process and the opportunity to give specific recommendations to public policymakers, civil society organizations can directly participate and thereby contribute to the transformation towards better and more sustainable societies where they operate.

Within the framework of the European integration process, as a context for the actions of civil society organizations, one of the key policies of the European Union is of course the enlargement policy, which, through its transformative power, has a major impact on the reform process in the countries, and thus on the work of civil organizations, that is, in defining their focus of action. The enlargement policy, on the other hand, was recently “revised”, i.e. in 2020, a new enlargement methodology was adopted [2], which should (have) given (en) new momentum to the enlargement, but also satisfy the demands of some EU countries, primarily France, which were dissatisfied with the achievements of the candidate countries especially those related to rule of law, the judiciary and corruption. The new methodology followed the postponement of the decision to start negotiations with S. Macedonia and Albania at the EU Council Summit in October 2019 which was received with great disappointment both by the countries and by many European diplomats.

Considering the influence of the EU enlargement policy in the countries of the Western Balkans, and thus the impact on the operation of civil society organizations, this text summarizes the key differences between the previous and the “new” enlargement policy of the EU.

What is the difference between the previous and the new enlargement methodology?

The previous so-called “classic model” of enlargement, which is described by Christopher Preston [3], is mainly based on the full adoption of the acquis (acquis communautaire ). However, the experiences from the previous rounds of negotiations have shown that the mere adoption and acceptance of EU legislation does not guarantee that the country has made quality progress, that is, that along with EU law, “European” values and norms have been adopted and respected. This is best seen in dealing with corruption, where corruption is not drastically reduced despite membership. Thus, the dissatisfaction of some countries with the quality of the reforms in the aspiring countries produced the so-called “enlargement fatigue”, which should be overcome, among other things, by changing the methodology of enlargement.

What does the new EU enlargement methodology envisage? 

The new methodology is based on 4 principles: credibility; predictability, dynamism; greater political governance, and the chapters are organized into 6 thematic clusters: a whole area, which includes the rule of law; internal market; competitiveness, and inclusive growth; green agenda and sustainable connectivity; resources, agriculture and cohesion and external relations [4].

This kind of organization is expected to contribute to greater dynamics of the process, and thus to speed up the process itself, if the countries implement the reforms on time. According to the then Commissioner for EU Enlargement, Oliver Varhey, the closure of a cluster could be completed in a year, as opposed to 6-8 years for the closure of a chapter, as it was before.

The process envisages a greater involvement of the EU in monitoring the process, but at the same time, it also includes its reversibility. This means that, if countries do not deliver quality and tangible results in the reform process, they may fall back in the negotiation process.

What does the negotiating framework for enlargement contain?

First of all, the European Union in the introductory statements emphasizes the importance of the enlargement policy, both for the member states, seen through the prism of transformative power in the aspiring countries, and for the EU member states, seen as a guarantor of stability, security and economic partnership in their neighborhood, that is, later within the common borders of the EU. In terms of the legal basis, the negotiation framework is based on Article 49 of the Treaty on the European Union as well as on all relevant conclusions of the Council of the EU [5]. Furthermore, it is also stated that the EU membership negotiations are based on Serbia’s own merits in terms of meeting the EU requirements, and the progress will be monitored continuously, for which the EU Council will be regularly informed [6].

The legal framework for combating corruption in the European Union is based on Article 83 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union [7], which establishes the competence of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU to adopt directives to establish minimum rules for defining and sanctioning corruption [8].

The standards, on the other hand, in terms of the fight against corruption within the European Union, are mainly based on documents of international organizations, because in this area of the fight against corruption, it has least developed its own standards. The documents on which the anti-corruption standards are based are the following: the UN Convention against corruption, the Criminal Law Convention against Corruption, and the Civil Law Convention against Corruption, adopted by the Council of Europe in 1999, the OECD Convention against Bribery of Senior Public Officials in International Business Transactions of 1997, Council of Europe Recommendations on Codes of conduct for public officials, the UN Convention on Combating Transborder Organized Crime in 2000 and others. Of the documents that have been adopted and adopted by the European Union, it is worth mentioning the decision of the Commission on establishing an EU mechanism for periodic reporting on corruption from June 6, 2011.


