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					 READER ON BEST PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABLE
SOLUTIONS FOR RETURN IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA




                October, 2005
                                        CONTENTS


INTRODUCTION


PART I
ARTICLES PREPARED FOR THE CONFERENCE: “THROUGH PRACTICE TO RIGHTS IN THE LOCAL
COMMUNITY” BEST PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS FOR DISPLACEMENT IN THE FORMER
YUGOSLAVIA IN THE CONTEXT OF LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – NON DISCRIMINATORY ACCESS
TO RIGHTS
FOJNICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, JUNE, 2004

       LOCAL COMMUNITIES SHOULD STRENGTHEN THE HUMAN DIMENSION OF THE RETURN
        PROCESS, MS. HEDVIG MORVAI-HORVATH AND MR. DION VAN DEN BERG

       REFUGEES IN THE WESTERN BALKANS IN 2004 AND BEST PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABLE RETURN,
        MS. TATJANA MEIJVOGEL-VOLK


PART II
SPEECHES DELIVERED AT THE CONFERENCE: “THROUGH PRACTICE TO RIGHTS IN THE LOCAL
COMMUNITY”
FOJNICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, JUNE, 2004


       WELCOME SPEECHES: MAYOR OF FOJNICA MR. MUSTAFA MEMIJA AND MAYOR OF KISELJAK MR.
        IVICA UDOVICIC

       REFUGEE RETURN PROGRAMS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA; U.S. AGENCY FOR
        INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, 1996 – 2004, MR. HOWARD SUMKA

       RETURN AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN BIH, MR. DONALD HAYS


PART III
RECOMMENDATIONS - THE FINAL DOCUMENT OF THE CONFERENCE: “THROUGH PRACTICE TO RIGHTS IN
THE LOCAL COMMUNITY”
FOJNICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, JUNE, 2004


PART IV
COLLECTION OF BEST PRACTICES - QUESTIONNAIRES

       BAC, SCG
       PRIJEDOR, BIH
       FOJNICA, BIH
       TUZLA, BIH
       SREBRENICA, BIH
       ERNESTINOVO, CROATIA
       SODOLOVCI, CROATIA
       OSIJEK, CROATIA


ANNEX

       REPORT ON THE CONFERENCE: “THROUGH PRACTICE TO RIGHTS IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY”
        BEST PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS FOR DISPLACEMENT IN THE FORMER
        YUGOSLAVIA IN THE CONTEXT OF LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – NON DISCRIMINATORY
        ACCESS TO RIGHTS
INTRODUCTION


 I. The aim of the reader

    The aim of this reader is to encourage and facilitate local communities in local projects aiming at
    solving problems related to displacement, by promoting and disseminating the research on best
    practices among interested municipalities/local communities, dealing with the issue of sustainable
    return and integration process in various regions of the former Yugoslavia.

    The final aim of this initiative is to contribute to the restoration and full development of the
    former Yugoslavia as a multi-ethnic and democratic region, fully participating in processes of
    European integration.


II. Target groups of the research on best practices in the field of sustainable return were:

    Municipalities/local communities from: Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
    Croatia and Macedonia

III. Background information

    The Conference on “Best practices of Sustainable Solutions for Displacement in the former
    Yugoslavia, in the context of local community development – Non-discriminatory Access to Rights”
                                                               rd              th
    took place in Fojnica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, from June 23 through June 25 , 2004.

    The conference was the joint initiative of The Citizens’ Pact for South Eastern Europe, the
    Municipality of Fojnica and the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (MARRI), organised in co-
    operation with the Dutch peace organisation IKV. Other partners involved: the local governments of:
    Prijedor (BiH), Srebrenica (BiH), Osijek (Croatia), Bac (SCG) and Kiseljak (BiH) as well as NGOs
    from these municipalities.

    In particular the conference was focused on concrete initiatives that local communities (local
    governments and local NGO’s) can do themselves in the promotion and organisation of sustainable
    return of refugees and displaced persons throughout the former Yugoslavia. At the Conference the
    best practices and the lessons learned of local communities to the return process were highlighted.

    As an input paper for the Conference, a special document was written, where representatives from 7
    municipalities (Bac (SCG), Osijek (Croatia), Ernestinovo (Croatia), Sodolovci (Croatia), Prijedor (BiH),
    Tuzla (BiH) and Srebrenica (BiH)) presented their experiences and their best practice.

    This collection of best practices presented a starting point for lively discussions during the conference
    and has shown to be a form of inventive communication on the issues of sustainable solutions of
    return of refugees and displaced persons in the Western Balkans in future.

    The presentation and evaluation of best practices paid a key-role in the conference. The organisers
    defined the main characteristics of the “best practices” as follows:

       It is sustainable (among others not dependent on ongoing external financial support),
       It is based on an active role of the local governments and local NGO’s,
       It is developed upon the basis of intensive consultation and co-operation with people most directly
        involved,
       It contributes to the development of the local community development as a whole,
       It is applicable in other regions as well.




                                                     3
The Fojnica Conference has made clear that interesting best practices on sustainable return do exist,
but that there is not enough information at hand to use for promotion of similar models. There is need
for more and better structured information-sharing on such good examples.

Having in mind this fact, it is important to publish and disseminate the research further among
interested municipalities/local communities.

As a possible follow up to the conference held in Fojnica, it is planned to:
- update the research with more best practices (new examples)
- make a documentary on (some of) these best practices
- organise round tables in municipalities/local communities
- organise a final conference

Looking at the numbers of people returning, we can only conclude that the most ‘fruitful’ years are
already behind us. But we must realise that every returnee is important, and moreover that now more
difficult categories such as young families and young educated persons are also considering
returning. For the longer-term perspectives for economic recovery, democratisation and socio-cultural
revitalisation, these persons and families are very important.
In addition, we clearly see (luckily so) that the European Commission is not easy-going on the
criterion of active support for return programmes by the national governments, in the light of
processes of European integration.




                                                  4
PART I
ARTICLES PREPARED FOR THE CONFERENCE: “THROUGH PRACTICE TO RIGHTS IN THE LOCAL
COMMUNITY” BEST PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS FOR DISPLACEMENT IN THE
FORMER YUGOSLAVIA IN THE CONTEXT OF LOCAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT – NON
DISCRIMINATORY ACCESS TO RIGHTS
FOJNICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, JUNE, 2004


LOCAL COMMUNITIES SHOULD STRENGTHEN THE HUMAN DIMENSION OF THE RETURN
PROCESS
                                                     1
By Hedvig Morvai-Horvat and Dion van den Berg (June, 2004)


One can look at the issue of return of returnees and displaced persons in South Eastern Europe in
various ways. You can look at the return figures, and be satisfied or not satisfied. You can focus on the
laws and regulations on the promotion and organisation of return and the related debates in the national
parliaments, and speak of compliance with international wishes or of obstruction and lack of political
willingness. But there is also another way of talking about return, and that is from the perspective of the
individual or family involved. Then, almost all cases represent a human tragedy and sad stories of
despair, misery, broken and destroyed families. As a local community, one can formulate demands with
regard to everything others (political parties, national government, international community, aid agencies)
should do to solve these problems. Or you can decide to take the lead yourself, as a local government, as
a local NGO, as a group of potential returnees, and ‘simply’ develop and implement a local return
strategy.

Those who take the human dimension and the right to return as their starting point, and combine it with
determination and self-commitment, will often reach surprisingly good results in term of sustainable
return. At least, that is our conclusion after years of support for such brave, local initiatives and a study of
many of these small-scale activities. Some of these projects are about co-operation between
neighbouring towns or cities, as is the case in the two-way return between Kiseljak and Fojnica, and
Prijedor and Sanski Most (Bosnia and Herzegovina) or in restoration of good relations as between
Sodolovci and Ernestinovo (Croatia). A good example in the field of housing can be found in Bac
(Vojvodina, Serbia). Small-scale economic initiatives were developed in the form of support for local
entrepreneurs in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and some employment opportunities in Srebrenica
(Bosnia and Herzegovina). Special possibilities were successfully granted to female returnees through
the Bosnia and Herzegovina Women’s Initiative. An interesting example of local government policy in
support of sustainable return through multi-ethnic neighbourhood councils was developed by the city of
Osijek (Croatia). And the director of the school in Gvozd (Croatia) had a major achievement in the
reintegration of returnees in the school system and the local community. Numerous are the examples of
local NGO’s who really made a difference in the towns where they work: such as the first project of return
to villages surrounding the Srebrenica town, organised by the NGO “Srebrenica 99” in the year 2000; the
activities of Youth Centre “Stella” in Fojnica, Radio Kontakt broadcasting in the region of Banja Luka
(Bosnia and Herzegovina), the inter-religious support for return as organised by the imam and Franciscan
guardian in Bugojno (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Even return of Serbian families to villages south of the
river Ibar is already being prepared and organised by the NGO “Community-Building Mitrovica” (Kosovo).
The same goes for Slav Macedonians returning to villages north of Kumanovo (Macedonia).




1
  Hedvig Morvai-Horvath is director of the General Secretariat of the Citizens’ Pact for South Eastern Europe, based
in Novi Sad
Dion van den Berg is programme officer for South Eastern Europe of the Dutch peace organisation IKV, based in
The Hague



                                                         5
All of these, and more, examples will be presented and discussed at a conference on ‘best practices on
sustainable return’ in the former Yugoslavia that will take place in Fojnica, June 23 – 25. This conference
is the joint initiative of the city of Fojnica, the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and the Citizens’
Pact for South Eastern Europe, a network of local NGO’s and local governments from all countries in the
region. Support is given by the Dutch peace NGO IKV and a group of cities in Croatia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina and Serbia.

In a large part of the former Yugoslavia, the process of return of refugees and displaced persons is
slowing down. We may well be reaching the final stage in the return process. For the sake of all people
still longing to return to their place of origin, for the sake of long-term perspectives of democracy, stability
and European integration, it is important that municipalities and local NGO’s intensify their programmes to
organise return and pay more attention to the aspect of reintegration of returnees (to avoid that they leave
for a second time). And the best practices, of which we gave some examples above, show that local
communities can play a crucial role in promoting return, in a sustainable way. Of course, the aspect of
sustainability is crucial and deserves more attention.

According to data of UNHCR and various ministries, far more than one million refugees and displaced
persons have returned to their places of origin since the Dayton Accords (1995), the Erdut Agreement
(1995), the end of the war in Kosovo (1999) and the ‘Framework Agreement’ of Ohrid (2001). But it is
well-known, although not visible in the official return figures, that quite a high percentage of all return is
not sustainable. Many people immediately sell their house or leave again after some time – due to
tensions in the local community, unemployment or total lack of perspective. Experiences show that after a
number of years return rates drop. This is happening at present in most regions in the former Yugoslavia.
And the donor money available for return projects will continue to decrease as well. At the same time,
local actors have been the ones organising some of the most impressive return processes. Co-operation
between local governments and local NGO’s is crucial in that respect. And if organised in a proper way,
both the returnees and the local community at large benefit from the project. It is time for an extra input in
the return process, bottom-up, organised in the local communities!

The organisers of the conference have set themselves the aim to formulate a list of challenging
recommendations to the local governments and local NGO’s. Working at the local level, they have a best
insight in the local situation. Better than others involved in supporting return processes, they can start
from the human dimension. And sometimes even with a lack of financial means, much can be done to get
the message across that the local community will welcome returnees and will help them to make a new
start in their place of origin. At the same time, as organisers of the conference we are convinced that
successful local initiatives will encourage national governments and international organisations to
continue, and where needed intensify, their financial and political commitment to the return projects in the
local communities. It has been the tragedy that most donor money was available in the period that
refugees and displaced persons did not want to return home yet. Now many donors have already left
South Eastern Europe, whereas the needs and wishes of returnees and potential returnees are very
manifest and cannot be satisfied with the limited funds available.

Local government and NGO’s can and must take a more active role in the return processes. They should
do this in a way that the whole community can benefit from it. They should be more involved in lobbying
themselves at the level of the national governments and the international community, not only for money
but also to ask for a more active government policy and implementation of return laws and regulations.
Donor agencies should adjust their funding mechanisms in a way that they are more fit to support, tailor-
made, the projects in the local communities. The international community should award local communities
who have shown the type of self-commitment mentioned above with better access to the funds available.
And by highlighting these examples, and providing more funds for them, the international community can
also continue to emphasize the importance of the return of refugees and displaced persons.

The return process can easily fade out and stop in the upcoming two or three years. Or municipal
authorities and others in the local communities can give a new boost to the process. Let’s go for the
boost! For the sake of people who still wish to return, for the sake of regional stability, democracy and
European integration.


                                                       6
REFUGEES IN THE WESTERN BALKANS IN 2004 AND BEST PRACTICES OF SUSTAINABLE
RETURN
                            1
By Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk (June, 2004)

                                                               2
According to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe , there are still more than one million refugees
and displaced persons in the Western Balkans in need for a sustainable solution for problems related to
their displacements.
Approximately 300.000 Croatian Serbs left Croatia between 1991-1995, as of July 2003 the Croatian
government registered 108.000 Serbs as returnees. According to international organizations working in
                                                                              3
the field the number of returnees who actually stay in Croatia is much lower : after a short stay in Croatia,
many depart again for Serbia and Montenegro or Bosnia.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina more than two million people fled their homes during the war. Between 1996
and July 2003 the UNHCR registered 965.000 returns of refugees and displaced persons to their pre-war
homes, while more than a million remain displaced. Of those who have returned some 420.000 returned
                                                        4
to the areas in which their ethnic group is a minority.
The precise number of persons displaced in Kosovo is difficult to determine, since no precise registration
was conducted as these individuals left Kosovo and many did not register with any international agency
                                                                                                         5
or host government. The estimates range from 230.000 – 280.000 mainly non-Albanian population. Out
                                                                  6
of this only between estimated 5000-9000 individuals returned. The events of March 2004 led to 4100
                               7
additionally displaced people , some of them returnees.
Macedonia had one of the fastest multiethnic returns of refugees in the Balkans, after the conflict of 2001;
during which 160.000 people were displaced, in 2003 only 6300 were still not back to their homes. But
according to international organizations the attempts of returnees to reintegrate socially and economically
                                                                                                       8
often fail and the tendency of population to leave areas, where they are in ethnic minority continues.

    Factors of decisive influence

Even if the situation of refugees and displaced persons fairly differs in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Macedonia and Kosovo, there can be identified several factors which do have influence on the decision of
refugees and displaced persons, whether they do return to their place of former residence (even if they
will be part of the minority population) or decide to reside constantly in the area, where they have been
displaced to:

Security Situation:
Here the overall situation varies in the last two years very much in the different countries of the former
Yugoslavia: in Croatia and in most parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina potential threat of physical unsafely
                                          9
presents no obstacle for return anymore , while it appears still to remain as the main blockade in Kosovo


1
  Political scientist; currently student of “East European Studies” at Berlin University and intern at the IKV, prior
areas of involvement in the Former Yugoslavia: 1993/94 Liaison Officer (Humanitarian Aid of the German Embassy
in Croatia), 1994/95 EU-Administration Mostar, 2000/2001 Election/Implementation Advisor (OSCE Mission to
Bosnia-Herzegovina).
2
  Stability Pact, MARRI, “Access to Rights, Moving from Refugee Status to Citizenship”, February 2004, p.4
3
  Human Rights Watch: “Impediments to Return”, May 2004, p. 1
4
  Human Rights Watch: “Legacy of War: Minority Returns in the Balkans”, January 2004, p.2
5
  ICG Report No 139:”Return to uncertainty – Kosovo’s internally displaced and the return process”,
Pristina/Brussels, December 2002
6
  Human Rights Watch: “Legacy of War: Minority Returns in the Balkans”, January 2004, p.2
7
  OSCE Mission in Kosovo/UMNIK: “Human Rights Challenges following the March riots”, p. 4
8
  ICG Report No 149: “Macedonia – No Room for Complacency”, Skopje/Brussels, October 2003, p. 22
9
  ICG Report No 137, “The continuing challenge of refugee return in Bosnia-Herzegovina”, Sarajevo/Brussels,
December 2002, p. 18/19 and ICG Report No 138, “A half-hearted welcome: Refugee Returns to Croatia”.
Zagreb/Brussels, December 2002, p. 10/11.


                                                         7
                                                       10
concerning the return of non-Albanian population. Even if in Bosnia and Herzegovina the overall
security situation improved evidently, the overdue detention of persons suspected of war crimes might
prevent individuals still from returning to their homes.

Housing situation:
In the last years the donor money for housing constantly decreased. Lack of means for the reconstruction
of destroyed houses, remains thus an issue in all areas of the Former Yugoslavia affected by war. In
Bosnia and Herzegovina for example foreign funding for reconstruction continues to diminish since the
late 1990s, authorities involved do not count on international donations for reconstruction after the year
                11
2005 anymore.

