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EACEA National Policies Platform
Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.7 Cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship and vocational opportunities

Last update: 15 May 2024

Programmes and schemes for cross-border mobility

BiH's participation in EU programs is regulated by the Framework Agreement between the European Community and BiH on the general principles of BiH's participation in Community programs, which was signed at the EU/Balkan Forum meeting on November 22, 2004. The agreement was ratified by the EU Parliament in May 2005, and in 2006 by the BiH Parliamentary Assembly, and entered into force on January 8, 2007. At its 100th session, held on June 10, 2014, the Council of Ministers of BiH considered and adopted the Information on the Agreement between the EU and BiH on BiH's participation in the EU Erasmus + program for education, training, youth and sports. On June 6, 2014, in Brussels, the Agreement on the Accession of BiH to the Program was officially signed. Currently, BiH takes part in the implementation of last stage of Erasmus+ program 2021 – 2027. The Erasmus + proramme has a key component that supports the goals of the European Education Area, the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027, the European Youth Strategy and the European Union Work Plan for Sport. General info about program, program structure and available action for BiH are covered in Chapter 2. In the context of the entrepreneurship program, Erasmus+ has a special component that is financially and through activities, separate from the Erasmus+ Youth program described above.

The EU Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program is a cross-border exchange program that gives all or would-be entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other participating countries. The exchange of experience takes place during the stay with an experienced entrepreneur, which helps the new entrepreneur to acquire the skills needed to run a small business. The host benefits from fresh perspectives of its business and gets opportunities to cooperate with foreign partners or get to know new markets. By current Program guide 2021–2027, Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs comes under the Small Business Act for Europe, which considers this project a key contribution “to create an environment within which entrepreneurs and family businesses can thrive and entrepreneurship is rewarded”. Program "Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs" is financed by the financed by the European Commission  a cross the Participating Countries with the help of the local contact points for "Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs" competent in business support (e.g. Chambers of Commerce, start-up centers, incubators etc.). Their activities are coordinated at European level by the Support Office of the "Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs" program. The contact points in charge of implementation of this program in BiH is the Women for Women International

Legal framework

In accordance with the Constitution of BiH, the area of ​​labour and employment, as well as the employment of foreigners in BiH, is entrusted to the jurisdiction of the entities that have legally regulated this area by special laws. At the level of BiH, the Law on Movement and Stay of Foreigners and Asylum ("Official Gazette of BiH", No. 36/08, 87/12), roughly regulates the conditions and manner of stay of foreigners in BiH on the basis of work, while legal solutions regarding the employment of foreigners at the level of the entities and BD.

In FBiH, the Law on Mediation in Employment and Social Security of Unemployed Persons regulates that the FBiH Employment Institute is responsible for approving the employment of foreign nationals and stateless persons at the proposal of cantonal employment services, in accordance with the Law on Employment of Foreigners FBiH (No. 111/12), the Law on Movement and Stay of foreigners and Asylum (Official Gazette of BiH, No. 36/08 and 87/12) and the Procedure for Issuing Work Permits in FBiH.

In RS, according to the Guide for the employment of foreigners based on a work permit created by the RS Union of Employers, this issue is regulated by the Law on Employment of Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons ("RS Official Gazette", No. 24/09, 117/11 and 56/22) and relies on the legal regulations of BiH.

The Law on Employment of Foreigners of BD ("BD Official Gazette", No. 15/09, 19/09) provides that the issuance of work permits will be transferred to the BD Employment Institute.

BiH doesn’t have a specific legal framework which refers only to cross border mobility of young workers, trainees/apprentices and professionals/entrepreneurs. Foreigners' rights and working conditions in BiH are defined by the Labour Law specifically for each administrative unit (separately entities, separately for BD) and by Article 63 of the BiH Law on Foreigners - Issuance of work permits. According to this article, the conditions for issuing a work permit are as follows:

- A work permit can be issued to a foreigner at the request of a legal or individual person who intends to employ (employer);

- Depending on the place of residence or the employer headquarters, the work permit is issued by the authority responsible for employment of foreigners in FBiH, RS or BD BiH;

- The body responsible for employment of foreigner’s issues work permit based on the established quota of work permits in accordance with Article 64 of the Law on Foreigners (Work Permit Quota) or as a work permit that does not count towards the quota in accordance with Article 65 (Work permits that are not counted in the quota) of this Law, in accordance with the regulations governing the issuance of work permits;

- A work permit is issued for a specific workplace, i.e. for a certain type of work.

- A work permit cannot be issued with a validity period longer than one year.