Nature and purpose 

This Twinning project is a tool of cooperation between the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the National Assembly of Republika Srpska and the Brčko District Assembly as the participating partners on the side of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the participating parliaments of EU Member States on the other side.
The Project, with a total budget of EUR 3.5 million is funded by the European Union from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA 2012) and implemented by the Hungarian National Assembly in consortium with the French National Assembly.
The underlying aim of the Twinning project is to improve the capacity and enable the four local parliamentary partner institutions to enhance their role in the accession process of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the EU and in the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

Scope and structure

The Twinning Project comprises 7 large themes defined as "components”. These include the following areas:
1. Strengthening capacities for strategic guidance of the EU accession process and dialogue with the European Parliament
2. Enhancing the mechanisms and capacity for legislative alignment
3. Enhancing the mechanism for oversight of the government, of supervisory and regulatory bodies and improving cooperation with government on the EU accession process
4. Increasing participation of civil society and visibility of the role of Parliaments in the EU accession process
5. Developing regular cooperation and coordination among the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Parliament of Republika Srpska, Parliament of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Brcko District Assembly on EU-related issues
6. Raising capacity of MPs and parliamentary staff
7. Improving internal resources management
Each of the above components is divided into several issue areas determined as "subcomponents”. 

Component 1

The objective is to set up resources and mechanisms which are inevitable preconditions for a successful EU integration process from a parliamentary point of view. This Component focuses on four different issues to achieve this objective:
1.strengthening the knowledge and skills at the administrations of the Parliaments of BiH,
2.based on analyzing the needs of MPs setting up efficient administrative structures for managing EU integration related tasks,
3.introducing better planning mechanisms for the EU-related work, and
4.maximizing the opportunities which lie in the cooperation with the European Parliament in the Stabilization and Association Parliamentary Committee.

Component 2

This Component focuses on the legislative process of the Parliaments and the law approximation of the national regulations with the EU acquis. The activities target the improvement of the practice of legislation which is a precondition of the development of successful law approximation processes with the EU acquis and the implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

Component 3

The activities focus on the strengthening of the oversight function of Parliaments at the level of plenary session and committees to achieve structured and regular monitoring mechanisms over the activities of the Government and the independent agencies. Since the oversight activities of a parliament are largely dependent on its research capacities, the Component is also focusing on strengthening the parliamentary research functions, as a key background support instrument for effective oversight.

Component 4

It is of vital importance for the BiH Parliaments to have effective communication with the citizens and their organised groups of representatives, i.e. the civil society organizations (CSOs). Component 4 aims at enhancing the visibility of the Parliaments in general but especially in the EU accession process. A thoroughly planned communication strategy – coordinated with government activities – should direct all information and communication efforts about EU integration. In Component 4, activities aim to show how broad legitimacy of the everyday parliamentary work can be achieved, ending up in a more effective legislative process and at the same time ensuring better support for the democratic structures in the country.

Component 5

The objective of Component 5 is to establish a functioning cooperation and coordination mechanism among the Parliaments of BiH on all EU integration related issues at four levels: install cooperation among chairs of standing committees, further strengthen the Forum of EU integration committees, establish regular consultation procedure for the parliamentary administration dealing with EU affairs, and set up fora of parliamentary committees on different EU policies (key areas for EU law approximation tasks) with regular information-sharing and coordination mechanisms.
Also seminars are organized on the roles and duties of European integration committees, other standing committees and working bodies in the European integration process.

Component 6

Raising capacity of MPs and parliamentary staff are in focus in order to enhance the general knowledge and also specific skills for better performance in all levels of parliamentary work. In this Component BiH Parliaments may benefit from a detailed training programme to be familiar with the functioning of the structures, procedures and the legal system of the European Union, including the elements of the EU acquis and the requirements to Parliaments in the EU accession process. The preparation of training strategies and training plans are also promoted in the framework of the Component.

Component 7

This Component is focusing on the strategic planning of internal resources which should be the basis for a successful resource management in all Parliaments of BiH. A modern human resources management policy should be adopted and applied also in all parliamentary administrations. The strengthening of the Parliaments' budgetary autonomy and independence and making the procedures to adopt and manage their budget more effective is also an inevitable precondition for efficiently practising oversight functions.

Results to be achieved in the Project Components

Result 1 – Role of parliaments in BIH in the strategic guidance of the EU accession process improved
Result 2 – Streamlined and implemented procedures for co-ordinated planning and monitoring of the process of approximation of legislation with the acquis  
Result 3 – Oversight mechanisms of the EU accession process installed and practiced; Proper reporting mechanisms of Government and regulatory bodies installed and put into practice
Result 4 – Structured participation of CSOs in the EU-related activities of parliaments and increased visibility of the Parliaments in the EU accession process
Result 5 – Developed regular cooperation and coordination among the parliaments in BiH on EU-related issues
Result 6 – Raised capacity of MPs and parliamentary staff for EU-related issues
Result 7 – Enhanced management of parliamentary resources

The working method of the Twinning Project

In the course of the Project, all subcomponents are carried out in a very similar order and sequence of stages. Each subcomponent begins with situation assessment, then followed by the elaboration of guidelines containing the indications and general features of possible improvements and suggested changes. 
The completed guidelines serve as the basis for exchange of opinions and discussions with the beneficiary parliaments in the form of roundtables held with the representatives – both from the political leadership and the administrative staff – of each partner institution. 
Building on the guidelines and on the opinions (comments and suggestions) from the four BiH Parliaments, the Twinning experts formulate conclusions and concrete proposals (recommendations or manual) for the enhancement of the institutional capacities and the operational efficiency of the partner parliaments.  
Besides the elaboration of recommendations for improving working methods, structures and procedures, the Project is also offering a complex training programme with more than 40 seminars and workshops in the issue areas of the 7 components of the Project.  

Participants from BiH

Members of Parliaments (representatives and delegates) and staff members of the four partner Parliaments of Bosnia and Herzegovina together with invited governmental officials and representatives from non-governmental organisations.

Experts from EU Member States

The project is implemented by the Hungarian National Assembly (as leader) in consortium with the French National Assembly (as junior partner). Besides them the French Senate, the Polish Sejm, the Portuguese Parliament, the UK House of Lords, the Croatian Parliament, the Czech Chamber of Deputies and the Latvian Parliament provide institutional support to the project implementation, while further experts from Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, the European Parliament and IPEX are also contributing to ensure the presentation of a wide variety of EU best practices which can contribute to find the most suitable structures and procedures for BiH Parliaments.
Altogether more than 100 experts from Hungary, France and other EU Member States implement more than 150 different activities in the 7 components.

Activities for learning opportunities in EU Member States

The Twinning project also offers opportunities for the BiH parliamentary partners for learning and direct insights into the operations of several parliaments in EU countries by organizing study visits and internship programmes, both for Members of Parliaments (MPs) and staff members.


Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Parliamentary Assembly of
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Parliament of the Federation of
Bosnia and Herzegovina
National Assembly of Republika Srpska
National Assembly of
Republika Srpska
Brčko District Assembly
Brčko District Assembly
Hungarian National
Hungarian National Assembly
The Project is implemented by the Consortium of
National Assembly of France
National Assembly
of France