Mono-ethnic institutions:
Coming back to an area, where they are now a minority returnees are facing the problem of mono-ethnic
institutions. In everyday life they are confronted with administrations and public services (for example the
police), which do employ nearly exclusively members of the ethnic majority. As a result of that the degree
                                                                                          12
of trust and cooperation between the returnee and these institutions remains restricted.

Employment discrimination:
In a general weak economic situation it becomes even more difficult for refugees and returnees to find
employment. In Bosnia-Herzegovina for example economic stagnation was already in 2002 according to
international officials, returnees’ representatives and local authorities identified as the single greatest
obstacle to return! In times, when work and with that economic prosperity is not even available for the
                                                                                                         13
majority population, policies to end discrimination in this field can have only a rather limited effect.

Discrimination in education:
The fact that the curriculum is taught according to the ethnic majority, might be a reason for the returnees
not to return to their former area of residence or to let their children go to schools in areas, where they
constitute the ethnic majority (thus hampering the social reintegration of the young generations). In
Bosnia and Herzegovina the decision to develop a Common Core Curriculum, which incorporates the
                                      14
curricula of all entities and cantons, means progress – in how far it will be successfully implemented
remains to be seen.
In Macedonia and Kosovo education will remain a hot item concerning integration and reintegration of
                               15
minority population in future.

Property Law implementation:
The successful implementation of property law legislation presents the very basic aspect for the
improvement of return. Since Croatia lags behind in implementing the respective legislation adopted
already in July 2002 (provision of housing for dispossessed tenancy right holders), lack of access to their
                                                               16
pre-war homes remains as a key impediment to Serb return.
Resolution of property claims in Kosovo made only limited progress as well. As of September 2003,
housing authorities had issued decisions on 31 percent of claims for restoration and confirmation of
residential property rights. However, temporary occupants were slow to vacate the properties, and
effective enforcement mechanisms were lacking. As of September 2003, the number of actual
                                                             17
repossessions still barely exceeded 2 percent of all claims.

10
   Human Rights Watch: “Legacy of War: Minority Returns in the Balkans”, January 2004, p. 2/3 and Report of
OSCE Mission in Kosovo: “Human Rights challenges following the March riots”.
11
   Annex VII (GFAF) Strategy (joint document UNHCR, MHRR, OHR), Sarajevo January 2003.
12
   Human Rights Watch: “Legacy of War: Minority Returns in the Balkans”, January 2004, p.8/9 and ICG Report
No 137, p. 16-18.
13
   Ibid., p. 14 -16.
14
   Human Rights Watch: “Legacy of War: Minority Return in the Balkans”, January 2004, p. 7
15
   ICG Report No 149, “Macedonia – No Room for Complacency, Skopje/Brussels October 2003, p. 22/23.
16
   Human Rights Watch: “Impediments to Return”, May 2004, p. 1 and ICG Report No 138: “A Half Hearted
Welcome: Refugee Return to Croatia”, Zagreb/Brussels, December 2002, p. 6/7
17
   Human Rights Watch: “Legacy of War: Minority Return in the Balkans”, January 2004, p. 8


                                                      8
In Bosnia and Herzegovina the creation of a clear legal basis for the repossession of property and its
                                                     18
implementation through several (international) PLIP agencies (OHR, UNHCR, OSCE, UNMIBH and
                                                  19
CRPC) from 2000-2003 was a great step forward. Nevertheless, reliable data on how much people after
they re-possessed their property really stayed in their former place of residence or left (for good or
                                      20
temporarily) are nearly not available! People in the field estimate, that an average of 30% to sometimes
even 50% of returnees leave again shortly after repossessing their property.

Pension rights, social and health insurances:
The access to social and health insurances remains an important factor concerning the decision of
                                                 21
refugees and displaced persons, where to reside. The Croatian government for example continues to
                                                                    22
deny back payment of pension instalments for the period after 1991.
And also returnees in Bosnia and Herzegovina face legal and practical obstacles in accessing pensions
                               23
and securing health insurance.

Local ownership as precondition for return

A lot of these issues mentioned cannot be dealt with without the assistance of state authorities, laws need
to regulate issues like property implementation, school curricula etc.
When it comes to the huge amount of means needed until the day of today for housing facilities,
international and national donors will be still requested to assist, and states, provinces and municipalities
will be requested to take their responsibilities. A good communication and a solid coordination of all
subjects involved are needed to facilitate sustainable returns in future.
In that sense the changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the closing down of the OHR Return and
Reconstruction Task Force in December 2003 are pointing in the right direction: local ownership is a
precondition for successful sustainable return. According to the “Law on Amendments to the Law on
Refugees from BiH and Displaced Persons in BiH” the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees will be
the overall policy-making, coordinating and supervising body to ensure the realization of objectives
                                                                                                    24
identified by Annex VII. of the General Framework Agreement for Peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In this
new constellation the Annex VII (GFAP) Strategy paper identifies the important role of municipalities in
                                          25
facilitating the return process in future and envisions the new quality of cooperation between state
                                            26
authorities and NGO’s in this context.           In the neighbouring war-affected countries, the role of
municipalities and NGO’s will be equally important in future.

Experiences in the Balkans have proven, that laws and regulations on state or other levels can easily and
successfully be boycotted and obstructed from the side of local authorities, political parties and local
communities.
If these authorities and communities do not want to implement decisions that might stimulate return, there
is nearly nothing that can prevent them from doing so. Even the extraordinary presence of the
international factor in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo appeared to have its limits.
But this fact proves also the contrary: local authorities, communities and NGO’s can do much more, than
they did until know to facilitate return.



18
    PLIP = Property Law Implementation Plan
19
    Annex VII (GFAP) Strategy Paper, Sarajevo January 2003, p. 7
20
    ICG Report: “The Continuing Challenge of Refugee Return in Bosnia-Herzegovina”, Sarajevo/Brussels,
December 2002, p. 9-
21
   Ibid. p. 21/22
22
    Human Rights Watch: “Impediments to Return”, May 2004, p. 6
23
    ICG Report No 137: The Continuing Challenge of Refugee Return in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sarajevo/Brussels
December 2002, p. 21.
24
    “Law on Amendment to the Law on Refugees from BiH and Displaced Persons in BiH, Official Gazette of BiH,
No 33/2003, art. 1.
25
    UNHCR/MHRR/OHR: ANNEX VII (GFAP) Strategy document, Sarajevo January 2003, p. 24
26
    Ibid., p. 12


                                                      9
Since return and integration respectively re-integration is not only about housing and about a job. It is also
about a certain social climate, which has to be established, sending out firm signals, that return might be
worth it, that returnees will be welcomed.
Here the local authorities and communities will be in future much more requested to take their
responsibilities than they were until now and that not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina: the creation of a
safe environment, the end of discrimination in employment, the integration of children of returnees in local
schools – here there might be numerous opportunities for local authorities, communities and NGO’s for
action. A lot of local projects proved it already until now: there is much more that local actors can do, than
we often think and perceive!
Today the question of sustainable return on the Western Balkans nearly arrived at a cross-road: the time
of large-scale refugee return programs for the Western Balkans is over, International donor organization
found their focuses already long ago elsewhere, and also the last programs may ran out in the following
years.
For the people concerned there remains the question of how to find a sustainable solution for themselves
and their families for the future.
Here local communities and NGO’s can assist in establishing a climate to promote return.
The basic demand for local authorities would be to refrain from obstruction and to entirely implement
existing laws and regulations. But even much more than that is definitely possible, and practice shows
that return programs can be developed for the benefit of the local community as a whole!

  Best practices of sustainable return

In this light the following best practices should be interpreted.
This collection does not intend to be comprehensive nor representative for any area or region.
Some of these examples might be more easily applicable somewhere else than others.
First of all this collection of best practices wants to present a starting point for hopefully lively discussion
during the conference and a follow up of inventive communication on the issues of sustainable solutions
of refugees and displaced persons in the Western Balkans in future.

The intention of this conference is, to give people involved in refugees and returnee issues the floor to
present their approach in solving certain problems. To give people the opportunity to learn from each
other and to inspire each other. Not one of the mentioned examples is too modest to be recognized as
one achievement on the long road to final solutions for returnees in their old and new communities.




                                                      10
PART II
SPEECHES DELIVERED AT THE CONFERENCE: “THROUGH PRACTICE TO RIGHTS IN THE LOCAL
COMMUNITY”
FOJNICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, JUNE, 2004



GREETINGS OF MAYORS OF FOJNICA MR. MUSTAFA MEMIJA AND KISELJAK MR. IVICA
UDOVICIC

Fojnica, June 2004


Several years ago nobody believed that anyone would read this introduction in this Reader at this
Conference. Probably just a few people believed that after the war any return of refugees to their native
places would be possible in Bosnia. Hardly anyone believed that those people would see their houses
again, streets where they grew up, that they would continue business they had been occupied with, that
they would see their neighbours with whom they shared their lives… It was the task which we haven’t
faced before. We couldn’t know, if people would be strong and patient enough to overcome all the
horrible things that they survived. We didn’t know which methods and means should be applied to be of
their best benefit. We only knew we had to try, because the war doesn’t end if fight is over. The war ends
when the whole society gets back to normal and civilized level. During the time we realized that return of
refugees and displaced persons is a long-term and complex process that interferes all levels of society.
Houses without communal infrastructure are nothing, communal infrastructure is nothing without serious
and responsible local government, local government depends on the regional economical development,
which at the end can not function without certain legal regulation…
Although the war in BiH ended nine years ago, we haven’t finished out part of duties yet. It is always
needed much more time to build something than it is needed to destroy it. For that reason the conference
and publication like these are really precious – exchange of best practices means speed up of return
processes.
One day we will not need these experiences any more and that will be the day when stabile and
prosperous South-Eastern Europe is re-established.




Mr. Mustafa Memija,                                                      Mr. Ivica Udovicic
Mayor of Fojnica                                                         Mayor of Kiseljak




                                                   11
REFUGEE RETURN PROGRAMS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, 1996 – 2004

Remarks by Howard J. Sumka, Director USAID/SARAJEVO (June, 2004)


Since 1996, USAID has been working in BiH to encourage and help sustain the return of minority
refugees and displaced persons. We have accumulated a wealth of experience working with other
donors, international and local NGOs, and Bosnian counterparts in government and the private sector. I
appreciate your invitation to reflect on USAID's experiences over the past eight years.


MIS and CRSP

Our first refugee return program, called Municipal Infrastructure and Services (MIS) began early in
1996 and continued until the end of 2000, when it was replaced by our current Community
Reintegration and Stabilization Program (CRSP). This was a seamless transition. The outside
observer would have hardly noticed it.

We have invested about $375 million to rehabilitate basic infrastructure and provide economic assistance
to minority returnees. Together with other donors, we completed nearly 1,100 projects. These included
268 large-scale activities, half of which were in the power sector. We have also worked in the water,
transport, education, and health sectors. By our count, we have improved the water supply for one million
Bosnians. More than two million people are benefiting from USAID's repair of hospitals, health clinics and
pharmacies.

As we worked on community infrastructure, we became acutely aware of the institutional and capacity
problems in the utility sectors. We began programs to enable water and power companies to become
independent and self-sustaining. We focused on improving their operational and financial management
capacity, and we helped them introduce more efficient cost recovery mechanisms.

To help BiH accelerate its economic recovery and to improve its access to European markets, we
undertook some large projects under MIS. We rebuilt the Tuzla - Brcko rail line and the Brcko rail bridge.
We reconstructed the border crossing bridges connecting BiH with Croatia at Brod, Novi Grad and
Dubica. Coming up on the winter of 1996-97, in the face of a potentially disastrous energy shortage in
Sarajevo, we financed the rehabilitation of the Kakanj thermal power plant and coal mines at a cost of
about $24 million. Because of the special concerns about Brcko District we invested $21 million in its
electric power system.


Criteria for Assistance

In the early years, our community level projects followed the pattern of spontaneous returns, which were
dramatic in their numbers. Our overriding objective was to support multi-ethnic communities. Beginning in
1998, USAID started to focus more on areas where minority returns were taking place.

From the beginning, USAID insisted that any partner municipality had to commit itself to implementing the
Dayton Peace Accords. In particular, we insisted on their support of the right of return, freedom of
movement, and the surrender of indicted war criminals. Beginning in 1997, the municipalities had to sign
a Memorandum of Understanding affirming their compliance with Dayton.

There were municipalities that refused to sign the MOU, and there were places where assistance was
suspended because of lack of compliance. We stopped all assistance to Sarajevo Canton in 1998
because the authorities would not implement the property returns accord. Eventually, they did and we
resumed our assistance. We were criticized by some members of the international community for


                                                   12
demanding these standards, but over time this became common practice.
We had a number of other selection criteria as well:

    1. We only rehabilitated existing infrastructure and services that had been damaged or destroyed.
       No new construction could be undertaken.

    2. The damages to be repaired had to be war-related, either through direct damage or neglect of
       maintenance and repair caused by forced absence of the occupants.

    3. Projects were to cost no more than $2 million, but in exceptional cases, we did larger ones.

    4. We expected projects, in general, to be completed in no more than six months of actual
       construction time.

    5. We required the maximum feasible use of local material and labour.

    6. Residential infrastructure facilities had to provide essential services to displaced persons
       returning to their homes.

    7. Economic infrastructure projects had to provide significant economic benefits, particularly
       employment, to viable businesses within the municipality or canton. We gave priority to
       infrastructure for businesses producing building materials and other vital products for
       reconstruction.

With the new CRSP Program in 2000, we introduced new criteria. Under MIS we would generally re-build
infrastructure for all returnees in a selected community. 90% of CRSP, however, had to assist minority
returnees. Only 10% helped the extremely vulnerable majority population in the community.

Under CRSP we assist only people who have demonstrated a strong commitment to return. Preferably
they are already in their pre-war homes. At the least, they must be registered to return and have ill's.
Someone who decides to re-settle in a: place other than their original community will not be
accommodated through our programs.


Implementation

We managed both MIS and CRSP through a U.S. Engineering firm, Parsons of Delaware, which worked
in partnership with a Bosnian Engineering firm, Union Invest. Their role was to tender the design work
and construction contracts. They also supervised the Bosnian companies that did the actual construction.
Literally hundreds of local firms participated in the programs. In addition to assisting the returning families,
the program created thousands of jobs and boosted the local economy.

Under CRSP we allocated about $10 million to NGOs that had the capacity to manage infrastructure
projects. Our partner NGOs were: Mercy Corps International, World Vision, United Methodist Committee
on Relief, Catholic Relief Services, International Orthodox Christian Charities, American Refugee
Committee, International Rescue Committee, and Women for Women International.


Implementation in a Peacekeeping Environment

A unique aspect of the post-war reconstruction process in BiH was the presence of NATO peacekeeping
forces, which were 60,000 strong immediately after the war. They were keenly aware of their need to
establish strong community ties as a matter of force protection and to develop sources of intelligence.
Many of the U.S. forces are part-time soldiers from the National Guard who bring a particularly important
civilian perspective to their peacekeeping role. Until 2002, USAID partnered with IFOR (and later SFOR)
and provided over $30 million for more than 550 labour-intensive, small-scale Community Infrastructure


                                                      13
Rehabilitation Projects (CIRPs).

Through CIRP we completed energy, transport, water, community improvement, education, and health
projects. These projects were intended to have high impact and high visibility in the local villages and to
provide short-term employment for demobilized soldiers and returning refugees. This collaboration with
IFORJSFOR helped the military forge closer ties to the local communities. It also helped USAID to better
understand the needs of the communities. And it gave the communities projects that met their priority
needs.


Economic Assistance

We recognized a couple of years ago that many returnees would not be able to remain without help to
enable them to support themselves. Local economic growth was not happening fast enough in many
places. Nor would the rising tide of growth capture certain cohorts. To help meet this need, we
established new programs of subsistence loans and grants to the poorest returnees. We hope to help
them get re-started in their communities and to survive economically so they can remain.

We implement this program through U.S. NGOs that can partner with Bosnian NGOs. We are now on our
fourth round of economic assistance grants. We've worked previously with UMCOR and IRC throughout
the country. This round will specifically target minority returnee communities in Cantons 1 and 10 in the
Federation and in selected municipalities in the Republika Srpska. The grants are limited to a maximum
of $1,000 and are for families with incomes under KM 500 per month. The loans can range up to $5,000
per family and can be re-paid in money or community work and services. A loan for the purchase of a
wood-processing machine could, for example, be re-paid in wood products to serve community needs.

Land O Lakes, an American NGO, is assisting sheep and cattle fanners who returned to Vlasic. They
have helped improve their sheep production processes, and they have succeeded in re-establishing the
recognition of the Vlasic cheese label. The farmers have enjoyed considerable increases in their income.
Land O Lakes is now working on a second project to help returnee fanner groups in Srebrenica and other
areas to develop western style cooperatives and associations.

Finally, another US NGO, the STAR Network of World Learning assists women to get access to business
services and credit. We are funding them to help approximately 30 women of Srebrenica develop
possibilities for cultivating medicinal herbs and marketing them to processors they have identified.


