Saturday, October 6, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 6,2007) – Bosnia needs to adopt the new scientific development strategy as soon as possible and thus place the research policy to the top level, Janez Potocnik, the EU Commissioner for Science and Research, stated in Sarajevo. He was in a two-day visit to Bosnia and is touring the capital cities of the Western Balkans.

Addressing the members of the Bosnian Academy of Arts and Sciences, Potocnik emphasized that Bosnia needs to increase the present level of investments into research and science and in that way keep up the pace with the European trends.

”Science and research are not a luxury, but a need of this country”, he said.

Potocnik is of the opinion that Bosnia should support training of the new generation of researchers and scientists who will cooperate with their colleagues from the rest of Europe and actively participate in various projects. It would also be reasonable to focus on industrial sector.

Division of scientific strategies to various levels of Bosnian authority is the main problem according to him. Bosnia needs to solve it urgently. Integration to the European research zone is one of the main objectives of Bosnia if aims to enter the EU soon,Potocnik said.

He stated that the fact that Bosnia is the only country in the Southeastern Europe which has not submitted a demand to associate to the 7th EU Frame Program is critical, for that is the chief instrument used by the EU to provide funds for the scientific and research activities.

That program will enable Bosnia to finance scientific and research activities at the European level and will initiate mobility of the Bosnian researchers into the EU countries and will also enable cooperation with the Joint Research Centre.

”Since the war ended in Bosnia, science and technology have not been made a part of the reform processes. Scientific strategy needs to be implemented as soon as possible; laws on science ned to be passed. It is important for Bosnia to move in a synchronized way”, Potocnik said.

The President of the Bosnian Academy of Arts and Sciences Bozidar Matic stated that the main responsibility for the chaotic situation in Bosnian science lies in the Dayton Agreement and the Bosnian Constitution which do not mention the word “science” at a single place. The result of that is that none of the Bosnian authorities’ representatives feels responsible.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 6,2007) – Bosnia has been spending only 0.05 per cent of the gross national income for science since 2004. The situation, which is alarming, has not changed over the years. This was stated by Bozidar Matic, President of the Bosnian Academy of Arts and Sciences at a meeting with the Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic.

Matic emphasized that Bosnia today does not provide an organized and systematic funding of the sector and that the higher education and development need to become priorities of Bosnia.

”Centralization is necessary at the state level. Today, decentralization, not centralization is a trend”, Matic said.

He added that the Bosnian Academy of Arts and Science is of the opinion that the principle in accordance with UNESCO 2006 recommendations should be adopted and implemented.

That means that every level of the state authority which is authorized to spend public means is obliged to participate at the research and development funds.

That is why the Academy is proposing formation of cantonal funds, entity and state funds for research and development, in accordance with their degree of participation in the budget.

Matic added that 2 per cent of the gross Bosnian national income should be ensured for the research and development projects.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 6,2007) – The FBIH Entity Ministry of Education and Science announced to have provided 196.000 Bosnian Marks for the purchase of schoolbooks for the children belonging to the socially endangered categories. The money has been distributed to the cantonal ministries in August.

Keeping in mind the necessity of associating as many children as possible to the educational processes the FBiH Entity Ministry of Education and Science once again urged the cantonal ministries to fulfill their obligations and provide schoolbooks to socially endangered children.

In that way, better living and schooling conditions would be created,the FBIH Entity Federal Minister of Education and Science Meliha Alic’s Cabinet announced.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (October 6,2007) – Every fourth child in Bosnia is a victim of some form of violence. About 60 per cent of this population, which makes 1/3 of the total population in Bosnia, belongs to a category which has a right to claim social protection. This was emphasized in Sarajevo at a two-day conference on the topic “Children and NGOs Talk about the Human Rights of Children”.

According to the data presented, every second child in Bosnia does now have health insurance. Between 5 and 6 per cent of the children’s population does not attend primary schools and about 18 per cent of the children is involved in some king of heavy labor.

The conference was organized by the Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees and the Bosnian Council for Children, for the purpose of analyzing the activities in the sector of protection of rights of children and for the purpose of seeing what kinds of activities can the Bosnian authorities take to make the situation better.

Safet Halilovic, the Bosnian Minister of Human Rights and Refugees, emohasized the efforts Bosnia has made in order to implement the obligations arising from the Convention on Rights of Children and the protocols that have followed it, especially the revision of legislature related to children in Bosnia.

One of such documents is the Bosnian State Plan of Activities for Children for the Period until 2010, as well as the mid-term Development Strategy and Action Policy in Special social sectors.

Addressing the participants at the session, Halilovic stated that the funds intended for children are not enough to ensure efficient protection of children.

”We want to contribute the rights of children”, Halilovic said and added that it is imperative to improve the living conditions of children.

Slavko Marin, Deputy Minister of Human Rights and Refugees greeted the session. He said he hoped that the issues related to human rights of children will be solved.

Models of NGOs’ engagement in the sector have also been discussed. Two prominent NGOs dealing with the rights of children are “Our Children” from Sarajevo and “Healthy You Stay” from Banja Luka.