Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina Enacts a New Law on Associations and Foundations

16 January 2002

The Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) passed a new Law on Associations and Foundations (Official Gazette No. 32 of December 28, 2001), which, for the first time, allows NGOs to register at the state level. Among other provisions, the Law:

  • Introduces a general principle of voluntary registration of associations;
  • Requires at least three natural persons who are citizens or residents of BiH, or legal persons registered in BiH, to establish an association;
  • Places on equal footing domestic and foreign persons as founders of a foundation;
  • Places on equal footing domestic and foreign persons as members of the board of a foundation;
  • Allows associations and foundations to engage directly in related economic activities.

Along with the recently enacted Law on Associations and Foundations of the Republic of Srpska, and the soon-to-be-enacted Law on Associations and Foundations of the Federation of BiH, this Law will create a new legal environment for NGOs in BiH, which will largely comply with international standards and regional best practices. The Law resulted from collaborative efforts that included the Office of the High Representative, government officials, USAID, local NGOs and foreign NGOs active in (BiH). Through generous USAID support, ICNL was engaged in preparation of the Law.

A more detailed account on the Law will appear in IJNL. The English translation of the Law is available on ICNL's website.