What Next?

We are near the end of our focused assistance for returns in BiH. As I mentioned, we are now in the
midst of our last competition for economic assistance programs. We expect to fund this with a grant of
about $1.6 million to a US NGO. In addition, we have announced the availability of funds - potentially up
to $5 million - for NGOs to undertake another round of reconstruction of basic infrastructure in minority
return areas that we will select. This will carry us through next year, but at that point, USAID will no longer
be targeting resources to returns.


Lessons Learned

What have we learned from eight years of supporting the reconstruction and return process in BiH?

It is important to have well defined criteria for the selection of projects and to stick to them. These criteria
must be understood by all of the counterparts and potential beneficiaries.

Quick implementation is important to win the support of local governments and citizens. Whatever is
promised should be delivered quickly.


                                                      14
Adequate supervision of project selection, design, and implementation is important to achieving quality
products and ensuring timely completion.

Using local materials, subcontractors, and other resources speeds implementation and helps the local
economy.

Control of the contracting and payments process avoids corruption.

Finally, we demonstrated that carefully selected and well implemented projects can have a definite
political impact and can change perceptions and policies. Many of the municipalities we targeted suffered
extension ethnic cleansing during the war. We, along with our partners, succeeded in overcoming hard
line resistance to minority returns in these areas. In so doing, we helped to move the communities back
toward the multi-ethnicity that characterized them before the war. Municipalities such as Zvornik,
Bratunac, Vitez, Drvar, Stoiac, and Caplijna were almost devoid of ethnic minorities. Their municipal
councils now have viable representation from the returnee population. Some even have minority mayors.
We hope this is a significant step towards a brighter future for BiH.




                                                   15
SPEECH BY PRINCIPAL DEPUTY HIGH REPRESENTATIVE, MR. DONALD HAYS

Fojnica, June 2004


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The link between return and sustainable development is not unique to Bosnia and Herzegovina but it has
become a serious factor here nonetheless.

When, in the late nineties, the legacy of war -- anger and prejudice – began to dissipate, clearing the way
for mass returns, and the legal and political system began to respond to the needs of those who returned,
the largest and the most stubborn obstacle to the process showed itself to be economic, not social.

Employment prospects are the final determinant of whether communities can be put back together again.

In the last 18 months I have travelled to every part of BiH meeting mayors, talking to them about the
challenges they face and listening to the strategies they are adopting in order to overcome those
challenges.

However, even the most progressive mayors face a functional problem. This applies throughout the
country, though it is particularly acute in the Federation. It involves the complex devolution of
responsibility from the BiH government all the way down to the municipalities – mayors constantly have to
refer to the Cantons and the Entity when they undertake even the most fundamental improvements in
basic aspects of municipal administration. They have to share funding with the layers of government
above them and they are frustrated in their efforts to respond to basic human needs that should be within
their competence because these are nominally the responsibility of the canton or the Entity.

Legislation is now being prepared that will, I hope, address this problem. In fact today in Sarajevo the
Commission charged with drawing up a new law on local self-governance has committed itself to defining
the responsibilities of mayors more clearly and thus clarifying how citizens get their basic rights and from
whom.. In the RS, similar legislation is much further advanced and is now subject to public review in order
to ensure that it is compatible with CoE requirements and consistent with the goals of the mayors and
their citizens.

Once the issue of mayoral responsibilities is resolved, the legislatures can turn to the thorny task of
addressing the issue of making municipal funding more equitable and less discretionary. It makes little
sense to give a level of government the authority and responsibility for a service if the funds for this
activity are withheld. So municipalities must receive the funding they need to provide the citizens the
basic services they need and deserve.

As ever, administrative structures represent only half the problem. The other half is rooted in psychology.
In my discussions with politicians and businesspeople throughout BiH I am often struck – and equally
often disheartened -- by the persistence of an anachronistic and unrealistic view of economics. There is
still a harking back to a “golden age” of socialism when large conglomerates provided jobs for tens of
thousands of citizens and government contracts ensured that orders were never in short supply.
Everyone had a job.

But in 1991 that all changed and the root of this change was not in the Balkans but in all of Eastern
Europe. Those days are for better or worse long gone and they are never coming back. The sooner this
is fully understood by government authorities and public companies the better.




                                                    16
Interestingly, though, I have encountered more economic realism in many municipalities than in some
public corporate boardrooms. Why would this be? Why would mayors see the light when many of their
counterparts in business have yet to be weaned away from old-fashioned notions of economic planning?

Well, necessity is the mother of invention. Communities that were once served by now-defunct industrial
plants have no option but to look for alternatives.

Those alternatives exist -- in the form of SMEs and the new companies financed by private investment.

It doesn’t take long to learn the working of the new economy once you realize that this same new
economy can deliver jobs.

The good news – and something that I believe it is useful to stress at this conference -- is that the free
market can be more flexible and more responsive to social priorities than the old planned economy, but it
takes creativity and engagement at all levels..

There is one great moral argument to be made for the primacy of private capital and that is – private
investment decisions are not made on the basis of ethnic or communal prejudice. In fact money goes
where profits can be made. The investor wants a return on capital – investment will follow the prospect of
that return, wherever it may lead. Information and opportunity are the keys.

So how can we make use of this reality and create a model for sustainable development that can buttress
refugee return.

Municipalities have to learn the language of the market in their efforts to attract the kind of investment on
which the regeneration of their communities depends. This is a language that does not recognize
extremism – in fact in the course of the last five years we have seen in BiH a distinct pattern throughout
the country where foreign investment has shown itself to be averse to communities where wartime
extremism has remained in the ascendant.

As I have said many times before, I believe that the revolution that BiH needs to have – a revolution
designed for and by the citizens of this country – will happen at the municipal level, rather than at the
Cantonal or Entity or State level. The most important political leaders for sustainability are not the prime
ministers but the mayors – because it is at the municipal level that government customarily interacts with
citizens, it is at the municipal level that elected representatives can make a real difference to the
circumstances of citizens by adopting prudent policies that will improve the local business environment
and facilitate the development of new economic activity—and the jobs that come with it.

So the conversion of one municipal administration after another to the needs of the free market is a
monumental – a revolutionary – development.

The pragmatism that we are seeing in the municipalities has also been apparent here and there among
senior party leaders. This is, I believe, largely the result of an instinct for self-preservation which most
party leaders must possess if they are to remain in power. Popular disaffection with the failure by the
parties to deliver promised improvements in the economy has induced a “sink or swim” mentality among
many seasoned politicians. Most are learning to swim – they are learning the language of the market and
that is a language in which nationalist nostrums simply cannot be articulated.

This change at the top remains important because while fundamental change can be accomplished at the
municipal level, significant damage can still be wrought at the national level, and this must be avoided at
all cost if this country is to move forward with its recovery.




                                                     17
Representatives from municipalities in Serbia and Croatia are participating in today’s conference, along
with municipal representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina. I believe the scope for joint action by
municipalities throughout the region is absolutely necessary and the scope for such collaboration is
considerable. We have already seen in BiH that mayors on either side of the IEBL have been among the
first to establish inter-entity cooperation, because there are sound pragmatic reasons for them to do so.
You can’t, for example, maintain just one section of a riverbank – you have to have cooperation from all
the communities along the river. Likewise, there are economies of scale that are simply inescapable when
it comes, for example, to refuse collection, water usage, and opportunities for job growth, where six
municipalities working together can deliver a better and cheaper service than one community acting on its
own.

The successful reforms that have been introduced in BiH, particularly in the economic field, have been
introduced in the context of similar reforms throughout the region. By harmonizing their legislation with
Brussels as they move towards greater integration in Europe the countries in the region are in effect
harmonizing their legislation with one another. Municipalities in the region are becoming similarly
homogenous. A municipal mindset is developing. If you had said that a decade or more ago you might
have been speaking in the negative, about a kind of creeping bureaucratic sclerosis and an indifference
to the needs of the public, but today I think it’s the opposite. The new municipal mindset in Southeast
Europe is one that recognizes the needs of the citizen and the needs of the market and uses the latter to
help the former. It is a mindset that is oriented toward a return to a normal lifestyle, one that welcomes the
return of displaced citizens because it simply cannot be otherwise, a mindset that is more than capable of
                                                           st
making municipalities work for the benefit of all in the 21 century.

But remember, my friends, we can not wait for others to make change – “ if you want change, you must
yourselves be the agents of that change.”

Thank you




                                                     18
PART III
RECOMMENDATIONS - THE FINAL DOCUMENT OF THE CONFERENCE: “THROUGH PRACTICE TO
RIGHTS IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY”
FOJNICA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, JUNE, 2004



RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CONFERENCE:

“THROUGH PRACTICE TO RIGHTS IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY”

Best practices of Sustainable Solutions for Displacement in the former Yugoslavia, in the context
of local community development – Non-discriminatory Access to Rights


We, representing municipalities and NGOs from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro,
                        1
Kosovo and Macedonia, have agreed upon the following general considerations and specific
recommendations:


I. GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

We support these as the main principles on the issue of sustainable return:
1. We promote the establishment or re-establishment of a multi-ethnic environment.
2. We support above all the return of displaced persons and refugees to their place of origin. Being
   faced with the dilemma of giving more priority to return or relocation, still the (sustainability of) return
   is priority.
3. We emphasize that return always has to be voluntary.
4. If displaced persons and refugees do not want to turn back to their place of origin and prefer to settle
   in the place where they are living now, this wish should in principle be respected. Local projects to
   facilitate this process (of so-called 'relocation' or 'local integration') should nevertheless never block or
   complicate the return of persons who want to return to that respective village or city or their access to
   acquired rights.
5. We do not see the return issue as a separate issue. Return programmes are to be part of an integral
   approach of local community development.
6. Without active support of the local communities, return will not be sustainable. Local communities
   (local government and local NGOs) can and must do a lot to prepare return, facilitate return and do
   whatever possible to make return sustainable. We as local communities are crucial for the return
   processes.
7. Therefore more attention should be paid by donors and national governments and the international
   community, to projects as proposed by actors at the local level. This shift of attention should be
   backed by processes of decentralisation in which the redefining of division of responsibilities should
   go hand in hand with the redivision of means and resources.
8. Integrated approaches have proven to be most successful. In that respect, it is extremely important
   that potential returnees are involved in the work from the very beginning. Integrated approaches also
   imply that return-related projects and programs are incorporated in local strategic plans and general
   programs for local community development.



1
  Participants in the conference «Best practices of sustainable solutions for displacement in the former Yugoslavia,
in the context of local community development – equal access to rights», held in Fojnica, June 23 – 25, 2004,
organised by the city of Fojnica, the Citizens Pact for South Eastern Europe and the Stability Pact for South Eastern
Europe - MARRI, in co-operation with the cities of Srebrenica, Kiseljak, Prijedor and Tuzla (Bosnia and
Hercegovina), Bac (Serbia) and Osijek (Croatia), and the peace organisation IKV (the Netherlands).
9. The role of local and regional media cannot be underestimated. They should be challenged to focus
    more on the presentation and promotion of positive development and best practices in the field of
    sustainable return.
10. With the return processes, special attention must be paid to women, as they still do not have equal
    access to public discussions and political processes. Within the field of economic projects, they also
    deserve special attention.
11. The creation of job opportunities deserves more attention. Nevertheless development of the local
    economy must go hand in hand with the improvement of the social and political conditions for
    sustainable return.
12. We feel that our respective national governments should be more active in the promotion and
    organisation of sustainable return, in accordance with the national legislation developed to that end
    and in the perspective of the process of European integration.
13. We also feel that the international community should not stop its return assistance programmes in the
    upcoming period. The international has, rightly so, challenged all of us to be more active in the
    process of organising sustainable return. As a consequence, they should not prematurely stop their
    support to that process.


II. SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS

II.1. Recommendations to local communities as a whole
      (local governments, local NGO's, citizens)

We call upon ourselves and other local communities as a whole:
1. To create a good atmosphere in the local community for processes of return, reintegration and
    integration.
2. To work on return processes upon the basis of a vision, not to be restricted too easily by laws and
    regulations and technical projects.
3. To create mechanisms and support systems to provide assistance to returnees in the integration and
    reintegration process, in order to avoid secondary displacement.
4. To explore possibilities for concrete, tangible and visible co-operation of local government, citizens,
    beneficiaries (returnees) and NGO's to build up trust, through for instance the rebuilding of renovation
    of a building of interest and importance to the whole local community (such as a healthcare home, a
    city park, a school or a cultural centre).
5. To develop interdisciplinary approach to education of youth, schools, religious communities and
    NGOs.
6. To develop models for direct participation of citizens and beneficiaries in local development
    programmes and strategic plans – in order to ensure that these plans are in tune with real needs of
    people and that beneficiaries will also feel committed to the implementation of such plans.
7. To formalise co-operation in the implementation of such strategic plans through written public
    documents, transparently defining the co-operation between all actors involved.
8. To set up transparent mechanism for the monitoring of how means and resources are being used.
    Common bodies with local government representatives and selected citizens can be established to
    that end.
9. To work on decentralisation within the municipality by strengthening of the local community councils
    structure. Projects can be implemented at such level. Animation of citizens’ initiatives can be most
    effective at that level. Laws and regulations for a very active role of the local community councils are
    in place, but implementation is often lacking.
10. To start interreligious dialogue, starting at the level of religious leaders and then involving the
    members of the respective religious communities. Take time to develop it bottom-up. To improve
    connections with the diasporas communities, in order to establish a flow of information that can
    promote return to the place of origin; to get access to extra financial resources; to get access to
    expert support from the countries hosting the diasporas communities; to develop a network for
    international co-operation – also instrumental to (positive elements related to) processes of
    globalisation and European integration.



                                                    20
11. To be, in general, more active in new and existing networks for trans-border and regional co-
    operation and other types of international co-operation (such as the Euroregions and the model of the
    Protocol for Interethnic Tolerance as developed by the Centre of Regionalism and the Citizens Pact
    for South Eastern Europe).
12. To develop strategies on how to work on facing the past, through documents and publications, local
    meetings, media work etc., in a smart division of labour between local governments and local NGOs,
    making use where useful and possible of assistance by experienced international partners.

II.2. Recommendations to local government

We call upon ourselves and other local governments:
1. To be more pro-active in preparing and implementing community development programs, acting as
    initiators and motivators of citizens participation. Also members of the executive committee and the
    municipal assembly to develop a system of regular visits to citizens and the various neighbourhoods.
2. To ensure that all local government bodies are multiethnic.
3. To provide more support to organisations of national minorities, in order to create a more democratic
    and multi-ethnic atmosphere in the local community.
4. To regularly organise, in cooperation with local NGOs, public events and sportive and cultural
    festivities to which citizens of all ethnic backgrounds are to be invited.
5. To work creatively with international partners (twin municipalities, upon the basis of colleague to
    colleague contacts), to gain access to their expertise, in particular with regard to local government
    managing methods and consultation and cooperation with citizens), and to use their involvement to
    provide neutral ground for discussions on difficult problems related to the war and interethnic
    relations.
6. To provide sufficient information to refugees when facilitating legal possession of homes and houses,
    as this may in many cases have consequences for requests for property repossession in their place
    of origin.
7. To take care that regulations and laws with regard to public announcing and advertising of job
    opportunities, are properly implemented - without discrimination of any minority group in the local
    community.
8. To focus more on small and medium enterprises (SME), also through education for starting
    entrepreneurs, including interested and motivated returnees and potential returnees.
9. To be creative in providing opportunities for so-called ' soft loans' (loans at low interest rate) for
    starting entrepreneurs, through lobby with banks and/or local or national funds for the support of
    starting entrepreneurs.
10. To invest more in common projects with citizens (including returnees and potential returnees), in
    which a contribution in labour workforce provided by citizens, NGO's and organisations of (potential)
    returnees can be combined with small financial input (for building materials, facilities such as access
    to water and electricity etc.) from the side of the local governments.
11. To ensure that locally elected politicians will live in the municipality they govern.
12. To be sincere in the implementation of promises made to the voters in election time.
13. To be more involved in the public and political debate on the allocation of budgets at the district and
    national government levels.
14. To lobby for and work on the strengthening and professionalisation of the respective national
    associations of municipalities, insisting on priority to be given to return processes through collecting,
    analysing and disseminating models of positive examples of return and reintegration projects. Also to
    approach to that end the NALAS network (National Associations of Local Authorities in South Eastern
    Europe).

