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Sometimes dreams become reality

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina, in southeastern Europe, is home to beautiful landscapes and courageous, proud people. During the recent Bosnian war (1992–1995), Bosnians defended diversity as one of the basic principles and primary conditions for learning and human life.

Here is a short story about my mission in education and life, in two parts: the first part is more official, the second one is different. This is an expression of my feelings and wishes: Thank you to American people and welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together, we can make better world.

 

 

PART   I

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo and University of Sarajevo

 

            My country, Bosnia and Herzegovina is situated; I like to say, in the heart of Europe. Bosnia is country of diversities, country of long and reach history[i]  . The four major world religion ( Islam, Judaism, Orthodox and Catholic Christianity), three main nationality ( Bosniaks, Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs), population close to 4,000,000. Today, Bosnia is in a post-war transition period: Nearly 400,000 students in 407 primary schools, 171 secondary schools, 7 universities, and 5 academies are waiting for education reform.

            Sarajevo is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovina with population currently estimated at around 400 000. The XIV Winter Olympic Games city (1984), always cosmopolitan . “Sarajevo has been a cosmopolitan city ever since it was founded. It was a place of refuge and settlement of Jews expelled from Spain in the 15th century, who built their synagogues in the vicinity of Orthodox churches, Catholic cathedrals and mosques”.[ii]  ) In Sarajevo, you can hear in the same time, calls for prayer from Catholic and Orthodox churches, mosques and synagogues. Beautiful!

My Home University is University of Sarajevo[iii], the University of long and rich history. Since 1531, when Gazi Husrev-beg[iv]  established the Hanikah, a higher school of Sufi philosophy, till modern university history (December 2nd 1949 is official date of university establishment), University of Sarajevo was a part and contributor to great European education and cultural tradition. Two Nobel Prize winners, both were born in Bosnia, Ivo Andric (Literature 1961), and Vladimir Prelog (Chemistry, 1975 ), are holders of honorary PhD degree of Sarajevo University. Danis Tanovic, Academy best foreign language film winner (No Man’s Land, 2001), was student of Sarajevo Film Academy.  Today, with 23 schools, colleges and associated members,  more than 47,000 students and 1600 faculty teaching staff, the University of Sarajevo is large educational system, large and strong “house of the knowledge”. One “room” of this house is Faculty of Philosophy, established in 1950. Closely 3000 students and 150 professors at 12 departments and 24 cathedras learn here together.

 The Department of Education, School of Philosophy where I belong professionally, is responsible for education of young people for teaching and educational work in preschool, primary and secondary schools as well as in other respective educational institutions. The Study Program, organized by 6 cathedras (Pedagogy, Preschool and Family Pedagogy, Special Pedagogy, Adult Education, Teacher Education, Permanent Education) encompass a different Education and Psychology disciplines and subject areas through more than 30 courses. During the 40 years since its establishment, the Department of Education has awarded 1, 568 bachelor’s degrees Professors of Pedagogy/School Counselors, 93 master’s degrees, and 45 PhDs.  It has been a promoter of new ideas and an organizer of novel education projects. One such project, “Individualization and Inclusion in Education” (2001–2003), has been organized in cooperation with the University of Joensu (Finland) . Department professors Dr. Hasim Muminovic, Dr. Mujo Slatina, Dr. Milenko Brkic, Dr. Adila Pasalic-Kreso, Dr. Dzevdeta Ajanovic and others have made important contributions to education theory and practice in different education fields in the former Yugoslavia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Department of Psychology, established in 1989, is responsible for preparing young Bosnian psychologists. The study program includes all systematic and applied disciplines of psychology. The Department of Psychology has organized a number of projects and conferences, such as The Child Trauma Symposium (1997). Department professors Dr. Ejub Cehic, Dr. Ismet Dizdarevic, Dr. Nedjeljka Gajanovic and others have made significant contributions to psychology in the former Yugoslavia and Bosnia.

