Bosnia and Herzegovina

IRI is working in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to promote a multi-party political system that is responsive to citizens’ needs and looks toward Euro-Atlantic integration. BiH is a parliamentary democracy with a political structure dating from the Dayton Peace Agreement, which ended the 1992-95 Bosnian War. BiH’s politics suffer from partisan gridlock, and endemic corruption is a major problem.

In BiH, IRI is focused on promoting Euro-Atlantic and domestic integration. To that end, IRI is promoting issue-based collaboration and has built several multi-party groups and caucuses at the state and local levels, including the European Integration and Security Caucus (EISC) in the State Parliament and the Cultural Heritage Parliamentary Group in the Federation Parliament (CHPG). IRI organizes planning sessions and provides expert support for these groups. With this support, the EISC has become one of the most effective parliamentary caucuses in the country, pushing for major policy proposals and initiatives on a variety of issues related to Euro-Atlantic integration and security. Through its work with the CHPG, IRI supports parliamentary engagement on the preservation of cultural sites and works to boost tourism and other cultural activities.

IRI also provides training for political candidates. Through this training, IRI provides partners from across the political spectrum with the skills they need to engage in fair, transparent, and democratic campaigns. IRI also focuses on voter turnout, and is creating a get-out-the-vote campaign before the next national elections.

IRI supports members of parliament with policy research through its Parliamentary Expert Support Initiative (PESI). PESI is comprised of political party and parliamentary staff, and the group aligns itself with the four main policy priorities of the EISC – opposing hate speech, countering extremism, cybersecurity, and migration. With IRI support, experts work with legislators to develop policy proposals addressing these important issues.

Recognizing the importance of youth political participation, IRI established the Advanced Leadership in Politics Institute (ALPI), a youth political leadership academy first launched in BiH and later expanded to include Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. Through ALPI, IRI works with young trailblazers in politics. These young leaders come from various political parties and ethnic backgrounds, and often have opposing views.  ALPI’s long-term goal is to help these young politicians grow into effective leaders, advocate for meaningful political participation, boost the representation of young people in decision-making, and promote cross-party cooperation.

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