II.3. Recommendations to the local NGO's and self-organisations of returnees, displaced
      persons and refugees

We call upon ourselves and other local NGO's and self-organisations of returnees, displaced persons and
refugees:




                                                     21
1. To be more actively involved in the developing and implementing of local development programs, in
    which the return issues must have a central place.
2. To change their attitude towards the local governments. They should see the added value in
    partnership, because both local NGO and local government have things to offer to each other.
3. To develop a strategy for communication and dialogue with various political parties, upon the basis of
    European standards, such as tolerance and respect for human rights and working for the benefit for
    the whole community.
4. To organise round tables of local NGOs, local governments and religious communities, in order to
    establish partnership for local community development and the return issue.
5. To make the work more visible, public and transparent and to pay more attention to activities in the
    field of awareness-raising and sensibilisation of the citizens.
6. To investigate possibilities for local governments to make bilateral agreements with neighbouring
    municipalities and/or municipalities where many of its citizens went to, during or as a consequence of
    the war, and to contribute actively to the implementation of such bilateral agreements.
7. To unite their initiatives and build networks within their own local community, also linking such
    networks with institutions at national and international level.
8. To develop methods to allow citizens (domestic and returnees) to actively work on solving common
    problems for better common life (electricity, water supply, etc.)
9. To broaden the scope of their work and start paying more attention to possibilities of economic
    development.
10. To have more capacity-building initiatives for self-organisations of returnees, displaced persons and
    refugees, in order to make them more active and transparent and support a process to have their
    members more actively involved in policy development and implementation.
11. To be more active in the structural and constructive monitoring of local government and national
    authorities policies, with regard to for instance obligations for public announcing of job opportunities
    and tendering.
12. To actively fight against radical political parties and movements and all others who oppose return
    processes and hamper democratisation and European integration. The growth in some countries of
    South Eastern Europe of such parties and movements is a big concern and does demand an active
    coalition building against it, at the local but also at the national and international (i.e. regional) level.

II.4. Recommendation for the national governments

We call upon the national governments in our respective countries:
1. To above all implement all existing national and international obligations in the field of the promotion
    and organisation of return.
2. To tune all regulations on the legal status of returnees and refugees, with regard to among others
    health, education and housing, and bring them in line with European standards.
3. To stop discrimination of minorities and to provide equal rights to all citizens.
4. To start working on curriculum innovation, in order to work towards a common curriculum, without
    separate lessons on certain topics for specific ethnic communities. Basic knowledge on all relevant
    religious and ethnic groups is the aim of this process.
5. To start a process of denationalisation of properties seized from religious communities and others.
6. To overcome the lack of political will to organise return, and grant more responsibilities and means to
    the local actors.
7. To be more active in trans-border regional co-operation in the promotion and organisation of return.
8. To promote more constructive co-operation between sub-national government levels, such as
    entities, cantons, provinces and districts.
9. To develop the return programmes along the lines of the principle of subsidiarity. Things have to be
    handled at the lowest level possible. Therefore, mandates and responsibilities and means should be
    much more decentralised.
10. To embark in a more co-operative and open-minded process of co-operation with local and national
    NGO's.
11. To be much more explicit and transparent and accountable in the setting of priorities of government
    policies, and to speed up the process of reform of public administration.



                                                       22
12. To pay more attention to the implementing of laws, as laws are often not implemented or already
    changed before implementation can be realised.
13. To play a more constructive and active role in developing project or sector related program
    networks/circles, involving actors from the local all the way up to the international level, from both
    governmental and non-governmental level.
14. To provide – to the extent possible – assistance to the SME, in particular starting entrepreneurs,
    through 'organising the market', incubators' programs, and limiting administrative demands and
    making the fees for SME and starting entrepreneurs cheaper. In particular through providing
    additional support for starting entrepreneurs from returnee communities (loans at low interest). Legal
    help should stay be of charge, for starting entrepreneurs.
15. To facilitate the work of NGO's by means of more constructive tax regulations, and less bureaucratic
    demands – more in line of European standards

II.5. Recommendations to the international community and international donor agencies

We call upon the international community and international donor agencies:
1. To have more and better direct co-operation with actors at the local levels, and to jointly develop
    mechanisms to stop the obstruction of the implementation of laws.
2. To have a more effective regional consultation and co-operation among each other, thus working
    towards more co-operation and more joint strategy.
3. To intensify their support for national minorities and small-scale projects in the local communities,
    rather than putting all emphasis on solely economic criteria and grand development schemes.
4. To develop their programmes through a more demand-driven methodology.
5. To pay more attention to the sustainability of return, and to stop using all too optimistic return data
    which do not reflect the real return volume, nor the quality and sustainability of return.
6. To tune the criteria they use for giving help to certain groups (process of harmonisation of
    methodology).
7. To safeguard the proper balance between the financing of social and economic projects.
8. To have local people involved in the negotiations on capital investment.
9. To push the national governments to develop and tune their policies and strategies on local, national
    and regional processes for return.
10. To be more transparent in investments, so that citizens know how money is spent. A more active flow
    of information is needed.
11. To bring the perspective of European integration to the forefront, at all levels (national, sub-national
    and local) and in a more consistent way. In particular to work on improvement of government policies
    that will show to the citizens that processes of European integration do indeed help improve their
    living conditions in the local community.
12. To be more creative in supporting positive examples of sustainable return, even through possibilities
    such as competition.



                                                                                    Fojnica, June 25, 2004




                                                    23
PART II
COLLECTION OF BEST PRACTICES - QUESTIONNAIRES


BAC MUNICIPALITY, Serbia and Montenegro

                                                  Part I.

1.1     Data source: Local self-governance
        Method: interview, questionnaire

1.2     Main office: The Bac Municipality Assembly
        Telephone/fax: +381 21 770 075, fax: +381 21 770 330
        E-mail: info@bac.co.yu
        Contact person: Chairman of the Bac Municipality Assembly, Tomislav Bogunovic
                              2
1.3     Area covered: 367km
        Number of settlements: 6
        Number of households: 5.989

1.4.1   Structure of the local self-governance: (refers to the bodies in the unit of local government:
        legislative, executive and professional bodies)

        Municipality Assembly (25 board members), Executive Council (presiding and 9 members),
        department for economy and finances, department for town planning, department for social
        activities, general management.

1.5     Structure of the local self-governance:

        5 units of local self-governance: Local offices – branches of the Municipal management in the
        following settlements: Selenca, Bodjani, Vajska, Plavna and Backo Novo Selo.

1.6     National ratio

                                    In 1991                  Present state
         Croats                         -                       1.389
         Serbs                          -                       7.596
         Bosniaks                       -                         4
         Yugoslavs                      -                        805
         Hungarians                     -                        992
         Others                         -                        133

        Age groups
         0-7                726
         7 - 14             1.995
         14 - 18            2.213
         18 - 30            1.965
         30 - 60            5.565
         + 60               4.067




                                                   24
1.7   Data on inhabitants (present state)

      Number of citizens

       Men                 7.967
       Women               8.301
       Total:              16.268


                                                 Part II.

2.1   The number of people who left the community area

      -   During the war: mainly members of the Croat ethnic community
      -   After the war: none

2.2   Number of returnees to the community area

      −

2.3   Number of people who currently live in the area of the community, and haven't been on the
      list after the 1991 census

      1.155 people who fled the war affected zones in the Republic of Croatia and BiH. They are mainly
      Serbs.

2.4   Number of people who have shown interest to return to the area

      −

2.5   Employment

                                     Craftmen,
                      Agriculture                    Administration Education Other      Total
                                     services
      Employed

      Unemployed                                                                         2.450


2.6   Educational, cultural, religious and other institutions that operate in the local area:

      6 elementary schools, 1 secondary, 1 nursery, Roman Catholic Regional Office (in Bac),
      Franciscan monastery, Catholic Church Municipality in Selenca, Plavna and Vajska; Orthodox
      ones in Plavna, Vajska, Orthodox monastery Bodjani, Adventist Church Municipality in Selenca,
      Community centre Bac (gallery, library, radio station, cinema, theatre, museum department) five
      Culture Societies

2.7   Local and international organisations that work in the area of the municipality/town and
      brief description of their work:

      Norwegian agency “Jaeren produktutkvikling” (crediting and instigating agricultural development),
      Centre for local democracies Bac (NGO whose aim is to promote and develop the civil society
      and democratic institutions). Sport Association of Bac Municipality (gathers all sports clubs in the
      municipality)



                                                   25
2.8    Branches of economic organisations that are active in the local:

       Metal industry, sugar production, agriculture and textile industry

2.9    Natural resources of the local community that are / are not sufficiently exploited

       Tourism, hunting, fishing, agriculture (insufficiently exploited)

2.10   Prospects of supporting the local economic development

       Currently only farmers are credited by the Fund for the development of the Autonomous Province
       of Vojvodina, and the above-mentioned Norwegian agency. There are no credits and assistance
       for small and medium enterprises from other fields of economy (eg. Tourism, food processing)

2.11   Ways of citizens’ showing interest in volunteering in the community

       Through NGOs (mostly young people), Culture Associations, political parties, different people’s
       initiatives, petitions and other.

2.12   Ways for local people to participate in creating public policy of local community (social,
       economic relations and other)

       Through representatives in the local assembly, through different associations, unions, forums
       (Forum of Women in Democratic Party)

2.13   New ways to increase participation of citizens in creating public policy of local
       communities

       Through the involvement of the citizens (NGOs and other associations) in the work of the local
       self-governance. Direct participation in decision-making (especially when deciding on the
       municipal budget), creating advisory teams and similar.

2.14   Main problems in the community:

       Unemployment (young professionals), unfinished privatisation, insufficient foreign investments
       and technologies, modernisation of the public sector.

2.15   Basic problems with regards to the process of return, integration and reintegration:

       Unemployment, slow economic growth, inappropriate standard of living.

2.16   The quality of integration and reintegration of returnees, refugees and displaced persons:

       -   number of the employed in local self-governance: total of 52,7 of them refugees and
           displaced persons
       -   number of the employed in industry:
       -   number of the employed in non-productive field:
       -   engagement in own or other organisations (culture, sport, religious, youth and similar.): no
           data available
       -   engagement in political life (membership in political parties, political functions etc.): no data
           available




                                                     26
                                           Part III.

“A shining example”
(The best example of a sustainable solution for displaced persons in your community)

Bac Municipality
The project of sustainable integration of refugees in the Municipality of Bac

The municipality of Bac is in the southwest of Backa, its population is 17.100. In 2002, there were
1.155 refugees and displaced persons. After 5 October 2000, the new democratic forces started
solving the housing problems of refugees. Over 1.100 refugees declared that they wanted to live
in Bac municipality permanently. At the time, the Municipal Assembly starts working on
permanent integration of refugees and displaced persons.

The project of permanent integration was begun in the spring of 2001. It understood the following:
1) pilot project of building housing units based on self-help principle
2) pilot project of purchasing rural houses
3) building 2 buildings for foster accommodation (24 flats of 20 square metres)
4) building 3 four storey apartment buildings, (36 flats of 48 square metres)

The first phase was completed after 64 housing units had been built, houses in four locations:
Bac, Plavna, Bodjani and Vajska. The project of building housing units was realized in
cooperation with UNHCR, SDC, and Commission for Refugees, Republic of Serbia. The Bac
municipality contributed by giving 64 allotments, .5 acres, infrastructure (roads, water, electricity).
The refugees were given the building material through UNHCR and SDC, and they did the
building work themselves. This project met the needs of over 320 refugees, 220 of which were
adults and more than a hundred minors.
The second phase was realised through purchasing rural households. This project included 44
houses, which were purchased by the refugees who were given loans by Eksim Bank, Belgrade.
The project was realised within 30 days in cooperation with the Commission for Refugees,
Republic of Serbia and Eksim Bank from Belgrade. Bac municipality made all the preparations
necessary to end the project. This project took care of and permanently integrated 160 refugees.
The third phase included building two apartment buildings, so called foster accommodation for
the underprivileged, widows, single people, war invalids and so on. These buildings are finished,
and in April 1, we are planning foster accommodation. These objects have special room for foster
families, and small bed-sitters of about 20 square metres. Bac municipality gave the allotments of
1,5 acres and complete infrastructure, road, water, electricity and telephone lines.
The fourth phase is being planned, and by the middle of this year we will have started building
three apartment buildings in the centre of Bac.

According to the census, the largest number of refugees came to Bac municipality in June 1996,
when 1.753 refugees and displaced persons were registered, which made up 10,2% of Bac
inhabitants. Most of them came from Croatia, and then from B&H, and even some from Slovenia.
Refugees who came here, had often changed their places of residence, so that even though they
lived in Bac, they were registered in some other municipality in Serbia.
From 1996 to 1998, the number of refugees decreased to 1.554 and in 2002, after the census
there were exactly 1.155 refugees and displaced persons.
Based on data from the Secretariat for Refugees, 980 persons or 84.84% are from Croatia, and
175 or 15,60% from B&H. The largest number of refugees came from the municipalities of
Benkovac 39%, Kostajnica 10%, Vukovar 8%, Glin 8%, Knin 4%, Osijeka 4% and Okučani, Ključ,
Gračac, Sisak, Beli Manastir, Zagreb, Gospić, Sanski most, Osijek, Dvor na Uni, Teslić, Udbina,
Bosanska Krupa, Petrinja, Korenica, Podravska Slatina (less than 3%).
Based on the data from the Secretariat for Refugees in Bac Municipality, 703 persons lost their
refugee status by 20 October 2003. This was mainly due to the fact that they were granted the
Serbian citizenship.
                                                           President of Bac Municipality Assembly


                                              27
                                                                                Tomislav Bogunović


This story is extremely valuable. Yet, one has to clarify the result of the story. The model did not
ensure the return of Croats as domicile inhabitants but it ensured an extremely successful
integration of refugees, mostly Serbs from Croatia. This story should be promoted in this context.

                                                              Branislav Vorkapić - Field researcher




                                            28
PRIJEDOR MUNICIPALITY, Bosnia and Herzegovina


                                                                                       Part I.

1.1   Data source: Local self-governance – NGO – public service
      Method: interview, questionnaire

1.2   Main office: Trg Oslobođenja
      Telephone/fax: +387 52 231 149, 215 990
      E-mail: czig@opstinaprijedor.org
      Contact person: Snezana Tasic

1.3   Area covered: 834km²
      Number of settlements: 48 inhabited dwelling places
      Number of households: around 25.000

1.4   Structure of the local self-governance: (refers to the bodies in the unit of local government:
      legislative, executive and professional bodies)

      Legislative 31 board member;
      Executive authorities: 6 departments, 2 professional services and a fire brigade,
      Professional and working bodies: commissions (5), boards (2), counselling bodies (2) Municipal
      officers: Chairman, Deputy Chairman, President of Municipal Assembly, Secretary

1.5   Structure of the local self-governance:

      Territorial organisation of Prijedor Municipality

              TERITORIJALNA ORGANIZACIJA OPSTINE PRIJEDOR
                                                                                                                         Kozarska
                                                                                       Gornji Jelovac
                                                                                                                         Dubica
                                                                   Jutrogo{ta
                                                   Gornja
                                                   Dragotinja

      Novi Grad                          Donja                                          Veliko Palan~i{te
                                                                                                                           Bo`i}i

                                         Dragotinja                 Brezi~ani
                                                   Cikote

                                                                                      eci
                                                                        Ra{kovac ^ejr                                   Kozaru{a
                                                                                          a  nj        ka
                                          Donji Volar         Bi{}ani              Do h a rs^irkin
                                                                                     u
                                                                                Pd3 P        Polje                                       Kozarac
                                                                     Rizvanovi}i     Pd2               ji
                                                                                  Pd1                on c i
                              [urkovac                           Rakov~ani T                     ~a D rlov
                                                                            ukovi             va     O
                                                                                            lo
                                                   Ljeskare                                       Or
                                                                  Hambarine                                 Trnopolje
                                                                                  Gomjenic a                                              Kami~ani
                    Miska Glava              Donja Ljubija                                                                                                     Lamovita
                                                                   ^arakovo
                                                                                      ]ela                                             Petrov Gaj

                                         Ljubija
                                                                 Zec ovi
                     Gornja                                                                                                                   Omarska
                                                                                                  Rakeli}i
                     Ravska
                                                                           Rasavc i                                                                                       Banja Luka

                                                                                                        Busnovi                     Mari}ka


                                            Sanski Most                                                                                              Gradina




      Number of units of local self-governance in our community is 48.



                                                                                                  29
       (Biscani, Hambarine, Rakovcani, Donja Ljubija, Gornja Ljubija, Cikote, Donja Dragotinja, Gornja
       Dragotinja, Brezicani, Jutrogosta, Donji Volar, Gornji Jelovac, Bozici, Kozarusa, Veliko
       Palanciste, Raskovac, Cirkin Polje, Donji Orlovci, Kozarac, Kamicani, Lamovita, Petrov Gaj,
       Omarska, Maricka, Gradina, Busnovi, Rasavci, Rakelici, Zecovi, Carakovo, Gornja Ravska, Miska
       Glava, Surkovac, Ljeskare, Tukovi, Gomjenica, Orlovaca, Cejreci, Rizvanovici, Cela/Petrovo,
       Donja Puharska, Prijedor I, Prijedor II, Trnopolje

1.6    National ratio

                                   In 1991                   Present state
        Croats                  6.300 (5,6%)
        Serbs                  47.754 (42,46%)
        Bosniaks               49.454 (43,97%)
        Yugoslavs
        Hungarians
        Others                   8.971 (7,98%)

1.7    Data on inhabitants (present state)

       With regards to the structure of the inhabitants, the last census in our community was in 1991,
       and all the data are from that period.
       Today, Prijedor is estimated to have about 120.000 inhabitants (the census has not still been held
       for reasons of constant migrations). City dwellers comprise 48% and villagers 52%.