[1] More information is available at https://smartbalkansproject.org/about-smart-balkans/
[2] Available at : < https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/enlargement-methodology_en.pdf
[3] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1468-5965.1995.tb00543.x >
[4] Ibid
[5] Serbia’s negotiating framework with the EU is available at https://www.mpravde.gov.rs/sr/tekst/26543/pregovaracki-okvir-i-uvodna-izjava.php
[6] Ibid
[7] Available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:12012E/TXT&from=EN
[8] Ibid
Movies & TV 10_26_2022 9_36_38 AM

Dajana Cvjetković guest on RTCG



On 25th October 2022, our Project Manager – Dajana Cvjetković was a guest on RTCG during their live daily show “Dnevna soba” where she shared with the Montenegirn public all updates about current activities within the project and announced first regional conference that will be held in Podgorica in December 2022.


Watch the whole video below:



Blog smart

Common challenges in Security Reforms in the Western Balkans

 Written by: Emina Husejinović

Almost daily phrases commonly used in all Western Balkans countries are regional cooperation, security approaches, structural reforms, reintegration, EU recommendations, democratic governance, and so on. What does it mean in reality?


Tirana Connectivity Forum

Our very own program manager, Dajana Cvjetković was one of the speakers yesterday during the second day of Tirana Connectivity Forum whose aim is to create a critical mass of knowledge on the means, resources, mechanisms, and impact that Connectivity has on growth, development, reforms, regional cooperation. The forum was held from 26th until 28th September in Tirana, Albania.
During an open discussion focused on the role of CSOs in the Common Regional Market, Dajana emphasized the importance of strengthening capacities and staying within the field of a particular mission when it comes to satisfying the needs of targeted groups through our programs. She also said that Smart Balkans Project as such values partnership between civil society organizations and supports local ownership and integrity.
Regional cooperation as one of the main pillars of Smart Balkans Project is extremely important for the development and role of civil society organizations in the countries of Western Balkans.
For more information on Tirana Connectivity Forum, visit their website: TCF 2022 – Tirana Connectivity Forum

Meeting at the Government of North Macedonia

Within the frames of the project SMART Balkans, we are strengthening the cooperation between civil society organizations and the government in creating participatory and effective anti-corruption policies.

In that regard, the SMART Balkans team had a work meeting with Slavica Grkovska, Deputy Prime Minister for Good Governance in North Macedonia where we discussed the opportunities for creating synergies for creating policies for good governance and security and stability.


Radio Appearance on Urban FM Skopje

Program manager of SMART Balkans Project, Aleksandar Cekov had a guest appearance on Urban FM 90.8 Skopje hosted by Marija Dimiskova where he presented the project activities and the results of the project SMART Balkans – Civil Society for Shared Society in the Western Balkans.
During the morning radio show, Aleksandar Cekov focused on the support for the CSOs that the project provides within the project activities and mentioned the great interest among the CSOs for the project seen through the fact that 600 organizations from the region registered on the Grants Management Platform.
On the show, Aleksandar also analyzed the situation in the civil sector in Macedonian society and explained how the project will contribute to improving the situation.
You can listen to the show on the link below
impactassessors (3)

Public Call for Impact Assessors of CSOs

Public Call for Impact Assessors of CSOs

SMART Balkans Project announces a Public Call for Impact Assessors, who are responsible for the competent support with the in-depths impact assessment of the grant applicants and observation of the applicants’ significance and role in the society, effects and results of their activities.

The Centar za promociju civilnog društva (CPCD), in partnership with Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) from North Macedonia, and Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) from Albania, is implementing SMART Balkans – Civil Society for shared society in the Western Balkans project, which contributes to strengthening participatory democracies and Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans region. The project aims to create a solid foundation for sustainable development in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Some of the topics of this project are the fight against organized crime, prevention of radicalization (including violent extremism), reconciliation through intercultural dialogue, reforms in Euro-Atlantic integration, human rights and gender equality (including domestic violence), support for freedom of speech and independent media. The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway, with a grant worth over 17 million EUR.

The focus of the SMART Balkans Project is distribution of more than 450 grants (Core Grants, Media Grants, Local Initiatives, Creative Box, National Interventions, Regional Grants, Ad Hoc Grants) and capacity building of CSOs, media and civic groups and campaigns, all related to two thematic areas: Security and stability and Governance, with strong regional cooperation aspect.

