Visit by Robert Pickard, a Member of the Working Group for Legal Support, Operating within the Programme of Technical Cooperation and Assistance of the European Council
As a part of preparation for Project on Expanding of Effectiveness of the Institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina – drawing up of the Law on Protection of Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Robert Pickard, a member of the Working Group for legal support, operating within the Programme of Technical Cooperation and Assistance of the European Council, expert for legislation in the field of protection of heritage, was in a visit to Sarajevo, on 17th and 18th February 2004.
Mr. Pickard's visit was announced as an investigation mission, with the major aim of assessing the condition of legal and institutional framework for protection of heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, identifying available documentation, as well as collecting data on possible form and content of the future cooperation.
According to the letter by Ms. Catherine Roth, Manager for Culture, Cultural and Natural Heritage in the European Council, Mr. Pickard's mission is a direct reaction on the part of the European Council on requests made by Bosnia and Herzegovina. Purpose of the mission is to define the possibilities of legal cooperation with the European Council regarding the realization of the Project, and not to provide for direct legal expertise.
The Commission started with numerous activities in order to make conditions for meeting a purpose of the investigation mission by the expert from the European Council. Relevant documentation has been collected, showing legal and institutional framework for protection of heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and numerous meetings organized, attended by responsible representatives of governmental and entity Ministries, competent for protection of cultural heritage in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as by the representatives of the OHR and Mission of the European Council to Bosnia and Herzegovina, as follows:
Tuesday, 17th February 2004
10.00 hrs, Meeting with the members of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments – presentation of Annex 8, activities of the Commission, administrative structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as legal and institutional framework for protection of the movable and immovable cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, methodology for protection of National Monuments, etc. The meeting was attended by: Robert Pickard, Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Ljiljana Ševo, Dubravko Lovrenović, Mirela Mulalić Handan, Branka Mekić, and Damir Bačvić.
13.30 hrs, Meeting with the representatives of the Ministries competent for culture and space planning of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska and the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The competent Entity Ministers had pressing duties, therefore the meeting was attended by their authorized representatives: Irena Soldat – Vujanović and Zoran Mačkić from the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska, Sabira Husedžinović and Angela Petrović from the Federation B&H Ministry of Culture and Sports, Vesna Karačić from the Federation of B&H Ministry of Space Planning and Environment, and Zdenko Dević from the Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina Department of Space Planning. The representatives of the Commission to attend the meeting were as follows: Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Ljiljana Ševo, Dubravko Lovrenović, Mirela Mulalić Handan, Branka Mekić, and Damir Bačvić.
The issues discussed at the meeting were aims and realization of the Project on Preparation of Institutional Framework for Protection of Cultural Heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The present were introduced to the major principles of the Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in the South-Eastern Europe, as well as to the aims of investigation mission by the European Council expert, preceding activities and future steps towards the realization of the Project.
Upon the recommendation by Amra Hadžimuhamedović, the meeting agenda was discussed within four major themes:
- present condition and faults of institutional and legal framework for protection of heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- integration of heritage into space plans of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- supervision over the implementation of Annex 8 – inspection supervision;
- redefining the present notion of heritage.
Considering the fact that the invitation for meeting did not define all above mentioned themes of the meeting agenda, the Ministries are allowed to submit their opinions on certain issues subsequently.
All present representatives of the Entity Ministries took part in the discussion. The majority was of an opinion that it is necessary to pass a law on protection of cultural heritage on the governmental level, but that the contents of the law should be jointly defined and agreed on all levels, in order to meet the requirements of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also of the Entities and the District of Brčko. Passing of law on the governmental level is the responsibility of Bosnia and Herzegovina, resulting from its admission to the European Council. However, the law should respect the specific needs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. New law should be drawn in such a manner that the monuments are «to profit», but not the institutions. Its passing shall in no manner jeopardize any political, national, religious, cultural and other rights.
The representatives of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Republika Srpska called attention to the fact that if there is a political will to pass a law, the task of the Working Group should be defining of that will in legal forms. They further emphasized that the existing legislation, institutional framework, and adopted protection system in Republika Srpska met the requirements of that Entity, regarding the protection of heritage and showed good results. According to their point of view, new law on the governmental level should not deal with the issues already dealt with, or the measures well implemented. Furthermore, the law should not be imposed, for it would be impossible to implement.
