Office of the High Representative Board of Principals

| 29/7/2002


Board of Principals


Following an extensive study carried out by the Office of the High Representative at the request of the Peace Implementation Council the coordinating structure of the International Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina was "streamlined" in 2002 so as to eliminate overlapping effort and responsibilities and increase effectiveness. As part of this process a Board of Principals was established, under the chairmanship of the High Representative, to serve as the main coordinating body of International Community activity in BiH. The Board of Principals meets once a week in Sarajevo. Its permanent members are OHR, EUFOR, NATO HQ Sarajevo, OSCE, UNHCR, EUPM and the European Commission. International financial institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF and the UNDP are also regular participants at the Board of Principals.

BoP Press Releases

The position of High Representative was created under the General Framework Agreement for Peace in BiH (Dayton Peace Agreement) of 14 December 1995 to oversee implementation of the civilian aspects of the Peace Agreement. In pursuit of his mandate, and at this stage in peace implementation, the mission of the High Representative is to work with the people of BiH and the international community. To ensure that Bosnia and Herzegovina is a peaceful, viable state on course to European integration.

UNHCR has been entrusted with the mandate to ensure the international protection of refugees and to seek solutions for refugees. UNHCR, in line with the Dayton Peace Agreement, is the lead agency with regard to the implementation of Annex 7; and actively facilitates the return and reintegration of former BiH refugees and internally displaced persons. UNHCR has been operationally based in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1991 and has a nationwide presence with 4 regional offices in Banja Luka, Tuzla, Mostar and Sarajevo.

The launch of EUFOR-ALTHEA (EUFOR ), the EU Force in BiH, marks the beginning of a new phase in BiH’s recovery, its transition from the era of Dayton to the era of Brussels. The EU force will work in unison with the EUSR/HR, the EUPM, the EUMM, and the European Commission’s assistance programmes to support the Stabilisation and Association process and the OHR’s Mission Implementation Plan.

The EU Force will reinforce the EU's comprehensive approach towards BiH, and support BiH's progress towards EU integration by its own efforts. It will have full authority to fulfil the role specified in Annexes 1A and 2 of the Paris/Dayton Agreement and contribute to a safe and secure environment in BiH, and it will deploy at the same force level and with similar resources as SFOR on its departure, that is, with around 7,000 troops.

There is no end-date for the EU force, but the Council of the EU will review the EU Force’s mandate by the end of 2005, in light of security and political developments.

The NATO Alliance decided to conclude SFOR’s successful operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and welcomed the readiness of the European Union to deploy a new and distinct U.N.-mandated 'Chapter Seven' mission in BiH, based on the Berlin-plus arrangements agreed between our two organizations. However, NATO’s long-term political commitment to BiH remains unchanged and NATO Headquarters Sarajevo will constitute NATO’s military presence in the country.

The primary mission for NATO Headquarters Sarajevo will be Defence Reform.

The NATO Headquarters Sarajevo will assist BiH to meet requirements for the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) program and eventually membership in the NATO alliance. NATO Headquarters Sarajevo will also undertake certain operational tasks, including counter-terrorism whilst ensuring force protection, support to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with regard to the detention of persons indicted for war crimes (PIFWCs) and intelligence sharing with the EU.

The European Commission as the executive arm of the European Union embodies and upholds the general interest of the Union and acts as a driving force in the integration process.

  • It has the right to initiate draft legislation and therefore presents legislative proposals to Parliament and the Council;
  • As the Union's executive body, it is responsible for implementing the European legislation (directives, regulations, decisions), budget and programmes adopted by Parliament and the Council;
  • It acts as guardian of the Treaties and, together with the Court of Justice, ensures that Community law is properly applied;
  • It represents the Union on the international stage and negotiates international agreements, chiefly in the field of trade and cooperation.
  • It is also responsible for managing the Community budget, under the supervision of the Court of Auditors.