These days we are expecting to be published book From Individual to Personality – An Introduction to the Theory of Confluent Education[v]”written by Sociology of Education professor Dr. Mujo Slatina. I was lucky to have and  read some parts of the book before publishing, where Dr. Slatina write:The process of child raising and growing from natural/biological being to a person and/or individual oriented to freedom and responsibility, sociability and self-actualization has been stressed by the theory of confluent education. The structural elements of confluent education (education of perception, memory, thinking, emotions, imagination and will) are results of confluent processes. Confluent theory paradigm has been consisted of six learning forms connected to each other: learning to know, learning to do, learning to live, learning to be, learning to evaluate and learning to believe. These learning forms flow into ‘human nature’ making a confluence of psychological, spiritual and active human being. Consequently three supporting pillars of this theory are psychological, spiritual and active development of human personality.”  This is, I would say, a strong and laud call from Bosnia for moving from, today predominance,  cognitive model of the school to confluent education (school). To school where educators will never forget nor make relative the basic, objective existing, most important values for education (life): the truth, the kindness (goodness), the beauty, the justice and holiness. Similar call I heard here, from the USA professors and students. We (our schools) definitely prepare our children for the (which quality?)  tests, not for the humanity. The result is obvious: permanent increasing of mental and behavioral problems of our children (students).  

At Department of Education, I manage classes of Educational Psychology, Didactics and Vocational Orientation as T.A. My basic professional goal is qualitative  teaching. The term "qualitative teaching" I mean the teaching process that, as much as possible, is going to satisfy personal (learning) characteristics and needs of students in accordance to socio-cultural context. One of the basic issues for reaching this aim is permanent professional development. An excellent opportunity for my further professional and personal growth I saw at JFDP. Why?

 

An excellent program: JFDP

 

The Junior Faculty Development Program, is a program of Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State. JFDP is administered by American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS. According to web-description[vi]  JFDP is a non-degree, professional development program that provides promising junior university faculty with the opportunity to:

 

- develop new courses and implement curriculum reform at their home institutions;

- cultivate teaching skills and techniques derived from exposure to U.S. educational methods;

- expand the information base in their fields of study, and;

- become a vehicle for on-going contact and exchange between home and host institutions.

Fields of study include: American studies, business administration, economics, education administration, environmental studies, history, international affairs, journalism, law, library science, linguistics, philosophy, political science, psychology, public administration, public policy, and sociology.

Initiated in 1994, JFDP has expanded across Eurasia and into Southeast Europe. The program's overall mission is to foster opportunities for Eurasian and Southeastern European higher educational systems to increase access to academic resources and new educational perspectives, and to promote the development of a growing network of academics among those regions and the United States.

The JFDP is a non-degree, eleven month program: nine months for academic program and two months for the internship. JFDP fellows must return to their home countries after completing the program.

Considering the mission, conception, administration and implementation,  JFDP is an excellent program, program based on (intellectual) freedom, diversity ( today, 90 young education professionals from 16 Southeast and Eurasia countries learn and teach at 46 USA universities in closely 20 field studies!) and responsibility. Responsibility for seek, share and implement knowledge.

My Host University in the U.S. was Florida International University, College of Education - Department of Educational and Psychological Studies and Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. I was strongly supported by my academic advisor Dr. Ann Nevin, administrative coordinator Dr. Michael Parsons and great FIU professors Dr. Marisal Gavilan, Dr. Cengiz Alacaci, Dr. Hilary Landorf, Dr. Banya Kingsley, Dr. Filip Lazarus, Dr. Abbas Tashakkori, Dr. Brian Moseley, Dr. Barry Greenberg, Dr.Howard Rosenberg,  Dr. Anthony Normore.

Attending different Psychology and  Research Methodology courses, giving presentations, developing new courses, comparing teaching methods in different fields of study, attending different cultural events and meeting people from all the world, I had a great chance for my, professional and personal development. 

 

A center of wisdom: PACE

 

I have finished my two months internship at The Yale University PACE center[vii], what was my dream since I started work on my MA thesis, intrigued by Sternberg’s approach to cognitive styles. I hope, my intern at PACE will be a crown of my professional development in the USA, and base for further professional and personal growth . Missions of the PACE and JFDP are complement, and, in essence the same – transforming science and education in the road to better society. The PACE research projects[viii] are extremely important for education. My country is in process of transition and education reform. In accordance to Bologna Declaration, we know that we must reform Bosnia and Herzegovina system of higher education. There are a few serious theoretical and even less empirical studies on human abilities, creativity or thinking styles based on contemporary psychological theories, we still have not had empirical knowledge on a certain important, un-avoided education factors. We know a little or nothing on our students learning styles. Many of our students still suffer because their thinking styles do not match the thinking styles of their professors. As far as I know, Sarajevo University still has not been equipped by systematic individual approach in teaching and learning process. Even more, this approach, even if it had been the gesture of individuals, has not been based in such a comprehensive theories as Sternberg’s Successful Intelligence and Mental Self-Government.