       Number of citizens

        Men                 %
        Women               %
        Total:              Around 120.000


                                                 Part II.

2. 1   The number of people who left the community area (according to the data provided by the
       local self-governance units)

       -   During the war around 45.000 persons, mainly of Bosniak and Croat nationalities left the area
           of Prijedor municipality. (40.000 Bosniaks and about 5.000 Croats). 3.200 people from our
           municipality are considered to be missing.
           (the figures in the data are just an estimate because nobody in the Municipality has exact
           data).
       -   after the war – no data

2.3    Number of returnees to the community area (need to be sorted out after their ethnic origins):

       Between 25.000 i 30.000 citizens returnees came back to Prijedor municipality.

2.4    Number of people who currently live in the area of the community, and haven't been on the
       list after the 1991 census (need to be sorted out after their ethnic origins):

       Number of refugees who currently live in Prijedor Municipality, and have not been on the list after
       the 1991 census vary from 17.000 and 20.000 citizens

2.5    Number of people who have shown interest to return to the area




                                                   30
      No data at present

2.6   Employment

      Employed: 17.948 persons
      Unemployed: 10.892 persons, according to the data from PIO
      Retired people: around 11.500

      The unemployed and their structure
       Qualifications                                   M       F           Total
       No school                                       661     436          1.097
       Unqualified                                    1.590   1.214         2.804
       Low qualifications                              142      94           236
       Qualified                                      2.315   1.506         3.831
       Technicians (secondary education)               950    1.590         2.540
       Highly trained technicians                      127      19           146
       College degree                                   79      83           162
       University degree                                40      45            85
       MA/Msci and specialists                           1       0             1
       PhD
       TOTAL:                                                             10.892

      The employed registered by the Prijedor Pension and Invalid Insurance branch in 2003:
      - by the state institutions 6.980,
      - by shareholding companies 3.866
      - by private enterprises 3.052
      - entrepreneurs 3.768
      - other 282.

                                   Craftsmen’s
                     Agriculture                 Administration Education     Other   Total
                                   services
      Employed                        6.820           5.961       1.019       4.148 17.948

      Unemployed


2.7   Educational, cultural, religious and other institutions that operate in the local area:

      School institutions: Elementary schools 12, Secondary schools 8, Colleges 3,
      Culture institutions: Museum, library, theatre, gallery
      Religious institutions: Churches, Mosques,

2.8   Local and international organisaations that work in the area of the municipality/town and
      brief description of their work:

      The international organisations that work in our community are:
      OSCE (Working on the democratization of the society / community, protection of human rights,
      reform of education)
      Agency of Local Democracies (Development of the civil society designed to help the
      democratization and assisting the needy (returnees).
      OHR (Ombudsman – protection of human rights)
      EUPM (Assistance and co-operation with local police)
      DFID (ATOS KPMG – adjusting court services to the needs and demands of the inhabitants of
      Prijedor municipality)
      There are 40 local organisations.



                                                 31
2.9    Branches of economic organisations that are active in the local:
       (branches of industries: metal, food, chemical and similar, agriculture, tourism and other.)

       Number of registered companies in Prijedor Municipality:
        No. Sector                                           Number of firms/companies
        1.  Agriculture, hunting and forestry                              15
        2.  Fisheries                                                       3
        3.  Extraction of minerals and stone                                5
        4.  Processing industry                                           103
            Production and supllying electricity, gas and
        5.                                                                 10
            water
        6.  Civili engineering                                             29
        7.  Trading and services                                         1.015
        8.  Hotels and restaurants                                        455
        9.  Traffic, warehouses and connections                           102
        10. Finances                                                        8
        11. Real estate, renting and business activities                   21
            State authorities, defence and compulsory
        12.                                                                23
            social insurance
        13. Education                                                      32
        14. Health and social work                                         15
            Other services waterworks, garbage
        15.                                                                33
            disposal… social and personal services
            Total:                                                       1.869

       Industry: Omarska mine, Factory of welding joints, “Bosnomontaza”, “Elker”
       Food: Production of cookies an wafers “MIRA”, “Prijedorcanka” - fruit and vegetable processing,
       “IMPRO” meet processing.
       Agriculture: “Agrounija”, “Poljoproizvod”, a large number of individual farmers.
       Tourism: “Kozara” national park

2.10   Natural resources of the local community that are / are not sufficiently exploited

       The greatest potentials are in agriculture (lots of farmland) and in tourism, (insufficiently exploited
       “Kozara” national park round the year.

2.11   Prospects of supporting the local economic development (credits given by the local self-
       governance, banks, domestic or foreign investments):

       Banks give credits with unfavourable interest rates. Foreign assistance and investing in
       infrastructure (roads, part of water supply network ...) and small individual donations (most
       donations were directed towards house repair work, so that returnees can live there).
       Municipality has not yet credited anyone.

2.12   Ways of citizens’ showing interest in volunteering in the community (working through,
       culture institutions, being included in organised public gathering, festivals and similar.)

       Local people show the greatest interest in volunteerism through working in local NGOs and
       engagements in local culture centres.

2.13   Ways for local people to participate in creating public policy of local community (social,
       economic relations and other)




                                                     32
       People can participate in creating the public policy in local community through their engagement
       in Neighbourhood communities as basic form of Local self-governance, engagement in some of
       political parties (8) and through local campaigns through NGOs.

2.14   New ways to increase participation of citizens in creating public policy of local
       communities

       No data

2.15   Main problems in the community:

       Problems in the community are: unemployment, insufficient exploitation of agricultural resources,
       worn out low voltage juice supply in rural areas, poor state of local, categorised and non-
       categorised roads
       Unfinished privatisation is one of big causes of unemployment; foreign investments are
       insufficient to initiate the industrial capacities.
       There is a need for the opening of starting production of lesser enterprises and investing in
       farming from individual to organised production of agricultural surplus. 58% of the municipality is
       farmland.

2.16   Basic problems with regards to the process of return, integration and reintegration:

       Our community (Prijedor) has been the first one in BiH to finish the process of returning without
       much resistance in the community against the process.
       The problems may occur in sustainability of the return process, due to unemployment of the
       returnees, partial observing the Law on returning the workers to their pre-war posts, social policy
       with regards to the pensioners.


2.17   The quality of integration and reintegration of returnees, refugees and displaced persons:

       -   the number of the employed in local self-governance (23 persons) This number is far bigger,
           because many of these people work as contractors, they are not employed permanently,
           there is no exact data
       -   the number of the employed in industry/ no relevant data
       -   The number of the employed in non-productive field / no relevant
       -   Engagement in own or other organisations (culture, sport, religious, youth and similar.) / a
           large number of people is engaged through social activities, two returnee football clubs have
           been established, 6 citizens’ clubs and 3 cultural centres
       -   Engagement in political life (membership in political parties, political functions etc.)
           membership in three parties/ function: Municipality chairman, heads of departments


                                                 Part III.

       “A shining example”
       (The best example of a sustainable solution for displaced persons in your community)

       Returning to Prijedor, namely Kozarac, started in 1998. The first year included the process of
       returning the properties and fighting to rebuild the destroyed households. With each day more
       and more returnees came back to Kozarac. Also, one should point out that 10000 people used to
       live in this region. The first years was more or less spent in fighting for donors that could help in
       rebuilding peoples’ homes, assisting the neighbours, reconstructing the roads, building the water
       pipeline, which was bringing life back to normal.




                                                    33
The process of reconstruction included in itself the rebuilding of municipal buildings, first contacts,
organising meetings and re-establishing trust among people. We should have thought of how to
return to social life between 2000 and 2002, because although houses had been built, many other
community problems had to be solved.
The road in one part of the settlement (Kozarac) with some 80 houses had been devastated by
the heavy traffic going on due to the trucks that were bringing in and taking out heavy loads of
bricks and building material for the houses during the building. We had to organise the people to
protect the road, but also the local picnic spot, from huge piles of rubble. Somebody had to initiate
work on gathering the people outside the realm of the topic of return. In Kozarac there was one
group of citizens that dealt with protection of women at the time.
We had the first meeting there when we started searching for the Organisations tah tcould help
us solve the problem. We knocked on many a door, because at the time over 20 NGOs were
operating. The representatives in these organisations could not give us support. Tired, but
persistent, we saw the NGO “Don”. They listened to what we had to say to them, but the first
contact was actually making the appointment with the executive manager of the organisation.
Luckily, the meeting was a fruitful one and we were given information to go further on and fight.
But not only fighting this problem but also the real integration as equal participants. Many
meetings ensued, in the communities and with the representatives of the organisation. We
needed know-how in order to come to our goal. Until then none of us had contacted the
representatives of the local authorities or with the companies in charge to fix the roads. The first
meetings in the community were fruitful, the citizens found interest to invest themselves for the
road to be asphalted but we did not know how to obtain the assistance from the municipality. We
knew nothing about the budget, and we feared that we would not make it, and that the municipal
structures would not be helpful in this matter. We addressed our (Bosniak) representatives in the
Municipality, and they were sceptical and often shrugged in disbelief, or said to us that there
would be nothing out of that. For months we had been waiting for someone to make an
appointment with lady Chairperson, but there was no reply. We lost too much time and we
addressed ”DON” again. They helped us again and the advice was that we should make a
protocol for our meeting demand and that was the only right way to do it, not the promises that
had kept us far away from our goal for months. We followed the advice and the meeting was
appointed five days from then. We were happy and surprised and a little afraid wondering what
now. We had been disappointed so many times in certain people, we lost so much time, but we,
nevertheless, wanted to reintegrate ourselves into our community to become a real part of it and
show many that we shall succeed in our intention to help ourselves. The team that comprised the
executive board for this stage went to the meeting. It was a fruitful one. We could not see end to
our enthusiasm, because we could finally tell the lady Chairperson, who found out about our
action only then, what our problem was. Her closest colleagues who were supposed to work with
us on gathering the funds were there as well. Her interest in the matter overcame our
expectations. Not only were we assisted by being given money from the municipal budget, but
another day there was a meeting appointed in the Government of Republika Srpska, to which we
went together to be given the funds necessary for asphalting the road.

The meeting we went together as the citizens/returnees of the district community Kozarac, and
lady Chairperson of the Prijedor Municipality, lead us to reaffirm our belief that we should live
together and face the mistakes made. People in the Government were understanding, they
approved a part of means and we could finally start realizing our project.

The road from the idea to its realisation was too long, mostly due to our lack of know-how and
mistrust. The road that is 1200 metres long makes our community nicer, and we have learned our
lesson: only cooperating and working together we can solve our problems. That people who sit in
our municipality are there to help all the CITIZENS and that there are no divisions and that “our”
people will not help us, but we should go down the well road and stick to the given norms. Our
adventures were too long, but for one part we are to be blamed, when we were hoping least we
were given assistance and also the lesson that together we can work more and better.




                                             34
The road was open with a celebration and besides many local residents; the representatives of
local authorities were also there.
Our cooperation with “DON” organisation was made even more stable after they had opened a
local branch in our community. We have realised many programmes in our district community in
cooperation with them. One of them was opening a modern IT centre in the village called
TELEDOM.

Life leads us different ways, and we want to live in our Municipality and be equal. The dialogue
helped us. We recommend it to all those who want to succeed, to enrich their lives with
knowledge, and forget the prejudice and head down the road that leads to brighter future of the
people who inhabit not only district community, Municipality of Prijedor but citizens of our country,
Bosnia and Herzegovina



                                                                                      Prijedor, 2003

                                                                        District Community Kozarac
                                                                                  Zinajda Mahmuljin




                                             35
FOJNICA MUNICPALITY, Bosnia and Herzegovina


                                                 Part I.

1.1   Data source: Youth Centre “Stella”, Fojnica, Fojnica Municipality, Institute for the employment of
      SBK – Fojnica branch, Canton statistics
      Method: Interview, questionnaire
      Date: June 15, 2004

1.2   Main office: Fojnica
      Telephone/fax: +387 30 837 106
      E-mail: teledomfo@hotmail.com
      Contact person: Igor Ilicic, Dalibor Nikolic
                              2
1.3   Area Covered: 308 km
      Number of settlements: 55 (9 District Communities)
      Number of households: 3.960

1.4   Structure of the local self-governance: refers to the bodies in the unit of local
      government: (legislative, executive and professional bodies)

      Municipal assembly 17 members; Professional services in the municipality: 1) for economy and
      housing and communal services, 2) town planning, reconstruction and building, 3) cadastre and
      property/legal matters, 4) general management, social activities and refugees and social policy,
      5) finances and budget 6) civil defence

1.5   Structure of local self-governance (number and names of units of local self-governance)

      Prokos, Scitovo, Bakovici, Dusina, Fojnica, Gojevići, Ostruznica, Plocari, Pridola

1.6   National ratio

                                  1991                     Present state
       Croats                     6.639                       4.333
       Serbs                       154                          37
       Bosniaks                   8.010                       8.930
       Yugoslavs                   396                           -
       Hungarians                   -                            -
       Other                      1.028                          -

      Age groups

       0-7                    532
       7 - 14                1.568
       14 - 18                902
       18 - 30               2.598
       30 - 60               5.255
       + 60                  2.445




                                                     36
1.7   Data on inhabitants (present state)

      Number of inhabitants
       Men              5.160
       Women            6.490
       Total            13.300


                                                  Part II.

2.1   The number of the inhabitants who left the community area (according to the data from local
      self-governance)

      During the war: most of Croat inhabitants

2.3   Number of returnees to the community area

      Around 4.200 Croats.

2.4   Number of people who currently live in the area of the community, and haven't been on the
      list after the 1991 census

      No such data

2.5   Number of people who have shown interest to return to the area

      No data

2.6   Employment

                                   Craftmen,
                     Agriculture               Administration Education    Other     Total
                                   services
      Employed           227          519              35         137       1.474     2.392

      Unemployed                                                                      1.927


2.7   Educational, cultural, religious and other institutions that operate in the local area:

      8 regional schools, 2 elementary schools, 1 school for persons with special needs, 1 Secondary
      mixed school
      Catholic Parish Office, Islamic Community

2.8   Local and international organisations that work in the area of the municipality/town and
      brief description of their work:

      OC Stella (Centre for culture, education, promoting and development of youth); Femina
      (Association for protection of the right of women); HKPD Rodoljub (Croat Catholic choir – culture,
      folk dancing, tradition); HKUD Matija Gubec Bakovici (Folclore dancing and tradition)
      Ecological association Fojnica; USR Fojnica (Association of Sports Anglers); Hunting Association
      “Divokoza”; Football Club Fojnica; Karate Club Fojnica; Chess Club Fojnica; Martial Arts Club
      Fojnica; Tavla Club Fojnica;

2.9   Branches of economic organisations that are active in the local:
      (industry: metal, food, chemical, agriculture, tourism and other)


                                                    37
       Forestry, health tourism and rehabilitation, agriculture, civil engineering, trading, restaurants,
       financing

2.10   Natural resources of the local community that are / are not sufficiently exploited

       Forests (enormous potential, intensive usage but management is not completely organised),
       water potentials haven't been fully exploited (water and thermal water); mineral resources
       (insufficiently used); pastures, mountains; quarries; herbs (insufficiently exploited)

2.11   Prospects of supporting the local economic development (credits given by the local self-
       governance, banks, domestic or foreign investments):

       There is no municipal body designated to work on the economical development; there is a formed
       Association of Employer; foreign investors are scarce; the Municipal Budget does not foresee
       means for local economical growth; micro credit organisations and banks do exist but they
       demand high interest rates and give a short grace period (unfavourable credit conditions)

2.12   Ways of citizens’ showing interest in volunteering in the community (working through,
       culture institutions, being included in organised public gathering, festivals and similar.)