The Delegations of the External Service, although hierarchically a part of the Commission structure, in practice serve European Union interests as a whole in 123 countries throughout the world, and at five centres of international organisations (OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO):

  • presenting, explaining and implementing EU policy; providing background and updates on European integration and EU policies to host governments and administrations, media, academia, business circles and civil society.
  • analysing and reporting on the policies and developments of the countries to which they are accredited ; and
  • conducting negotiations in accordance with a given mandate.

Delegations also play an increasing role in the conduct of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), providing regular political analysis, conducting evaluations jointly with Member State Embassies and contributing to the policy making process.

Delegations provide support and assistance as necessary to the other institutions and actors of the EU, including :

  • the High Representative for CFSP/Secretary General of the EU Council, who can rely on their logistical support when on mission and to whom all their policy reports are copied;
  • the European Parliament, in that they help, for example, to arrange programmes for and accompany visiting delegations and Committees where necessary and - in agreement with Commission headquarters - Heads of Delegation may contact the Foreign Affairs Committee and other Committees of the Parliament, when they are back at headquarters, in order to report on recent developments in their host countries and the development of EU policy and programmes;
  • the EU Presidency, with Heads of Delegation regularly taking part in Troika démarches, and assisting the Presidency in other ways.

The Delegation of the European Commission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, was established on 10 July 1996 following signature of the Dayton/Paris Peace Agreement. In addition to the tasks mentioned before, this Delegation plays a key role in the implementation of external assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina as it was the first ‘deconcentrated’ Delegation. Since 1998, it manages projects directly from start to finish on behalf of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in close contact with the EuropeAid Co-Operation Office. Until 2001, in total more than € 2.2 billion has been set aside for assistance to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 2002, the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the EC have agreed on the Country Strategy 2002 - 2006. € 195 million has been earmarked for the first three years 2002 – 2004. EC assistance will focus on the following five areas:

  1. Democratic stabilization
  2. Administrative Capacity Building
  3. Economic and Social Development
  4. Environment and Natural Resources
  5. Justice and Home Affairs

Funding is now mainly provided through the CARDS programme (successor to Phare and OBNOVA), which is supplemented with Macro-financial assistance and financial support from other Community budgetlines (e.g. European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, LIFE – Third countries).

In concert with the EU Presidency, the Delegation takes the lead in on-the-spot co-ordination of the implementation of all EU assistance, multi-lateral and bi-lateral, to increase synergy and - not to be forgotten - EU visibility.

Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the World Bank in 1996 (with membership retroactive to 1993). In the immediate post-war period (1996-1999), a wave of emergency projects was prepared to help jump-start the reconstruction effort, including transport, power, de-mining, housing, health, education, public works, agriculture, and micro-credit sectors.

With most of the necessary basic reconstruction works completed, the Bank in this second phase (1999 ? current) has shifted its efforts towards fundamental structural reforms critical to the emergence of a market based economy.

There are currently 20 active, and 23 implemented and closed projects financed in BiH by the World Bank for a total of US$940 million. These loans have been disbursed under standard IDA terms, repayable in 35 years, including a 10-year grace period, without interests, and with a one percent servicing fee.

As the primary instrument for early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation in Europe, OSCE plays a major role in fostering a stable, peaceful and democratic Bosnia and Herzegovina. OSCE began operations in BiH under its GFAP (Dayton) mandate on 18 December 1995. Its key areas of focus have been to:

  • promote free, fair and democratic elections;
  • promote development of democratic, participatory and self-sustaining
  • institutions at all levels of government;
  • monitor human rights and fundamental freedoms and support the
  • development of sustainable human rights institutions;
  • assist BiH to comply with its OSCE political-military commitments.

UNDP is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.

The IMF is an international organization of 184 member countries. It was established to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements; to foster economic growth and high levels of employment; and to provide temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance of payments adjustment.

Since the IMF was established its purposes have remained unchanged but its operations — which involve surveillance, financial assistance, and technical assistance — have developed to meet the changing needs of its member countries in an evolving world economy.


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