            Thus, we need a systematic, broadly established empirical education studies and researches, and PACE projects and experience can help scientists and educators in Bosnia at least in two ways: through the direct engagement in some contemporary PACE projects and, like an orientation and inspiration for own projects, what I prefer. I believe, especially after conversations with PACE’s Dr. Robert Sternberg, Dr. Linda Jarvin and Dr.Steve Stemler, that we can establish a highly competent educational research network in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The departments of Education and Psychology at the School of Philosophy can (and must) be the nucleus of that network.  Our future mutual projects have deep scientific, education - theoretical and practical  sense : further cross-cultural validation of contemporary psychological theories, such us Successful Intelligence and Mental Self-Government,  developing curricula oriented to triarchic  teaching and assessment (especially dynamic assessment) , education educators and, probably the most important one: raising new, “open minded generation” researcher and educators, capable to produce, to test and apply new ideas in Education and Psychology in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I am sure that my participation in JFDP will support the development of modern  education system in my country , based on confluent education paradigm. The valuable experience from Florida International University and PACE Center will be invested in my country in many different ways during my permanent professional engagement through the initiative for curriculum changes, different project development, tutorial and other educative activities. I always considered myself as a pilgrim, a searcher for more creative and better things. I have to notice that I am happy as much as proud to belong to extremely referent group of professionals such as Department of Education, School of Philosophy, Sarajevo University, JFDP and PACE.  These professional groups and programs always support creativity and develop projects leading to better education, schools and society. I’ll conclude this text by essay written for My American Experience essay contest-leaded and administered by ACTR/ACCELS. I was not winner, not even close. But, sometimes dreams become true. If you really dream.

 

 

PART   II

 

My American experience

/ Sometimes dreams become true. If you really dream! /

 

 There is a green place in the East. The shape of that place is like a heart. One boy, he was born there, was dreaming every day to become a soccer player. More than fifteen years. One coach decided about boy’s dreams: “This guy is not for the soccer”, he said. “He is so fast!  We don’t need the thinkers and dancers…Go to school, little boy”! Adios, soccer dreams… OK.

He went to school. It was one secret place, with much strange equipment! and one good teacher. “We will talk about our souls”, he said. Interesting! “What is the soul”? “You will, you must find”! “Go, and seek”!

The boy was so exited and confused. Which is the way? Where is the place? Who knows.  He bought a pigeon, beautiful white pigeon, with deep blue-black eyes and strong wings. Hours and hours he spent watching the pigeon’s flights, and looking in to pigeon’s eyes. One day, the pigeon didn’t come. Also, the next day. Where is the pigeon?

There is one beautiful place in the West. The shape of this place is like a heart. The boy was dreaming to go there. He knows, there is a wise man. One of the best searchers of the souls in the world.  One day, he received a letter from people of the West. “We heard, you are looking for the soul”, they said. “We are looking for the soul, too. Come! Our houses will be yours, our food and dreams. We will share with you everything we have. Our wise man will talk to you. Come!” He was standing in front of the mirror. Once. And once again. The letter was real. The message was true. He was standing in front of the mirror million years. It was the first time that he saw his own soul.

A big silver bird with strong wings. He was flying like a pigeon. So far, so deep in the sky.  Western people prepared most sunny place for him. “Welcome! Be sure, you are in a safety place. Be sure, we are brothers. And pilgrims on the same way to the soul”.

“Peace to you”, he said. “Take a small piece of the Eastern soil. My heart is here”!

/Eleven  months, I have been living my dreams. That experience is one of most beautiful feelings, isn’t it? Who can describe the beauty of the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls or Yosemite? Who can tell you the beauty of Bouchaib’s speech or couscous, Sandra’s eyes, Saodat’s dance or New Year night in the New York? Or the importance of Dalai Lama lecture, Pearl Harbor silence and Robert Sternberg’s words:” Yes, we can accommodate you…” I am listening, I am learning, I am receiving and giving every day. I am dreaming with open eyes. In these eleven months, I have lived somebody’s eleven lives. /

 



[i] See appendix

[v]“ Confluent education may be defined as the integration of cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions of learning across intrapersonal, interpersonal, and social contexts” (http://members.aol.com/confluent/).

