Oikos strated providing professional services in technical support, facilitation and training to the Western-Herzegovina Cantonal institutions and stakeholders engaged in the process of creation of the integrated and participatory cantonal development strategy for the period 2014 – 2020. Service will result not only in a newly-developed integrated cantonal development strategy, but also in strengthened institutional capacities of the Western-Herzegovina County to design and manage development processes in an integrated and participatory manner.

WHC kick off

WHC kick off

The scope of the service covers two main types of assistance: technical assistance (TA) and training, which are embedded into the overall strategic planning process, following the general methodology described above. In other words, the service provider must ensure competency acquisition among target groups and this must translate into effective results in terms of actually developing the integrated cantonal development strategy in the form of a draft document comprising all requested strategy elements.

Services are commissioned by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the United Nations Development Programme of Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNDP BiH) and implemented in partnership with the BiH Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees, the Federal Ministry of Justice, the RS Ministry for Administration and Local Self-Governance and both Associations of Municipalities and Cities.


First of all it needs to be said that cohesion policy or the regional policy at the European level are not the same as regional development in Member or Candidate Countries. The two concepts are often misinterpreted and a need for calibrating the two is over-rated. Cohesion policy offers a frame for the development of Europe on large level and offers several opportunities for regions and national states to pick from while the financial mechanisms are there to be implemented through strict rules and administrative procedures in order to keep transparency and efficiency of the tax-payers money raised for regional policy and all other policies being implemented in European union.

Sarajevo 84

Sarajevo 84

EU-Cohesion Policy is part of the framework for Regional Development in a country/ region in which operational mechanisms of the EU-CP are implemented. It does not replace a national strategy or policy on regional development. EU-Cohesion Policy in the new programming period 2014 – 2020 will be implemented under the umbrella of a Common Strategic Framework (CSF) which defines 11 thematic objectives for the CFS-Funds (setting priorities in line with the Europe 2020 strategy):

  • strengthening research, technological development and innovation;
  • enhancing access to, and use and quality of information and communication technologies;
  • enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, the agricultural sector (for the EAFRD) and the fisheries and aquaculture sector (for the EMFF);
  • supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors;
  • promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management;
  • protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency;
  • promoting sustainable transport and removing bottlenecks in key network infrastructures;
  • promoting employment and supporting labor mobility;
  • promoting social inclusion and combating poverty;
  • investing in education, skills and lifelong learning;
  • enhancing institutional capacity and an efficient public administration.

Thus, the new Cohesion Policy of the EU calls for concentration of funds – geographically and thematically. Each Operational Programme (OP) to be financed from the so-called CSF-funds has to choose a maximum of 4 priorities out of the above-listed 11 priorities.  The same goes for countries and regions which may agree on their own priorities for regional development and support smart specialization through this. These can comprise geographic/ territorial and thematic priorities aiming at concentration of funding that is expected to be limited due to economic indicators of the European territory.

Cohesion policy instruments and operational mechanisms (IPA and later when becoming Member States ERDF, ESF and CF, including the CBC-components) are one of the financial sources of regional development which should be developing several other funding mechanisms from non-financial to loans and equity. EU Cohesion Policy is one source for funding of the regional development in countries which need to establish and manage other sources private, regional, national and non-financial.

At the same time EU Cohesion Policy needs to be implemented by funding good projects, which are the result of successful (strategic, integrated and participatory) regional development planning in order to be successful on a long run.

The relation between EU-Cohesion Policy  and national regional development (policies) can be described as follows:

  • EU-CP is one source for funding RD in a country,
  • thus RD uses the EU-CP to finance RD-interventions;
  • at the same time EU-CP needs to be implemented by funding good projects, which are the result of successful (strategic, integrated and participatory) RD-planning.

Very often the EU-Cohesion Policy was one of the main impetus` to start developing an own national regional development policy in the examined states but now there is a certain need to find additional sources to motivate regional development.

The article is a part of a comparative Study “Regional Development in South East Europe” Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania commissioned by Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, Local Governance Programme South Caucasus done in November/ December  2012 by Stefan Elsing, strategieKONTOR and Jurij Kobal, Oikos, Sustainable development.


Territorial Dimension of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Europe ESPON TIPSEThe ESPON TIPSE project will tackle the issue of poverty and processes of social exclusion in Europe. The project will improve the evidence base for policy to promote inclusive growth.One of the key challenges in Europe is to eradicate localised concentrations of poverty and social exclusion. This remains a national responsibility within the context of EU strategic guidance. In practice local administrations often face the challenge of addressing pockets of deprivation and exclusion in their areas and are charged by implementing the national policies. At a higher level, the EU defines its role as identifying best practices and promoting mutual learning.The ESPON TIPSE project aims to support policy, both by enhancing the evidence base and by identifying existing good practice. Poverty and social exclusion are essentially relative concepts, arguably meaningful only within a specified geographical context. This underlines the central importance of observation, measurement, and careful data analysis as an essential preparation for intervention.The main aim of the project is to generate a regional database and associated maps, of poverty and social exclusion indicators. The project will establish macro and micro-scale patterns of poverty and social exclusion across the ESPON space and derive recommendations for the monitoring of territorial trends in poverty and processes of exclusion.

via Territorial Dimension of Poverty and Social Exclusion in Europe ESPON TIPSE – Nordregio.