Core grants, together with tailored capacity building, will enable civil society organizations (CSOs) to improve their organizational capacity and encourage them to refocus their strategic focus on their core mission. This approach frees CSOs from the pressures created by short-term project financing and focusing on donor priorities. The Core grant is intended for CSOs that achieve a significant impact in area of security and stability and governance and that have the potential for even greater impact.

Pool of Impact Assessors will be created for each country (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia) composed by at least 3 assessors.

Assessors will do impact assessment using different methods of data collection and analysis, based on the developed methodology, where a field visits to the assessed organizations and its stakeholders will be carried out. 

Objectives and Expected Results

The purpose of this Public Call is to establish pools of Impact Assessors to support grants management decision-making processes for Core Grants applicants.

There are 2 planned Public Calls for Applications for Core Grants, in June 2022 and 2023.

Engaged Impact Assessors will use offline Civil Society Organization Capacity Assessment Tool (CSO CAT), as a systematic and easy-to-use assessment tool that can provide qualitative and quantitative overview of the internal administrative, financial, security, human resources, mobilization of the citizens, public relationships, management capacities. In addition, it should provide an overview of the role and type of the organization in accordance with the main programs, projects, activities, and results achieved in the last 5 years.

Based on the initial capacity assessment of potential grantees, Impact assessors will use data sources for basic analysis of CSO sector in order to measure the progress or impact of capacity building and Core Grant programs on organizational development, their impact on the community and importance to society as well as their potential for growth.

Impact-focused Assessment Report will focus on Core Grants beneficiaries for whom the project would create positive, long-lasting change, even if faced with resource constraints when managing projects.

 Scope of Work

Impact assessors will be trained in order to ensure common understanding and the use of CSO CAT tool.

Project staff will assign one or more impact assessors the task of doing an impact assessment based on the CSO CAT tool. Assessors will do impact assessment using different methods of data collection and analysis, but a field visit to the organization and its stakeholders is essential.

Impact assessment will be one of steps in process of selecting organizations that will be awarded with Core Grant.


Selection of Assessors:

Received applications for Impact Assessors will be considered upon receipt, ending with deadline for submission of applications on August 22, 2022. Selected candidates will be invited for interviews and testing. First preparatory workshop will be organized in the period from 29.08. to 09.09.2022. In accordance with the plan for publishing calls for grant applications, the first round of impact assessors’ engagement is planned for September 2022 on the assessment of received applications for Core Grants.

Impact Assessors cannot have any conflicts of interest or the appearance of such with regard to the organizations whose applications are under evaluation and in assessment process.

After signing the service contract and the Declaration of Non-Existent Conflict of Interest, the Impact Assessor will be assigned to the specific applicants for which he/she will prepare an assessment report.

How to Apply:

This call is open to all residents of 6 countries included in the SMART Balkans Project: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia:

Necessary documents for applicants from Albania:

Thirrja publike për vlerësues impakti Albania

Shtojca 1 – Formulari i aplikimit NO 005 AL/2022-1

Shtojca 2 – Deklarata e Integritetit NO 005 AL/2022-1

Necessary documents for applicants from Bosnia and Herzegovina:

Javni poziv za procjenitelje/ice uticaja OCD u BiH

Prilog 1 – Aplikacijski obrazac  NO 001 05/2022

Prilog 2 – Izjava časti NO 001 05/2022

Necessary documents for applicants from Montenegro:

Javni poziv za procjenitelje/ice uticaja OCD u Crnoj Gori

Prilog 1 – Aplikacijski obrazac  NO 001 07/2022

Prilog 2 – Izjava časti NO 001 07/2022

Necessary documents for applicants from North Macedonia:

Јавен повик за проценители/ки на влијание на граѓански организации (ГО) за С. Македонија

Анекс 1 – Формулар за аплицирање 015 07/2022

Анекс 2 – Изјава за чест 015 07/2022

Necessary documents for applicants from Kosovo:

Thirrja publike për vlerësues impakti – Javni poziv za procenjivače uticaja OCD KOS

Shtojca 1 – Forma e Aplikimit për Vlerësues Impakti – Prilog 1 – Prijavni formular

Shtojca 2 – Deklarata e Integritetit – Prilog 2 Izjava časti

Necessary documents for applicants from Serbia:

Javni poziv za procenitelje/ice uticaja OCD u Srbiji

Prilog 1 – Prijavni obrazac  NO 016 07/2022

Prilog 2 – Izjava časti NO 016 07/2022

This call is open until 22/08/2022.