"Confluent" refers to the process of holistic learning, involving body, mind, emotion and spirit. http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC06/Johnson.htm

[vii]The Yale Center for the Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise currently comprises a core group of about two dozen researchers (including teaching and research faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and research collaborators) investigating various aspects of abilities, competencies, and expertise. The core group contains members from all over the world, currently including Canada, Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. International affiliates encompass the globe. The PACE Center seeks to transform science, education, and society. Our projects are chosen in order to advance our goal of changing the ways cultures conceive of, define, and set policy regarding abilities, competencies, expertise, and their interrelationships. The PACE Center actively seeks alliances with organizations around the world that share our mission and dedication to transforming science, education, and society. (…)Current projects include, among others, studying (a) effective ways of exploiting the link between abilities and expertise in teaching and assessment, (b) how the nature of abilities and expertise change over the life span and how they differ among groups, (c) the understanding and development of intelligent schools, (d) leadership development, (e) scoring of essay protocols for competency tests, and (f) the nature of wisdom and how effectively to teach for it. The web page for the Center is www.yale.edu/pace and inquiries can be addressed to pace@yale.edu  (www.yale.edu/pace)

[viii] http://www.yale.edu/pace/

 

 

 

References

 

Grigorenko, E. L., & Sternberg, R. J. (1995). Thinking styles. In D. H. Saklofske and M. Zeider (Eds.), International handbook of personality and intelligence, pp. 205–229. New York: Plenum Press.

Grigorenko, E. L., Sternberg, R. J. (1997). Styles of thinking, abilities, and academic performance. Exceptional Children, 63(3), 295–312.

Stemler, S. E, Sternberg, R. J, Grigorenko, E. L, Jarvin, L, & Merry, K. (2004). There’s more to teaching than instruction: Seven strategies for dealing with the social side of teaching. PACE policy report.

Sternberg, R. J. (1988). Mental self-government: A theory of intellectual styles and their development. Human Development, 31, 197–224.

Sternberg, R. J. (1990). Thinking styles: keys to understanding student performance. Phi Delta Kappan.

Sternberg, R. J. (1994). Allowing for thinking styles. Educational Leadership, 52(3), 36–39.

Sternberg, R. J. (1995). Intelligence and cognitive styles. In S. E. Hampson & A. M. Colman (Eds.), Individual differences and personality (pp. 1–19). Harlow, UK: Longman Group Limited.

Sternberg R. J. (1997). Thinking styles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sternberg, R. J. (1997).Successful intelligence: How practical and creative intelligence determine success in life. New York: Plume.

Sternberg, R. J. & Zhang, L. F. Ed. (2001). Perspectives on Thinking, Learning, and Cognitive Styles. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Sternberg, R. J. and Grigorenko E. L. (1995). Styles of thinking in school. European Journal for High Ability, 6(2), 201–219.  

Sternberg, R. J. and Grigorenko, E. L. (1997). Are cognitive styles still in style?  American Psychologist, 52(7), 700–712.

Zhang, L. F. (1999). Further cross-cultural validation of the theory of mental self-government. The Journal of Psychology, 133(2), 165–181.

Zhang, L. F. & Sach, J. (1997). Assessing thinking styles in the theory of mental self-government: A Hong Kong validity study. Psychological Reports, 81, 915–928.

Zhang, L. F. & Sternberg, R. J. (2000). Are learning approaches and thinking styles  related? A study in two Chinese populations. The Journal of Psychology, 134(5), 469–489.

Zhang, L. F. & Sternberg, R. J. (2002).Thinking styles and teacher’s characteristics. International Journal of Psychology, 37(1), 3–12.

Zhang, L. F. & Sternberg, R. J. (2005). A Threefold Model of Intellectual Styles. Educational Psychology Review, 17(1).

 

http://www.oscebih.org/oscebih_eng.asp

http://www.unsa.ba/eng/home.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/

http://www.yale.edu/pace/

 

Appendix

 

Bosnia and Herzegovina – the basic data (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2868.htm)

 

Geography


Area: 51,233 sq. km, slightly smaller than
West Virginia.
Cities: Capital--
Sarajevo (est. pop 387,876); Banja Luka (220,407); Mostar (208,904); Tuzla
(118,500); Bihac (49,544).
Terrain: Mountains in the central and southern regions, plains along the
Sava River
in the north.
Climate: Hot summers and cold winters; areas of high elevation have short, cool summers and long, severe winters; mild, rainy winters in the southeast.

People
Nationalities: Bosniak (Muslim), Bosnian Croat, Bosnian Serb.
Population (July 2002 est.): 3,964,388 (note: all data dealing with population are subject to considerable error because of the dislocations caused by military action and ethnic cleansing).
Population growth rate (2002 est.): 0.76%.
Ethnic groups: Bosniak 48.3%, Serb 34.0%, Croat 15.4%, others 2.3%. (Source: UNDP Human Development Report 2002--Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Religions: Muslim (40%); Orthodox (31%); Catholic (15%); Protestant (4%); other (10%).
Languages: Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian (formerly "Serbo-Croatian").