Certain issues, which should be regulated by new law, were raised during the discussion:
- defining rights and responsibilities of property owners, and contractual regulation of the relationship of the institution proclaiming the property a protected monument, and the owner of that property;
- defining precisely the competence and relationships of all existing protection authorities, on all levels of responsibility;
- integration of cultural heritage into space plans and other fields (e.g. tourism);
- the manner of valorisation of cultural heritage in space plans;
- effective penalties, in compliance with Entities' Criminal Acts;
- mechanisms for earmarking of funds for protection of heritage (stimulation through new tax policy, etc), and defined distribution of funds to each protection institution;
- application of principles set forth by various conventions on protection of heritage, as well as application of European standards as much as possible, having in mind the characteristics of Bosnia and Herzegovina heritage;
- providing for harmonization of legal framework of the governmental level with standards and regulations of the European Council and the European Union, and Annex 8 of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
- while drawing up of the law, the attention should be paid to the resolutions able to be implemented, which would, once the law has been passed, regulate the restitution issues.
Following this, Mr. Pickard thanked for the constructive discussion, which, according to him, proved the need of passing uniform law on protection of cultural heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, encouraging presented issues, which should be regulated or defined by the Law. In his opinion the advantages of passing such a law are numerous: by precise defining of authorities of all protection institutions and their relationships, the existing parallelism and ambiguities in current protection system would be overcome, the bureaucracy reduced, protection system made simpler, and new investments provided for, as well as the system of their fair distribution. He underlined the necessity of political will for passing the uniform law. He gave his support to the activities of the Commission, especially regarding passing of independent, expert criteria for proclamation of property a National Monument.
The meeting was ended by a conclusion that the procedure for drawing up of draft bill will be done with expert support on the part of the European Council, whereas the first version of draft bill will be drawn up by the Working Group composed of the representatives of Republic and Entity Ministries of Culture and Space Planning. The Working Group would operate within and under the supervision of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments. The Working Group could, as appropriately, include the experts in certain fields from other institutions. The Working Group will define the contents of the Law, which will be discussed and agreed in the Commission, and eventually in broader discussion with competent Republic and Entity authorities and institutions relevant to the protection of cultural heritage.
16.00 hrs, Meeting at Sonja Moser – Starrach's, European Council Mission Chief and special representative of the European Council Secretary General. The representatives of the Commission to attend the meeting were: Amra Hadžimuhamedović, Ljiljana Ševo, Mirela Mulalić Handan and Branka Mekić.
The members of the Commission introduced Mrs. Moser-Starrach to the activities related to preparation of legal and institutional framework for protection of heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as an integral part of the Project on Expanding of Effectiveness of the Institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, realized within the Regional Programme for Cultural and Natural Heritage in the South-Eastern Europe 2003-2005, and especially to investigation mission conducted by the European Council expert, Rob Pickard. Mrs. Moser-Starrach encouraged the Project and the activities of the Commission, generally. She was satisfied to see that such a significant progress in procedure of passing a uniform law on the governmental level had been made. Furthermore, she expressed her wish to participate in the visit to the Monuments together with the members of the Commission, and to attend the sessions of the Commission.
19.00 hrs, Working dinner attended by the members of the Commission and Mr. Pickard.
Wednesday, 18th February 2004
1. Robert Pickard will draw up a Report on investigation mission, which will be discussed during the plenary meeting for support to the Law, organized by the Working Group of the European Council, from 4th to 5th March 2004. The European Council will, following the meeting, officially present to Bosnia and Herzegovina a draft of the activities plan, authorizing concrete activities on drawing up of the Law.
2. Besides the issues already discussed at the above mentioned meetings, and labelled as necessary to be regulated and worked out in detail, the Law should specify the following:
- definition of various classes of heritage (archaeological heritage, historical areas, architectural ensembles, etc.), as well as the protection measures (reconstruction, restoration, rehabilitation, conservation, etc.);
- effective protection measures;
- earmarking of financial resources for implementation of the Decisions issued by the Commission;
- providing for financial resources from other sources, outside the budget of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Entities.
3. Issues regarding the institutional framework – organization of institutions for protections of cultural heritage should be discussed at the end. Mr. Pickard suggested that the network of institutions be maximally simple.
4. At the meeting to be held in May 2004, the Commission will propose the contents of the Law, and inform the European Council on the proposal and all dilemmas related to it.
5. The Working Group will draw up a draft bill by the end of June 2004, using expert assistance by the European Council (R. Pickard) and hiring experts in certain fields, if appropriate. The Working Group will regularly exchange views on all dilemmas regarding drawing up of the draft bill, and inform the Commission on its activities.
6. The Commission will present the draft bill on the Regional session on legislation, which will be held in Bulgaria, in autumn of 2004, under the patronage of the European Council.
7. Draft bill will be drawn up by the end of 2004, and it will undergo the regular procedure of enactment.
8. During the period of drawing up of the Law, the matter will be discussed with broad circle of experts in the country.