       The above mentioned NGOs: Stella, Femina, Rodoljub, through their activities in the field of
       culture created a very good cooperation. These organisations also cooperate with local
       authorities i.e. Service for Social Activities. They have mutually organised programmes to
       celebrate important dates and holidays (1 may, Day of Municipality…). Stella regularly organises
       concerts and other cultural events in cooperation with local NGOs, Rodoljub and Femina also do
       that. The mentioned sport associations are active in competitions in local leagues and organising
       open tournaments and invite other clubs from the region to join (Chess Club, Martial Arts Club,
       FC Fojnica)

2.13   Ways for local people to participate in creating public policy of local community (social,
       economic relations and other)

       People can participate in creating the public policy of local community through their
       representatives in the Municipal Council. Also the Municipal services that we have mentioned and
       the Municipal Chairman who is at disposal constantly when citizens have to solve different
       problems

2.14   New ways to increase participation of citizens in creating public policy of local
       communities

       −

2.15   Main problems in the community:

       After the Municipal SWOT analysis:
       -      Poor infrastructure of roads and insufficient communication
       -      Lack of funds for local development
       -      Out of date technology
       -      Lack of enough financial institutions
       -      Inadequacy of the curriculum to the needs of the Municipality
       -      Politicizing when choosing cadres

2.16   Basic problems with regards to the process of return, integration and reintegration:




                                                     38
        In Fojnica municipality, the return of the property that has not been devastated to its rightful
        owners is 100% finished. The municipal authorities have been praised by OHR because they
        have implementation of the law. However, there is a significant number of 100% torn down family
        houses that have not been reconstructed mostly owned by Croats and some of them by
        Bosniaks. Due to the fact that the returnees cannot be employed at their former posts (partly due
        to the poor economic situation and partly to not applying article 173 of the Labour Act, where
        companies still work). The main obstacle to the complete return of the displaced persons is the
        poor economic situation in the municipality.

2. 17   The quality of integration and reintegration of returnees, refugees and displaced persons:

        -   number of the employed in local self-governance: 13
        -   the number of the employed in industry: 132
        -   The number of the employed in non-productive field: 7
        -   Engagement in own or other organisations (culture, sport, religious, youth and similar.): -
        -   Engagement in political life (membership in political parties, political functions etc.): equal
            representatives in the political life of the municipality

                                                   Part III.

        “A shining example”
        (The best example of a sustainable solution for displaced persons in your community)

        After heavy clashes in Fojnica, and due to intensified return of the displaced and intensive
        process of reintegration, a need emerged to instigate and organise cultural life of Fojnica
        inhabitants of all nationalities, especially the most fragile group of the society – the young. It was
        very important to work on overcoming the prejudice and intolerance from recent past and create
        healthy climate for coexistence of all the Fojnica dwellers, and also conditions for sustainable
        development. One of the biggest problems was distrust among the national entities and no
        chances for contact among them.
        The youth centre Stella is an association of the people established in order to promote young
        people of all nationalities in all the segments of the society, especially culture, art, sport. In the
        beginning, the results were modest, and then later as the number of its members grew, Stella has
        developed into one of the most important associations in the municipality. Within the scope of its
        activities, there are music, drama, ecology and journalist groups. There is also the Stella
        Basketball School. Members of all the workshops come from different ethnic groups and a large
        number of returnees also participate in the activities.
        We would like to point out the work of the music department as one of the most successful in the
        centre. Namely, the idea was for the young people that the young themselves, hanging out with
        music as a universal language, connect and socialise, and work on casting away the stereotypes
        from the past. There was much success in their work.
        Through organising of concert of pop and rock bands and visiting the neighbouring towns, Stella
        has made many members and friends, even from neighbouring towns
        (Visoko, Kiseljak, Bugojno, Jablanica...). The centre also cooperates with the local Municipal
        authorities who support their activities as much as they can.
        Today in the premises of the centre you can find young people from Fojnica of all nationalities,
        and a significant number of returnees, spending time together, along with the music.
        Such a group is: Boris Jukic, Ivan Bozic – returnees, and Mirza Dautovic and Mirza Kulenovic
        have formed a band and daily practice the list of songs they want to perform at a forthcoming
        show organised by Stella
        They are but one of the numerous examples this organisation operates. Namely, these young
        people through such socializing have managed to realise the mentioned goal. In the future, it is
        necessary to take in more new members who will be attracted by the positive results of work of
        our present members, in order to create a place that will produce healthy and positive thinking,
        which is a basis for creating a healthy climate for sustainable development.
        Statements of some of the members about how useful the centre for local community is:


                                                      39
Boris Jukic – returnee: I think that this youth centre is the only true source of having fun in this
small town. It is at the same time the only place where we can see each other and positively
spend time. All in all I am very contented with the work of the centre. And I think it is the right stuff
for the youth of this town

Mirza Dautovic: My opinion is that this centre plays a very important role in gathering the young
regardless to the national background. The fact that they are trying to solve the issue of the
young people is very important too. Although we still miss some funds to improve work in this
Centre, as its member I am very happy with the way it works.




                                              40
TUZLA MUNICIPALITY, Bosnia and Herzegovina

                                                Part I.

1.1   Data source: Local self-governance
      Method: interview, questionnaire
      Date: 15 June 2004

1.2   Main office: Tuzla
      Telephone/fax: +387 35 252 283
      E-mail:
      Contact person: Esma Ibrisimovic

1.3   Area covered: 294 km²
      Number of settlements: 66
      Number of households: 40.811

1.4   Structure of the local self-governance: (refers to the bodies in the unit of local government:
      legislative, executive and professional bodies)

      Municipal Council - 30
      Commissions of the Municipal Council
      Advisor to the Chairman
      Chairman
      Deputy Chairman
      Assistants to the chairman
      Professional services

1.5   Structure of the local self-governance:

      There are 39 district local communities the representatives of which participate in the work and
      decision making in the City Council

1.6   National ratio

                                  In 1991                   Present state
       Croats                      20.398                      17.277
       Serbs                       20.271                      12.685
       Bosniaks                    62.669                      99.776
       Yugoslavs                   21.995                         -
       Hungarians                     -                           -
       Others                      6.285                       4.103

      Age groups

       0 - 14          19.978
       15 - 64         99.889
       + 60            13.994




                                                  41
1.7   Data on inhabitants (present state)

      Number of citizens

       Men                   62.848
       Women                 71.013
       Total:               133.861


                                                  Part II.

2.1   The number of people who left the community area

      -   Before the war: about 20.000
      -   After the war: about 200

2.3   Number of returnees to the community area

      -   Bosniaks:    1.115
      -   Croats:      2.925
      -   Serbs:       3.614
      -   Other:       61
          Total:       7.715

2.4   Number of people who currently live in the area of the community, and haven't been on the
      list after the 1991 census

      -   Bosniaks:    14.887
      -   Croats:      24
      -   Serbs        12
      -   Other:       78
          Total:       14.991

2.5   Number of people who have shown interest to return to the area

      3.800

2.6   Employment

                                     Craftmen,
                       Agriculture             Administration Education Other            Total
                                     services
      Employed               -            -               -             -          -      28.750

      Unemployed             -            -               -             -          -      15.264


2.7   Educational, cultural, religious and other institutions that operate in the local area:

      Tuzla is a university city with a developed cultural institutions (theatre, libraries, culture centres,
      sports centre), three religious confessions (Moslems, Catholics and Orthodox Christian), two
      religious secondary education centre.

2.8   Local and international organisaations that work in the area of the municipality/town and
      brief description of their work:




                                                     42
       Tuzla has a very developed NGO sector. Local NGOs work within a network of 37 organisations
       and they work as a reference group. Another 32 organisations act independently. There are 22
       foreign organisations in Tuzla at the moment.

2.9    Branches of economic organisations that are active in the local:

       Almost all the branches of the industry are operational in the city, but compared with the pre-war
       period they work only with 20% of their capacity.

2.10   Natural resources of the local community that are / are not sufficiently exploited

       Coal, salt, stone, convenient conditions for the development of cattle breeding and orchards in
       the outskirts of the municipality

2.11   Prospects of supporting the local economic development

       There still are no appropriate conditions for loans because of high interest rates. The municipality
       has itself created conditions for the development of production by giving working space for free.

2.12   Ways of citizens’ showing interest in volunteering in the community

       Through NGO sector
       Through institutions of culture

2.13   Ways for local people to participate in creating public policy of local community (social,
       economic relations and other)

       Panel discussions, forums, NGOs
       Chairpersons’ board – representatives of all the structures of NGO and governmental sector.

2.14   New ways to increase participation of citizens in creating public policy of local
       communities

       Different partnerships of the government sector with the civil society sector.

2.15   Main problems in the community:

       Unemployment, devastated infrastructure, social policy, closed down chemical industry factories

2.16   Basic problems with regards to the process of return, integration and reintegration:

       Unemployed returnees, slow pace of economic recovery, health protection.

2.17   The quality of integration and reintegration of returnees, refugees and displaced persons:

       -   number of the employed in local self-governance: -
       -   number of the employed in industry: -
       -   number of the employed in non-productive field: -
       -   Engagement in own or other organisations (culture, sport, religious, youth and similar): -
       -   Engagement in political life (membership in political parties, political functions etc): -

       Returnees participate along the domicile inhabitants in public advertisements for employments,
       they are active working in all the organisations on their area, and in some political parties as well.




                                                    43
SREBRENICA MUNICIPALITY, Bosnia and Herzegovina

                                                  Part I.

1.1   Data source: Local self-governance and NGO Forum of Srebrenica Citizens
      Method: interview, questionnaire
      Date: 3 − 7 June 2004

1.2   Main office: Srebrenica
      Telephone/fax: +387 56 385 494 (home); +387 56 385 083 (office)
      E-mail: kokeza@blic.net
      Contact person: Krsto Stjepanovic

1.3   Area covered: 573km²
      Number of settlements: 80 settlements, 19 local district communities
      Number of households: 7 to 8 thousand (there has been no census before and after the war, so
      there are no official data)

1.4   Structure of the local self-governance: (refers to the bodies in the unit of local government:
      legislative, executive and professional bodies)

      Municipality: Assembly, Chairperson’s Cabinet, Chairperson

1.5   Structure of the local self-governance:

      District communities: Council of District Assemblies (there are officially 19 but not all function)

1.6   National ratio

                                     In 1991                     Present state
       Croats                           38                            27
       Serbs                          9.378                         4.321
       Bosniaks                       27.114                        3.070
       Yugoslavs                       358
       Hungarians
       Others                          712

      Age groups

       0-7                  252
       7-14                 270
       14-18                126
       18-30                484
       30-60                447
       + 60                 646

1.7   Data on inhabitants (present state)

      There was no census so we can present only our estimates. The municipal administration has
      information that 3.500 to 4.000 returnees have come back, while some other say that there are
      not more than 1.000 or 1.500 etc. A vague estimate shows that there are between 5.000 and
      10.000 people living in Srebrenica municipality




                                                    44
                                                 Part II.

2. 1   The number of people who left the community area

        - During the war: 27.114 Bosniaks, 9.378 Serbs, 358 Yugoslavs, 38 Croats and 712 other
        - After the war: 12.400 Serbs transferred from 43 municipalities (after signing the Dayton
          Agreement)

2.3    Number of returnees to the community area

       4.321 Serbs, 3.070 Bosniaks, and 27 Croats

2.4    Number of people who currently live in the area of the community, and haven't been on the
       list after the 1991 census

       2.120 Serbs

2.5    Number of people who have shown interest to return to the area

       7.010 Bosniaks and 1.143 Serbs

2.6    Employment

                                     Craftmen,
                       Agriculture                 Administration Education Other       Total
                                     services
        Employed           157          121                 144       83         505     1.010

        Unemployed


2.7    Educational, cultural, religious and other institutions that operate in the local area:

       -   Secondary education Centre
       -   Elementary schools Srebrenica, Potocari and Skelani (and first to fourth grade schools in:
           Sase, Osatica, Suceska, Ljeskovik, Crvica)
       -   Community Centre
       -   Health dispensary
       -   Church
       -   Mosque

2.8    Local and international organisations that work in the area of the municipality/town and
       brief description of their work:

       UNDP, THW Radna Grupa Nederland-Srebrenica,
       Forum of Srebrenica Citizens (publishes Srebrenica Newspaper and organises public) round
       tables for the inhabitants and returnees)
       Regional association of people suffering from multiple sclerosis (assists the affected)
       Nove Nade (public reading room for the citizens, internet club)
       Drina Srebrenica (with main office in Tuzla, implementation of the aid programme for returnees)
       Scout division Guber
       Youth Theatre B – Sense
       Srebrenica 99 (organises activities for children returnees and other children in Srebrenica)
       SARA, association of young women (refugee association working with programmes for children
       and women supported by OHR, OSCE, office Bratunac)
       Mothers of Srebrenica (association of the families of the missing)
       Zelja, Skelani (refugee association, education)


                                                   45
       Podrinje, Skelani (implementation of UNDP programmes)
       Silverna (collectors of medical herbs)
       Tae-Kwan-do club
       Basketball club
       Football club
       Rugby club

2.9    Branches of economic organisations that are active in the local:

       Forestry, exploitation of minerals

2.10   Natural resources of the local community that are / are not sufficiently exploited

       Lead and zinc mine Sase, Guber Spa, and forests

2.11   Prospects of supporting the local economic development

       The municipality gives no loans. Some of the banks and micro-credit organisations give loans
       that have to be paid in 10 to 12 months with high interest rates. (15 to 18%) and which most
       people cannot afford (banks give them only to the employed and they demand two or more
       guarantors one of which has to be employed in a company financed from the budget with the
       average salary almost nobody has)

2.12   Ways of citizens’ showing interest in volunteering in the community

       Public discussions of Forum of Srebrenica Citizens. The fact is that citizens only though such
       public discussions are given a chance to participate in creating public policy or they have a
       chance to have some feedback from authorities, international organisations and so on. Other
       NGOs deal mostly with more ‘profitable’ issues (English courses, computer schools, creative
       painting, children programmes and other.)


2.13   Ways for local people to participate in creating public policy of local community (social,
       economic relations and other)

       Until recently it was Srebrenica Newspaper, local radio has not been in function for the third year
       now.
       There are still no advisory groups, because almost all is decided by the local self governance.

2.14   New ways to increase participation of citizens in creating public policy of local
       communities

       No data

2.15   Main problems in the community:

       High rate of unemployment, lack of infrastructure, lack of cultural and sport events, insufficient
       information, drugs

2.16   Basic problems with regards to the process of return, integration and reintegration:

       Lack of opportunities to employ the returnees, no sustainability due to poor economy, problems
       with health, school and social security organisation (the treatment is not the same for both
       entities)

2.17   The quality of integration and reintegration of returnees, refugees and displaced persons:


                                                    46
-   number of the employed in local self-governance: 15
-   number of the employed in industry: 8
-   number of the employed in non - productive field: 23

                                           Part III.

“An outstanding story”
(The best example of a sustainable solution for displaced persons in your community)


In August 2000 on the initiative of a certain number of domicile Serbs and Bosniacs, out of whom
a great number managed to return in the same year, the “Forum of citizens of Srebrenica” has
been formed as a NGO, which included around 70 individuals with a structure which reflected a
pre-war situation of the municipality. This is a non-profit organization which has the activity to
organize tribunes of citizens with topics that are of a vital importance for all citizens and serve for
the mutual reconciliation of pre-war neighbours. The tribunes with the following topics are
organized:

1. Why the citizens of Srebrenica don’t have drinking water after so many years the war was
   over. According to some official data a significant amount of money has been invested for the
   repair of water supply installations. Many citizens who participated in the discussion asked
   the representatives of the local government and heads of public services for the explanation.
2. There was an ugly incident caused by a group of drunk boys which threatened to turn into a
   serous conflict on the national base. FGS (Forum of the citizens of Srebrenica) organized
   immediately a tribune with the topic “Security of the citizens of Srebrenica”, whereby the
   actors of the conflict took part. Representatives of the police and local government were
   present as well. The situation calmed down and after that there were no more similar
   incidents.
3. A tribune of the citizens with representatives of the office of UNDP has been organized
   immediately after the donor conference in New York, where the representatives of the UNDP
   talked about their plans and the way of investment of the donation funds.
4. After one year a tribune has been organized again whereby the same participants took part
   and criticized the work of the UNDP and the way spending funds. The criteria are known only
   to the representatives of UNDP and the smallest amount was spent in and for Srebrenica.
   The biggest amount was spent in the Federation of BiH and in Serbia.
5. One of the topics on the citizens’ tribunes in the organization of FGS was “The state of young
   people and their perspective”. The tribune was very well visited and according to the
   presented data the leaders of the of the Young people organization was dismissed due to
   non-reasonable spending of funds, which were aimed to the young people. A new leadership
   has been nominated, that adopted a new working plan of activities within the Council of the
   Young in Srebrenica. Representatives of the SJB attended the tribune as well. A problem of
   drugs consumption and re-sale by a certain number of young people in Srebrenica has been
   discussed.
6. Regarding the total informational blockade in Srebrenica, where the local radio and TV
   station are missing, FGS stated publishing of the Newspaper of Srebrenica once a month. All
   negative examples in Srebrenica including the bad work of the local government were
   published in the newspaper. We asked for the certain amount in the budget of the
   Municipality of Srebrenica for the regular printing of the newspaper and if required even to
   print the special editions. For the reason that we haven’t allowed the local politicians and
   representatives of the UNDP as well as other organizations to interfere into the editorial
   policy of the newspaper, we no longer had any support the publishing of the newspaper was
   cancelled. We must mention that all citizens of Srebrenica everywhere in the world could get
   the Newspaper of Srebrenica for free. It explains the attitude of the local government that was
   not interested in rendering the real information to its citizens. In addition to that we must




                                             47
    mention that RTV signals of any station do not cover the area of Srebrenica, so it is clear that
    the citizens of the municipality of Srebrenica live without any adequate information.