Education: Mandatory 8 years of primary school, 4 years in secondary school, and 4 years in universities and academies. In
Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are 407 primary schools with 250,000 students, 171 secondary schools with 80,000 students, 6 universities in the major cities (Sarajevo, Mostar, Banja Luka, Tuzla, and Bihac) and 6 academies (4 pedagogic and 2 art academies).
Education: Adult literacy rate--male 94.1%, female 78.0%.


Health: Infant mortality rate--23.53 deaths/1,000. Life expectancy--male 71.0, female 75.0.
Work force (total): 633,860.

Government
Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Constitution: The Dayton Agreement, signed
December 14, 1995
, included a new constitution now in force.
Independence: April 1992 (from Yugoslavia
).
Branches: Executive--Chairman of the Presidency and two other members of three-member rotating presidency (chief of state), Chairman of the Council of Ministers (head of government), Council of Ministers (cabinet). Legislative--bicameral parliamentary assembly, consisting of national House of Representatives and House of Peoples (parliament). Judicial--Supreme Court,
Constitutional Court
, both supervised by the Ministry of Justice.
Subdivisions: Two entities: Muslim/Croat Federation of Bosnia and
Herzegovina (divided into 10 cantons) and Republika Srpska.

Economy
GDP (2001 est., purchasing power parity): $4.7 billion.
GDP growth rate ( 2001 est.): 2.3%.
Income per capita (1997 est., purchasing power parity): $1,800 (note: figure heavily depends on the population and does not account for the gray economy).
Inflation rate (2001 est.): 5.0%.
Natural resources: Coal, iron, bauxite, manganese, forests, copper, chromium, lead, zinc.
Agriculture: Products--wheat, corn, fruits, vegetables, livestock.
Industry: Types--steel, minerals, vehicle assembly, textiles, tobacco products, wooden furniture, tank and aircraft assembly, domestic appliances, oil refining.
Trade (1995): Exports--$1,003 million.

 

 

PEOPLE AND HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS
The three main ethnic groups in present-day
Bosnia and Herzegovina are Bosniak,Serb,and Croat, and languages are Bosnian, Serbian, and Croatian (formerly "Serbo-Croatian"). Nationalities are Bosniak(Muslim), Bosnian Serb, and Bosnian Croat. Religions include Islam, Serb Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, some Protestantsects, and some others.

For the first centuries of the Christian era, Bosnia was part of the Roman Empire. After the fall of Rome, Bosnia was contested by Byzantium and Rome's successors in the west. Slavs settled the region in the 7th century, and the kingdoms of Serbia and Croatia split control of Bosnia in the 9th century. The 11th and 12th centuries saw the rule of the region by the kingdom of Hungary. The medieval kingdom of Bosnia gained its independence around 1200 A.D. Bosnia remained independent until 1463, when Ottoman Turks conquered the region.

During Ottoman rule, many Bosnians converted from Christianity in favor of Islam. Bosnia was under Ottoman rule until 1878, when it was given to Austria-Hungary as a colony. While those living in Bosnia came under rule by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, South Slavs in Serbia and elsewhere were calling for a South Slav state. World War I began when Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo. Following the Great War, Bosnia became part of the South Slav state of Yugoslavia, only to be given to Nazi-puppet Croatia in World War II. During this period, many atrocities were committed against Jews, Serbs, and others who resisted the occupation. The Cold War saw the establishment of the Communist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia under Josip Broz Tito, and the reestablishment of Bosnia as a republic with its medieval borders within the federation of Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia's unraveling was hastened by the rise of Slobodan Milosevic to power in 1986. Milosevic's embrace of Serb nationalism led to intrastate ethnic strife. Slovenia and Croatia both declared independence from Yugoslavia  in 1991. In February 1992, the Bosnian Government held a referendum on independence. Bosnia's parliament declared the republic's independence on April 5, 1992. However, this move was opposed by Serb representatives who favored remaining in Yugoslavia. Bosnian Serbs, supported by neighboring Serbia, responded with armed resistance in an effort to partition the republic along ethnic lines to create a "greater Serbia." Full recognition of its independence by the United States and most European countries occurred on April 7, and Bosnia-Herzegovina was admitted to the United Nations on May 22, 1992.

