Alignment of legislation
Alignment of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s legislation with the EU acquis implies not only the alignment of provisions but also their effective implementation.
The commitment of legislative alignment is a legal criterion arising from the Copenhagen criteria. In addition to the political and economic criteria, it is a condition for EU membership.
The ability of a state to take on an obligation in a broader context is also important for the process of legislative alignment. It entails strengthening of its administrative capacity and creating an efficient public administration to implement the acquis and other accession obligations (administrative Madrid criterion).
Having signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between the European Communities and their Member States and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Official Gazette of BiH, International agreements, 10/08, 1/17 and 8/17), BiH undertook to gradually align its existing and future legislation with the acquis referred to in the Agreement, and to ensure that the aligned legislation is properly implemented and enforced by the end of the transitional period of six years from the date of entry into force of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA).
The SAA entered into force on 1 June 2015, and the deadline to fulfil the obligation is 1 June 2021.
Depending on the subject-matter of regulation, constitutional and statutory competencies, an EU legal act may be transposed into one or more pieces of national legislation provided that the requirement of the compatibility with the EU legal act is respected. This means that the transposition of the acquis should be carried out in a coordinated and harmonised manner. Pieces of national legislation transposing a single EU legal act should be aligned in the same manner and scope.
NATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR THE ADOPTION OF THE ACQUIS (NPAA)
A national programme for the adoption of the acquis (NPAA) is a plan or a programme of alignment of national legislation with the acquis , adopted by the EU accession countries. The adoption of the NPAA is an obligation under the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.
In addition to the NPAA, some countries, potential candidates, also adopted documents which contained plans for the implementation of other obligations in the accession process, and possibly the implementation cost estimates. Such comprehensive documents are usually called a programme of integration or a national programme of integration. Bosnia and Herzegovina started drafting its Programme of Integration in October 2020.
A Programme of Integration typically sets out annual or multi-annual plans and may include a budget projection for its implementation.
DECISION ON THE PROCEDURE FOR ALIGNING LEGISLATION OF BiH WITH THE EU ACQUIS
The Decision on the procedure of aligning legislation of BiH with the EU acquis lays down detailed requirements as follows:
- obligations of legislative proponents/drafters in the process of alignment
- obligations of the Directorate for European integration (DEI)
- instructions for the development of alignment instruments (Table of Concordance and Statement of Compatibility ).
When drafting legislation, the drafter is obliged to:
- complete alignment instruments
- conduct expert revision of the terms listed in the expert terminology table
- specify the titles of transposed EU legal acts in the closing provisions
The Decision on the procedure for aligning legislation of BiH with the EU acquis (Official Gazette of BiH, 75/16 and 02/18) lays down the obligations of legislative drafters and the Directorate for European Integration to monitor the entire alignment procedure, starting from drafting through adoption and amendments in the legislative bodies.
The Decision was adopted with the aim of ensuring proper alignment of national legislation with the EU acquis, monitoring of the alignment process and reporting on compatibility of legislation as well as consistent use of terminology in the process of translation of BiH legislation into English.
Table of Concordance provides an overview of compliance of a draft/proposal of a legal act with the secondary sources of the EU law.
Statement of compatibility is a tabular overview which, in addition to the basic information on the conformity of a legal act with all the relevant sources of EU law, must be signed by the head of an administrative body as a legislative drafter, certifying the accuracy of the statement of compatibility.
The table is used for the purpose of reporting to the European Commission. It is a basic tool for uniform reporting and the alignment process in general. The coherent and uniform data provide an insight into the scope of transposed EU legislation.
The first part of the table provides a list of the institutions responsible for its completion and of all pieces of legislation subject to alignment with a specific EU legal act. The table should be filled out in English after the translation of the legislation has been revised. The completion of the table is coordinated by the Directorate for European Integration.
More information about alignment process can be found here.
EUR-Lex is a website of the European Union that offers free access to EU law, case-law by the Court of Justice of the European Union, an electronic version of the Official Journal of the EU in 24 official EU languages and other EU public documents. EUR-Lex provides a possibility to search the acquis for the purpose of legislative alignment.
TAIEX is the short-term technical assistance and information exchange instrument of the European Commission at disposal to public administrations of both the pre-accession countries and the new Member States in the field of approximation and enforcement of EU legislation.