The citizens of Srebrenica can explain the positive influence of the mentioned tribunes the best.
For the first time after the war all citizens, common people of different nationalities, were sitting
together and had open discussions on their common problems. We managed to gather them, to
reconcile them and to contribute to their further and successful contacts. Our organization was
the first post-war multi-ethnic organization, with the pre-war structure. After the founding of our
organizations a significant number of Bosniaks returned to their homes to Srebrenica, which until
that period almost hadn’t existed in this area.

                                                                                 Krsto Stjepanovic
                                                                     “Forum of Srebrenica Citizens”




                                             48
ERNESTINOVO MUNICIPALITY, Croatia

                                                 Part I.

1.1   Data source: Local self-governance, 2001 census
      Method: interview, questionnaire
                                     th    th
      When the inquiry took place 8 and 9 June, 2004

1.2   Main office: Skolska 2, Ernestinovo
      Telephone/fax: +385 31 270 214
      E-mail: opcinaen@inet.hr
      Contact person: Matija Greif - mayor

1.3   Area covered: 86,00km²
      Number of settlements: 3
      Number of households: 682

1.4   Structure of the local self-governance: (refers to the bodies in the unit of local government:
      legislative, executive and professional bodies)

      Municipal council, Unique managing model
      Legislative 31 board members

1.5   Structure of the local district self-governance:

      The Council of the Local District of Ernestinovio, Council of the Local District Laslovo

1.6   National ratio

                              In 1991             Present state
       Croats                  2.458                 1.496
       Serbs                    458                   187
       Bosniaks                   -                     -
       Yugoslavs                 12                     -
       Hungarians               542                   481
       Others                    32                    61

      Age groups

       0-7                  252
       7 - 14               270
       14 - 18              126
       18 - 30              484
       30 - 60              447
       + 60                 646

1.7   Data on inhabitants (present state)

      Number of citizens

       Men                 1.074
       Women               1.151
       Total:              2.225



                                                   49
                                                   Part II.

2.1    Number of people who left the community area

       -    During the war: 1.250
       -    After the war: 825

2.3    Number of returnees to the community area

       825 persons

2.4    Number of people who currently live in the area of the community, and haven't been on the
       list after the 1991 census

       92

2.5    Number of people who have shown interest to return to the area

       --

2.6    Employment

                                      Craftmen,
                        Agriculture                 Administration   Education     Other   Total
                                      services
        Employed            825            25                 42          25         42      952

        Unemployed                                                                           825


2.7    Educational, cultural, religious and other institutions that operate in the local area:

       Elementary school Ernestinovo, Elementary school Laslovo, Roman Catholic Church

2.8    Local and international organisations that work in the area of the municipality/town and
       brief description of their work:

       Gallery of Sculptors “Petar Smajic”, Ernestinovo, Culture/art and sport societies, youth
       organisations.

2.9    Branches of economic organisations that are active in the local:

       Flour production, textile industry, agriculture

2.10   Natural resources of the local community that are / are not sufficiently exploited

       Thermal water well

2.11   Prospects of supporting the local economic development

       Credits, domestic and foreign investments

2.12   Ways of citizens’ showing interest in volunteering in the community

       Joining different organisations


                                                     50
2.13   Ways for local people to participate in creating public policy of local community (social,
       economic relations and other)

       −

2.14   New ways to increase participation of citizens in creating public policy of local `
       communities

       Advisory groups, tools of partnership with local self-governance

2.15   Main problems in the community:

       Reconstruction of local infrastructure, building the same.

2.16   Basic problems with regards to the process of return, integration and reintegration:

       Building production plants

2.17   The quality of integration and reintegration of returnees, refugees and displaced persons:

       -   number of the employed in local self-governance: 7
       -   the number of the employed in industry: 251
       -   The number of the employed in non-productive field: 125
       -   Engagement in own or other organisations (culture, sport, religious, youth and similar.): no
           data available
       -   Engagement in political life (membership in political parties, political functions etc.): no data
           available

                                                   Part III.

       “A shining example”
       (The best example of a sustainable solution for displaced persons in your community)


       Comment by Branislav Vorkapic (field researcher)

       Ernestinovo municipality is neighbouring Sodolovci municipality. There are significant differences
       between the economic potentials which can be seen from what the Chairman of the Municipality
       has written. At the same time, Ernestinovo has a stronger support by the state and district, which
       is the result of war and post-war circumstances.
       It is important to see that local professionals in this Municipality are more ready than in Sodolovci
       to volunteer their work in instigating plans for development. It is obvious that there is a positive
       relation of the inhabitants with regards to the future of the municipality.
       NGO sector is insufficiently developed among other things because of the wrong picture people
       have of their work. Namely, certain segments of the public still think that NGO sector is working
       against the state, and that all their priorities are connected only for the issues related to citizens of
       Serb nationality. Partially, NGOs are to be blamed for this attitude.
       The Municipality Chairman points out the need for alternative education through different
       organisations, their aim being increase of the engagement of the citizens in public work of the
       Municipality. As an important activity, the Chairman mentions inter-sector cooperation in the
       community and cooperation between the neighbouring municipalities, especially concerning the
       issue of solving infrastructure problems.
       Another thing that has been pointed out was the role of the management of the Municipality
       regarding the increased room for tolerance and understanding among the population in the


                                                     51
community and its surrounding through public meeting with leaders of the neighbouring
municipalities, and planning joint activities in the realm of realistic potentials and interests.
Special attention was given to the support by foreign organisations and donors (IKV). It is
important to point out that in the focus of the Chairman were not financial means from abroad, but
the possibilities for the local authorities and people to obtain a new vision of future in their
surrounding. They have pointed out simple, warm and humane support, support full of patience
and understanding, support that offers future in tolerance, togetherness and partnership.

NB:. The figures in this document are to be taken with reserve because they are different from the
data given by the representatives of local self-governance and the data that have been publicized
by the Statistics Institute


Contemplation on sustainable solution on how to keep the displaced persons in
Ernestinovo Municipality

Ernestinovo Municipality in itself includes the villages Laslovo and Divos. During the homeland
war, it suffered all the bad things wars bring along. From the national chart it is obvious that
before the war around 20% of the population were Serbian, and they remained in those villages
during the war, all the others were forced out. War activities were so severe that there was not a
single habitable house in Laslovo at the moment of peaceful reintegration, and there were only a
couple of houses where people could live in Ernestinovo, and Serbs from Divos and partially from
Ernestinovo lived there. Serbs migrated after the peaceful reintegration and this process was
parallel with the return of the Croats and Hungarians.

Most clashes, however, did not occur at the beginning of the peaceful reintegration, and today it
is not the topic to be talked about.

I am, however, trying to focus my memory on the fact that there, actually, were no clashes, but
there was no dialogue either with the neighbouring Sodolovci Municipality with the majority of
Serb dwellers. Having the experience I have now, when our relations, especially on the top level,
are not so appropriate, the fact that dialogue was reduced to minimum with all the possible
resistance, seems too far away.

I have to mention a couple of names of organizations and NGOs that have been patiently building
the bridges of cooperation and dialogue, using different methods. The first steps in that direction
were made by the town of Wageningen in Holland, which, through its mayor and persons who
were in charge of direct contact, and Mr Jack Bogers with his colleagues, took over the need of
the dialogue and cooperation and really made movement in that segment of relations. One has to
mention Mr Bert van der Linde from “Proni Centre” with the team, Mr Dion van den Berg from
Intereuropean Peace Council in Holland, and I could go on forever.

One can solve the issues regarding infrastructure, employment etc. but they do not end on the
Municipal border. In spite of the fact that the reconstruction of the houses in the area of the entire
municipality almost over, we still have a large number of similarly important problems that need to
be solved so that we can keep the returnees in this region.

 We can be successful if we enable them to have jobs or if we create acclimate and condition for
 self-employment, to bring the infrastructure to the level that our region becomes a place to live in.
 We all have to work together and believe that my local environment is the most important one,
 and if that is such we have to work on:
a) Cooperation with neighbouring municipalities. Concretely, with the four municipalities, we
      initiated a project on watering this region, and we want it to enter the regional plan of
      waterworks.
b) In Ernestinovo municipalities we conducted competition for renting the state owned land,
      formed two entrepreneurship zones, which are close to finalization, so the entrepreneurs can


                                              52
     start thinking of selling the buildings, and there is a credit line for the entrepreneurs but the
     municipality pays for a part of interest rates, in order to help the entrepreneurs. There is also
     thermal water well and we see a number of perspectives with this knowledge.
c)   Need for all sorts of education should not be discussed further
d)   Development of non-government sector is necessary, especially to change the image of
     NGOs, and we have to work on technological development as basis for all-encompassing
     improvement the part of which NGOs definitely are.
e)   Lobbying, thematic educational promotions…

One could go on and on, but if we work stubbornly on the infrastructure and make concrete steps
to ensure work for people than sustainable stay is a realistic fact.
I think that I have touched certain concrete measures which we try to make alive and I think that it
is the only possible way of creating conditions so that the sustainable stay of people who have
come back becomes a reality.




                                              53
SODOLOVCI MUNICIPALITY, Croatia


                                                Part I.

1.1   Data source: Local self-governance
      Method: interview: questionnaire
      Date: 8 June, 2004

1.2   Main office: Ive Andrica 3, Sodolovci
      Telephone/fax: +385 31 296 082
      E-mail: opcina sodolovci@htnet.hr
      Contact person: Pero Klickovic - Municipality Chairman

                                 2
1.3   Area covered: 78,32 km
      Number of settlements: 7
      Number of households: 700/500 inhabited

1.4   Structure of the local self-governance: (refers to the bodies in the unit of local government:
      legislative, executive and professional bodies)

      Unit of local self-governance, municipality, Chairman of Sodolovci Municipality

1.5   Structure of the local self-governance:

      Seven district boards (elections held May 9, 2004): Silas, Petrova Slatina, Koprivna, Sodolovci,
      Ada, Palaca, Paulin Dvor

1.6   National ratio
                                 In 1991                 Present state
       Croats                      162                       240
       Serbs                      2.511                     1.653
       Bosniaks                      -                        1
       Yugoslavs                     -                        -
       Hungarians                    -                        6
       Others                       27             19 (36 haven’t come out)

      Age groups
       0-7                 152
       7 - 14              110
       14 - 18             148
       18 - 30             185
       30 - 60             733
       + 60                627

1.7   Data on inhabitants (present state)

      Number of citizens
       Men                  908
       Women               1.047
       Total:              1.955


                                                  54
                                                  Part II.

2.1   The number of people who left the community area

      -   During the war: Croats – 30 families/ Serbs 50 families
      -   After the war: Serbs 40 families

2.2   Number of returnees to the community area

      Croats – 22 families
      Serbs – 20 families

2.3   Number of people who currently live in the area of the community, and haven't been on the
      list after the 1991 census

      10 -15 families from the area of Western Slavonia
      10 families who owned their property in the Municipal territory, but had not been registered to live
      in those places before the war

2.4   Number of people who have shown interest to return to the area

      No data

2.5   Employment

                                      Craftmen,
                       Agriculture                 Administration Education Other         Total
                                       services
      Employed               10          10                  2         4        14         120
                                                                                          80%
      Unemployed                                                                       ablebodied
                                                                                         people

2.6   Educational, cultural, religious and other institutions that operate in the local area:

      Two regional elementary schools (from first to fourth form) in Silas and Sodolovci, one church in
      Koprivna

2.7   Local and international organisaations that work in the area of the municipality/town and
      brief description of their work:

      DVD Silas, Youth Club - Sodolovci, Football club - Silas, Organisation of the Retired
      PRONI – works on the territory of the Municipality.

2.8   Branches of economic organisations that are active in the local:

      -   industry is not developed
      -   mostly agricultural area

2.9   Natural resources of the local community that are / are not sufficiently exploited

      -   fishpond 45 hectares (currently mined)
      -   forests 1514 hectares, hunting ground (currently mined)
      -   400 hectares of high quality soil (mined)


                                                    55
       -   excellent capacities for the development of tourism and production of health food.

2.10   Prospects of supporting the local economic development

       -   construction of waterworks in Petrova Slatina, donated by the Japan Embassy
       -   crediting individual farmers through coops
       -   investing in agriculture (by renting the land)
       -   possibility and need of establishing Agricultural banks

2.11   Ways of citizens’ showing interest in volunteering in the community

       They do not show enough interest

2.12   Ways for local people to participate in creating public policy of local community (social,
       economic relations and other)

       Insufficient engagement/lack of knowledge/disinterested

2.13   New ways to increase participation of citizens in creating public policy of local
       communities

       −

2.14   Main problems in the community:

       -   high unemployment rate/village is not connected to the road network
       -   poor status of agriculture
       -   need for waterworks in Palaca
       -   need for high-voltage network
       -   no maintenance of canals (through the fields)

2.15   Basic problems with regards to the process of return, integration and reintegration:

       -   high unemployment rate
       -   no new posts
       -   a couple of cases of people who had problems obtaining Croatian citizenship
       -   certain persons who left the area still have not come to a decision to return
       -   insufficient political will
       -   insufficient measures to instigate employment

2.16   The quality of integration and reintegration of returnees, refugees and displaced persons:

       -   number of the employed in local self-governance
       -   number of the employed in industry
       -   number of the employed in non-productive field
       -   Engagement in own or other organisations (culture, sport, religious, youth and similar.) no
           data available
       -   Engagement in political life (membership in political parties, political functions etc.) no data
           available




                                                    56
                                          Part III.

“A shining example”
(The best example of a sustainable solution for displaced persons in your community)

Comment by Branislav Vorkapic (field researcher)

On the example of the Sodolovci municipality one can see both good and bad sides of forming a
municipality.
Namely, the municipality was created during a process of peaceful reintegration as a result of the
need and wishes of the local population. Croatian authorities and the international community
wanted to create a legal framework within which the community will function lead by local people
democratically elected
By doing that the local self-governance and citizens took responsibility for their development.
Such a model ensures a proper sense of belonging and an impression that each subject in the
community is important. The model gives room for creative finding of solutions for a better life and
gives enough ‘autonomy’ when different decisions are made.
The lack of such a model is reflected in insufficient economic growth of the municipality, which
greatly influences the self-financing of own needs from the municipal budget. The municipal
budget is partly filled from the state budget for public needs, and these means are distributed in
advance. They cannot be distributed after a decision made by local authorities. The other part of
the budget relates to the means collected from taxes and other local sources in the municipality.
Due to the difficult economic situation, the municipality is in no position to ensure sufficient means
for development projects.
In such a situation the municipality requests support from different donors and the state. The
municipality has no financial potentials for major economic investment, which will, in long term,
slow down the development, thus de-motivating the population to actively participate in their own
development. There are different opinions on the future of the municipality as a territorial unit.
One of the options is merging small municipalities into a unique legal, political and economic
subject as a prerequisite for a faster economic growth.

NB: The figures in this document should not be considered as completely accurate, since the
data given by the municipal representative do not match the data publicised by the Statistics
Institute


The best example of a sustainable solution for displaced persons in your community

Since Sodolovci municipality includes 7 settlements with a large number of inhabitants, there are
many people who left the municipality during and after the war, or who have decided to live in the
municipality after having fled other war zones in the Republic of Croatia. Many families,
regardless of their nationality, left the municipality of Sodolovci. Only a part of these families
decided to return to their homes, and it is to be expected that some more will return since they
own property in the municipality, i.e. they haven’t left it or sold it.

The most important prerequisite in the return of all to their homes is creating conditions for decent
life, above all, satisfying basic human needs. As in most neighbouring municipalities facing the
same problems, the biggest problem is unemployment, no new posts, difficult situation in
economy and renewal of infrastructure.

Despite all these, above-mentioned problems, the Sodolovci municipality is actively involved in
the process of peaceful reintegration, and it still tries to enable return for all
and peaceful coexistence.

So far this municipality has been involved in this process. They have taken the following steps:




                                             57
a) In order to reconstruct the devastated homes, the municipality has actively searched for
   donors ready to pay for the reconstruction. One positive example is the donation of the
   Norwegian national aid, which helped reconstruct 13 houses, out of which 2 houses in
   Sodolovci and 11 in Paulin Dvor.
b) Finding donors, in this case, the Embassy of Japan, with which a contract was signed, and
   waterworks in Petrova Slatina was reconstructed. The construction of waterworks is an
   important condition for the return of displaced persons, as well as for the decision of persons
   who have come to live here to permanently stay.
c) The municipality is involved in the renewal of a number of objects in its territory: 3 community
   centres, 3 morgues, playgrounds for children, street illumination, and dirt roads.
d) Advisory conferences on agriculture have been organised; the municipality is covering the
   expenses of artificial insemination of cows (veterinarian expenses paid for)
e) The municipality intends to direct part of the rent money towards de-mining of the farmland.
f) The municipality has made a decision to exempt certain individuals from paying certain taxes
   in order to reduce their expenses.