In March 1994, Muslims and Croats in Bosnia signed an agreement creating the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. This narrowed the field of warring parties down to two. The conflict continued through most of 1995, ending with the Dayton Peace Agreement being signed on November 21, 1995 (the final version was signed December 14, 1995 in Paris). Bosnia and Herzegovina today consists of two entities -- the Muslim/Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is largely Bosniak and Croat, and the Republika Srpska, which is primarily Serb.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

General Government Framework Information and
Information Regarding the President and the Cabinet
Under the provisions of the Dayton Peace Accords, the entities have competencies in areas such as finance, taxation, business development, and general legislation. Entities and cantons control their own budgets, spending on infrastructure, health care, and education. Ongoing reforms have led to the creation of a state-level Indirect Taxation Authority (ITA) that will be responsible for the introduction and implementation of a state-wide value-added tax (VAT) in 2006, revenues from which will fund the governments of the state of
Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the two entities.  Customs, which had been collected by agencies of the two entities, will now be collected by a new single state customs service.

Presidency. The Presidency in Bosnia and Herzegovina rotates among three members (Bosniak, Serb, Croat), each elected for a 4-year term. The three members of the Presidency are directly elected (the Federation votes for the Bosniak/Croat, and the Republika Srpska for the Serb).

The Presidency is responsible for:

  • Conducting the foreign policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Appointing ambassadors and other international representatives, no more than two-thirds of whom may come from the Federation;
  • Representing Bosnia and Herzegovina in European and international organizations and institutions and seeking membership in such organizations and institutions of which it is not a member;
  • Negotiating, denouncing, and, with the consent of the Parliamentary Assembly, ratifying treaties of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Executing decisions of the Parliamentary Assembly;
  • Proposing, upon the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, an annual budget to the Parliamentary Assembly;
  • Reporting as requested, but no less than annually, to the Parliamentary Assembly on expenditures by the Presidency;
  • Coordinating as necessary with international and non-governmental organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • Exercising command and control over the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in peacetime, crises, and war, and;
  • Performing such other functions as may be necessary to carry out its duties, as may be assigned to it by the Parliamentary Assembly, or as may be agreed by the Entities.

The Chair of the Council of Ministers is nominated by the Presidency and approved by the House of Representatives. He is then responsible for appointing a Foreign Minister, Minister of Defense, Minister of Foreign Trade, and others as appropriate. The Council is responsible for carrying out the policies and decisions in the fields of defense, intelligence, foreign policy; foreign trade policy; customs policy; monetary policy; finances of the institutions and for the international obligations of Bosnia and Herzegovina; immigration, refugee, and asylum policy and regulation; international and inter-Entity criminal law enforcement, including relations with Interpol; establishment and operation of common and international communications facilities; regulation of inter-Entity transportation; air traffic control; facilitation of inter-Entity coordination; and other matters as agreed by the Entities.

Legislature. The Parliamentary Assembly is the lawmaking body in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It consists of two houses: the House of Peoples and the House of Representatives.

The House of Peoples includes 15 delegates, two-thirds of whom come from the Federation (5 Croat and 5 Bosniacs) and one-third from the Republika Srpska (5 Serbs). Nine members of the House of Peoples constitutes a quorum, provided that at least three delegates from each group are present. Federation representatives are selected by the House of Peoples of the Federation, and Republika Srpska representatives are selected by the Republika Srpska  National Assembly.

The House of Representatives is comprised of 42 members, two-thirds elected from the Federation and one-third elected from the Republika Srpska. Federation representatives are elected directly by the voters of the Federation, and Republika Srpska representatives are selected by the Republika Srpska National Assembly (the National Assembly is directly elected by Republika Srpska voters).

The Parliamentary Assembly is responsible for enacting legislation as necessary to implement decisions of the Presidency or to carry out the responsibilities of the Assembly under the constitution; deciding upon the sources and amounts of revenues for the operations of the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina and international obligations of Bosnia and Herzegovina; approving a budget for the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina; and deciding whether to consent to the ratification of treaties.

Judiciary. The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina is the supreme, final arbiter of legal matters. It is composed of nine members: four are selected by the House of Representatives of the Federation, two by the Assembly of the Republika Srpska, and three by the President of the European Court of Human Rights after consultation with the Presidency. The Constitutional Court's original jurisdiction lies in deciding any constitutional dispute that arises between the Entities or between Bosnia and Herzegovina and an Entity or Entities. The Court also has appellate jurisdiction within the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both the Federation and the Republika Srpska government have established lower court systems for their territories

 

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