                                            58
OSIJEK MUNICIPALITY, Croatia


                                                  Part I.

1.1   Data source: Local self-governance
      Method: interview, questionnaire
      Date: 17 June 2004

1.2   Main office: Kuhaceva ulica 9, 31000 Osijek
      Telephone/fax: +385 31 228 228, 211 675, 207 140
      E-mail: czig@opstinaprijedor.org
      Contact person: Tihomir Salajic

1.3   Area covered: 170 km²
      Number of settlements: 11 settlments (Brijest, Brijesce, Josipovac, Klisa, Nemetin, Osijek,
      Podravlje, Sarvas, Tenja, Tvrđavica, Visnjevac)
      Number of households: 41.835 (114.616 inhabitants)

1.4   Structure of the local self-governance: (refers to the bodies in the unit of local government:
      legislative, executive and professional bodies)

      City Council, Mayor, Boards for: urban planning, civil engineering and environment protection;
      waterworks, waste disposal and traffic; social activities, economy, finances, social security and
      health.

1.5   Structure of the local self-governance:

      Seven city districts (Retfala, Gornji grad, Industrijska četvrt, Tvrdja, Novi grad, Jug II, Donji grad)
      Six district boards (Josipovac, Visnjevac, Sarvas, Klisa, Osijek lijeva obala, Tenja)

1.6   National ratio

                                      In 1991                    Present state
        Croats                         90.179                       99.234
        Serbs                          22.778                       8.767
        Bosniaks                        657                          211
        Yugoslavs                         -                            -
        Hungarians                     1.498                        1.154
        Others                         2.901                        5.250

      Age groups

        0-7                  11.982
        7-14                  6.443
        14-18                 7.424
        18-30                15.765
        30-60                48.868
        + 60                 24.134




                                                    59
1.7    Data on inhabitants (present state)

       Number of citizens

        Men                  53.497
        Women                61.119
        Total:               114.616


                                                Part II.

2. 1   The number of people who left the community area

       -   during the war 40% (42.000 inhabitants)
       -   after the war: no precise data

2.3    Number of returnees to the community area

       There are no precise data available. Namely, a large number of returnees use the return as a way
       of regulating their statutory rights (property, work related, pensions and other), but the real
       number of returnees is still small.

2.4    Number of people who currently live in the area of the community, and haven't been on the
       list after the 1991 census

       No data available

2.5    Number of people who have shown interest in returning to the area

       200 families, mainly Serb nationals

2.6    Employment

                                   Craftsmen,
                     Agriculture                Administration   Education   Other Total
                                   services
       Employed            297         35.773        2.014                   12.160 50.244

       Unemployed                                                                    33.427


2.7    Educational, cultural, religious and other institutions that operate in the local area:

       3 theatres, 19 libraries, Museum of Slavonia, 2 cinemas, Gallery of Fine Arts, Gallery Waldinger,
       nurseries and crèches 24, elementary schools 20, secondary schools 19. J.J. Strossmayer
       University, Faculties 11, music school, Sport Association Zrinjevac, Sport centre "Copacabana",
       Sport centres – city swimming pools, stadium "Gradski vrt"
       There are many religious buildings of all confessions in the city area.

2.8    Local and international organisations that work in the area of the municipality/town and
       brief description of their work:

       There are over 800 local organisations and also a number of international ones. Their scopes of
       activities vary.

2.9    Branches of economic organisations that are active in the local:


                                                  60
       Trading, processing industry, civil engineering, food industry, tourism, chemical industry.

2.10   Natural resources of the local community that are / are not sufficiently exploited

       Land for farming 12.121 hectares, and woodland area 965 hectares

2.11   Prospects of supporting the local economic development

       -   programme of crediting women and the young
       -   programme Enterpreneur 2

2.12   Ways of citizens’ showing interest in volunteering in the community

       People are mainly engaged in many cultural, sports, and other associations. They show interest
       in public activities organised by the city to mark different state and city holidays, religious holidays
       and cultural, sports events.

2.13   Ways for local people to participate in creating public policy of local community

       Mainly through participating in activities organised by the local self-governance (public surveys,
       gatherings of citizens) and through participation in panel discussions organised by the city. The
       city management also conducts surveys to see the needs of the city dwellers.

2.14   New ways to increase participation of citizens in creating public policy of local
       communities

       Osijek participates in the implementation of the local self-governance reform, supported by
       USAID, which implies the implementation of many different models. One of them is ‘citizen’s
       participation’.

2.15   Main problems in the community:

       High rate of unemployment, no new posts, need to improve infrastructure in the city (roads, sewer
       system, parking lots, parks, pavements and bicycle paths)

2.16   Basic problems with regards to the process of return, integration and reintegration:

       The basic problem is whether or not an individual wants to return. The key factors influencing this
       decision are long absence, and being accustomed to life in a new environment. The time
       necessary for the reintegration into the original community and poor state of economy is not
       favourable for anyone in the community, including the returnees.

2.17   The quality of integration and reintegration of returnees, refugees and displaced persons:

       -   number of the employed in local self-governance: -
       -   number of the employed in industry: -
       -   number of the employed in non-productive field; -
       -   Engagement in own or other organisations (culture, sport, religious, youth and similar.); -
       -   Engagement in political life (membership in political parties, political functions etc.): -

       According to the data on the District level, the number of unemployed returnees, refugees and
       displaced persons is smaller than in the rest of the population. The reason being that they are
       mainly the elderly who are retired. Another reason is that the mentioned category of people, the
       younger ones, is inclined towards private enterprises. The third reason may be the benefits for
       employment secured by the state for this population (state solidarity).


                                                     61
                                           Part III.

“A shining example”
(The best example of a sustainable solution for displaced persons in your community)


The City Of Osijek Experience

Only parts of Osijek were under occupation. Nevertheless, it was on the front line and as such
suffered all the consequences. The Klisa and Tenja settlements were occupied, and Podravlje,
Tenjska cesta, Nemetin and Sarvas were evacuated due to immediate war danger.
The local self-governance had no direct authority regarding the process of return, but it supported
the national programme. The national programme was the responsibility of the regional
government offices, which worked with the local self-governance on its implementation.
The foundation of the successful process the city of Osijek took part in, regarding the displaced
persons, lies in the decision made by the Croatian government to reintegrate the occupied areas
peacefully.
The prerequisite for the initiation of the process was the creation of optimal positive environment
and the willingness of all the participants to take full responsibility for it. The crucial elements of
the process are as follows:
- Setting up the implementation plan of mutual return as a recondition for the general return of
    all the parties
- Forming coordination centres on national and local levels and their education and raising
    their awareness for the work ahead of them.
- Training people from the centres for field work.
- Creating the political climate through the work of Parliament and decisions of the Croatian
    Government, and taking responsibility on the part of local self-governance for the
    implementation of the decisions.
- Direct involvement of mayors and chairpersons of the municipalities.
- Positive attitude of the media with the aim of informing the general public.
- Quality informing, direct and indirect of the displaced persons on the forthcoming activities.
- Forming housing commissions after the decision of Croatian Government on city and
    municipality levels that will deal with this aspect of return.
- Securing mechanisms that will ensure joining separated families
- Giving space to NGOs to actively participate in processes connected with the displaced
    persons, in cooperation with the Croatian Government
- Especially enabling non-problematic work of NGOs and institutions of national and local
    importance that deal with creating conditions for dialogues and tolerance as a prerequisite for
    peace among people who have different experiences connected to the war and its
    consequences
- Ensuring cooperation of state bodies: police, social and health institutions etc.
- Opening space for the active contribution of religious communities and their institutions as a
    way of supporting the process.
- Ensuring mechanisms for temporary accommodation (housing and social aspects) of the
    displaced persons.
- Active cooperation with foreign governments, institutions and donors and missions that
    support the processes.

The city of Osijek was part of the afore mentioned system that participated in the return process.
The city decided to give financial support with a sum from the budget, to reconstruct the
devastated infrastructure (waterworks, electrical supply network, bus stops and other) in the parts
of city where people were returning. The city also ensured a part of social support for the
displaced persons. Osijek played an important role when the decision was made to accommodate
a large number of refugees and displaced persons in temporarily evicted housing units, and
ensuring their accommodation in collective centres. The city management was very successful in




                                              62
  publicizing the needs of the displaced persons, which lead to the adequate support of the
  Croatian Government and foreign partners.



This best practice was presented to us by Nada Arbanas, Head of the Government Office for the
Displaced, and Mr Tihomir Salajic. It is noteworthy that both of them emphasised the successful
cooperation of the Office and local self-governance. It is clear from this example that the process of
return is extremely complex and has to be planned. Yet, there has to be space for a more flexible
approach in particular situations.
                                                                    Branislav Vorkapic, field researcher




                                               63
ANNEX


“THROUGH PRACTICE TO RIGHTS IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY” Best practices of Sustainable
Solutions for Displacement in the former Yugoslavia, in the context of local community
development – Non-discriminatory Access to Rights

Fojnica – BiH , June 23 – June 25, 2004


The Conference “Best practices of Sustainable Solutions for Displacement in former Yugoslavia, in the
context of local community development – Non-discriminatory Access to Rights” was held in Fojnica,
                                                   rd                       th
Bosnia and Herzegovina, from Wednesday June 23 through Friday June 25 , 2004 as a joined initiative
of:
The Citizens’ Pact for South Eastern Europe, the Municipality of Fojnica and the Stability Pact for South
Eastern Europe (MARRI), organised in co-operation with the Dutch peace organisation IKV. Other
partners (both local government and local NGO’s) from Prijedor (BiH), Srebrenica (BiH), Osijek (Croatia),
Bac (SCG) and Kiseljak (BiH) were involved as well.

The Conference was focused on concrete initiatives that local communities (local governments and local
NGO’s) can do themselves in the promotion and organisation of sustainable return of refugees and
displaced persons throughout the former Yugoslavia. At the Conference the best practices and the
lessons learned of local communities to the return process were highlighted.

The intention of this conference was, to give people involved in refugees and returnee issues the floor to
present their approach in solving certain problems; to give people the opportunity to learn from each other
and to inspire each other.

The main principles of the sustainable return defined by organizers:

   Promotion of the establishment or re-establishment of a multi-ethnic environment.
   Support above all to the return of displaced persons and refugees to their place of origin.
   Return always has to be voluntary.
   If displaced persons and refugees do not want to turn back to their place of origin and prefer to settle
    in the place where they are living now, this wish should in principle be respected. Local projects to
    facilitate this process (of so-called ‘relocation’ or ‘local integration’) should nevertheless never block
    or complicate the return of persons who want to return to that respective village or city.
   The return issue is not a separate issue. Return programmes are to be part of an integral approach of
    local community development.

More than 100 representatives of local governments and NGO’s from the Western Balkans, self-
organizations of displaced persons, refugees and returnees, representatives of national associations of
municipalities, national governments, and international community, donors and agencies attended the
conference.




                                                     64
I. Opening of the conference

The Chairpersons at the Conference were Mr. Dion van den Berg, Project manager, IKV (The
Netherlands) and Mrs. Tanja Skrbic, CP for SEE Board member.

Welcome speeches were delivered by:
- Mr. Mustafa Memija, Mayor of Fojnica
- Mrs. Hedvig Morvai-Horvat, Director of CP for SEE
- Mr. Kilian Kleinschmidt, Head of MARRI Office, Brussels, Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe

Speeches of esteemed guests and persons who have a grate experience on the subject of the
Conference:
- Mr. Mario Nenadic, the Assistant Minister, Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, Bosnia and
  Herzegovina
- Mr. Donald Hays, Principal Deputy High Representative, Office of the High Representative (OHR),
  Sarajevo
- Mr. Howard Sumka, Director of USAID Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Miss. Alison Jolly, Director of the Human Rights Department, OSCE Mission to Bosnia and
  Herzegovina
- Miss. Naida Zecevic, Executive Director, Legal Aid Centres in BiH “Vasa prava”

The first conference day was especially marked by a speech and discussion lead by Dr. Christian
Schwarz-Schilling, the International Mediator for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The second day of the Conference was devoted to presentation of best practices and discussions related
to these and other possible solutions.


II. The conference document
Mrs. Tatjana Meijvogel-Volk (IKV, the Netherlands) and Mr. Branislav Vorkapic (OGI, Osijek) introduced
the contents of the conference document to the participants and method of work on information collecting.
Collection of best practices had a purpose to present a starting point for discussions during the
conference and a follow up of inventive communication on the issues of sustainable solutions of refugees
and displaced persons in the Western Balkans in the future.
None of the mentioned examples is too modest to be recognized as an achievement on the long road to
final solutions for returnees in their old and new communities.

Topics that are significant for the process of integration and re-integration mentioned during the
discussions:

-   Organising return through a bilateral cooperation/ agreement
-   How to solve housing problems in the local community
-   Economic preconditions for sustainable return
-   Local government capacity building in promotion of return
-   Citizens’ Participation as key element in local community building


III. Six working groups were organized and fifteen best practices were presented.

Local community can formulate exact requirements that political parties, national governments,
international communities or assisting agencies should do in order to solve problems of returnees.
There were some examples of two sides’ returns between Fojnica and Kiseljak or Prijedor and Sanski
Most in BiH. There were examples of permanent accommodation for refugees in the municipality of Bac,
Vojvodina; municipality of Tuzla, where the local program for economic development was organized in the
form of small loans for starting some business. Examples from Bukovacka Civcija (BiH) where
cohabitation of Serbs and Bosnians is realized, or inter-religious support for return and integration in the


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Bugojno case presented by Fra Mirko Majdandzic, Guardian of Franciscan Monastery “Sveti Duh” in
Fojnica were presented as well.
Many non-government organizations with their activities and support managed to change situation in their
communities. First returns into the villages around Srebrenica were organized by the organization
“Srebrenica 99”. Youth Center from Fojnica ”Stela” and Serbian democratic Forum, Knin (Croatia)
contributed significantly in creation of better conditions for return. Women initiative of BiH is very
successful in that sense as well. They enabled special benefits for returnees.
Return of Serbian families into one part of Kosovo, in the South from Ibar river is being prepared by the
non-government organization CBM, which was involved in the return of Macedonians into their villages in
the North of Kumanovo.


IV. Excursions

In order to meet with the situation at the field, to be informed about projects and talk with people directly
affected, 3 excursions were organized during the conference:
- Excursion I: To be introduced with local projects and meet with people in Fojnica (both the town centre
  and villages)
- Excursion II: To be introduced with local projects and meet with people in Kiseljak (both the town centre
  and villages)
- Excursion III: Visit to the home for handicapped children in two villages
  Bakovici and Drin in Fojnica municipality (where children of all ethnic
  backgrounds from FRY stayed throughout the war)




III. Final session

“First of all, sustainable return is a matter of the free will of returnees.” It has been concluded by the
three day- conference. Following persons had a discussion with participants on the final session of the
Conference:

-   Mr. Petar Ladjevic, Adviser of Minister of Human and Minority Rights SCG
-   Mrs. Mirhunisa Zukic, Association of refugees and displaced persons in BiH
-   Prof. Mirko Pejanovic, Serbian Citizens Council, BiH
-   Mr. Vehid Sehic, President of Forum of Tuzla Citizens, Tuzla

Some of the thesis from this session:

       One of the basic human rights of each individual is to choose the place of residence. When we
        speak about the return problem in this area, it always must be of regional importance and never
        the matter of only one country.
       Speaking about return especially into the war areas, it can never be limited in the sense of time or
        place of return. Return is always individuals’ free will to choose the place of residence and it is the


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    matter of their decision to return to the place of their domicile, where they had lived before the
    war. It is also up to each returnee to choose the period of return.
   Sometimes it is difficult to make a difference between voluntary and other forms of return of
    individuals. Implementation of law on private property led to the set up of combined solution:
    volunteer – forced return. It means that people were not able to find shelters because they were
    not able to come back to the place and houses where they had lived before.
   Local governments must be ready to overtake the function of return, which is complex and last for
    a long time. Previously it had only its declarative strategy, which means it was not applicable.
   At all aspects of sustainable return the problem is common for both categories of citizens: for
    refugees who live in strange places and want to return, and for native ones. Both categories live
    in a difficult situation especially in big industrial centres.
   There are two social and economic situations at sustainable return, which determine the position
    of returnees. The social situation is important when a returnee returns to an industrial and urban
    centre, to the town, and the other, social-economic position – at returns to rural environment
    where the ownership on land is a crucial moment due to a possibility to do land and produce food.
   Where local authorities had active attitude towards idea on the people’s need to return to place
    they had lived before and where non-government organizations were successful, return was
    successful and massive in comparison to other local communities under the same conditions. It
    means that local government and local community bear the responsibility for return of refugees
    and IDP’s.




                                    The Citizens’ Pact for South Eastern Europe General Secretariat,
                                                                               Novi Sad, June 2004




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