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Rechtsstaatsprogramm Südosteuropa

Rechtsstaatsentwicklungen im Überblick: Turbulentes Wahljahr in Bosnien und Herzegowina

Rettungsversuche des gestörten Rechtssystems und wesentliche Entscheidungen des Hohen Repräsentanten Christian Schmidt

Bosnien und Herzegowina (BiH) durchlebt seit Mitte 2021 eine tiefe verfassungsrechtliche und politische Krise. Nachdem 2021 mehrere Entscheidungen des Verfassungsgerichts von BiH (VerfG BiH) und eine wichtige Entscheidung des Hohen Repräsentanten für BiH (HR BiH) zur Frage des Staatseigentums und der Kompetenzen des Staates BiH ergangen waren, hat es auf der gesamtstaatlichen Ebene keine nennenswerte gesetzgeberische Aktivität gegeben. Damit sind das Parlament und die Regierung von BiH ihren gesetzlichen Aufgaben nicht nachgekommen und haben faktisch weiter an Bedeutung verloren. Die Schwächung des Zentralstaates nützt indessen den Sezessionisten in BiH, die den Staat zunehmend destabilisieren. Das VerfG BiH und der HR mussten im Jahr 2022 mehrere bedeutende Entscheidungen treffen. Diese Entscheidungen und die unter diesen schwierigen Rahmenbedingungen am 2. Oktober 2022 erfolgreich abgehaltenen Wahlen lassen hoffen, dass die Organe des Gesamtstaates gefestigt werden. Die Verleihung des Status eines EU-Beitrittskandidaten am 15.12.2022 könnte zudem zum Momentum für eine dringend notwendige Verbesserung der Rechtsstaatlichkeit in BiH werden.

Reuters / Antonio Bronic

''My heart will beat for this region even when…''

Continuation of partnership policy is expected

Without the influence and experience of Angela Merkel as the Head of Government of the EU's most populous country, the European Union faces new challenges.

Handbook on the Rights of Religious Communities and the Freedom of Religion in North Macedonia

This publication provides a detailed contribution to clarification and education about religious freedom and religious communities in North Macedonia. It not only shows how the relationship between the state and religion is structured and which (constitutional) legal provisions exist to protect religious freedom and religious communities, but also how these provisions are interpreted by the courts and ultimately implemented by state institutions.

Covid-19 and the impact on human rights. Overview of the relevant case law of ECtHR

Within a project implemented with CivilRightsDefenders and TheAIRECentre, as well as the Bulgarian, Romanian and Moldovan Justice Academies, we have translated into Romanian and Bulgarian and published the guide “Covid-19 and the impact on human rights. Overview of the relevant case law of ECtHR " We hope it will be a useful resource for courts in finding a fair balance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as for non-governmental organizations working with individuals whose rights and freedoms have been affected.

The Rule of Law as the Victim

Social (Dis-)Trust and the Plague of Corruption in the Western Balkans

The Western Balkans societies are flooded with corruption which negatively impacts rule of law. The causes of corruption are diverse, but this research done by our colleague Dr. sc. Mahir Muharemovic, focuses on the question of social (dis)trust as a possible cause in the Western Balkans. One of the main findings is a very strong correlation between social (dis)trust, corruption and the deterioration of rule of law in the Western Balkans.

Cédric Puisney / flickr / CC BY 2.0 /

ECJ ruling on Romania. Failed „Judicial Reform“ of the PSD led former Governments

European Court of Justice rules: there is a significant need to improve the Romanian judicial laws amended between 2017-2019 by governments of the PSD

On May 18, 2021, in a long-awaited judgment, the ECJ ruled on the legal nature of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (also referred to as the "Mechanism for the cooperation and verification of Romania's progress" - henceforth: CVM) and the EU Commission's progress reports, and their binding effect for the Romanian courts. In addition, the ECJ commented on various legal changes concerning the institutional design of the judiciary in Romania, introduced by the judicial reform in 2017-2019 and heavily criticized by the public. However, a clear distinction must be made here between the phase of PSD-led governments, during which these "reforms" were decided, and that of the governments led by the EPP member party PNL. The PNL has been in government since October 2019 and rejects the PSD "reforms", currently reversing them in the parliamentary process.

Caroline Haga / IFRC / fickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 /

Same „Game“, Different Borders

Romania as part of the Balkan route and possible further focal point of European migration policy

Recently, media attention focused on the increasingly precarious situation at the European Union’s external borders in the Mediterranean area. Yet, the dilemma of Europe’s migration policy is found at the Union’s Eastern borders as well. Once again, reception centres are overwhelmed. Once again, many migrants seek to avoid registration to be able to continue their journey to particular EU member states, such as France or Germany. Many seek shelter in abandoned houses and vacant buildings which lack access to clean water, electricity, and heating. And once again, migrants attempt to cross the frontier eluding border guards. This situation is indeed not new. It stood in the focus of attention in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially in last year’s winter. But this time the "game", that is, the repeated attempt to cross the border unrecognised, is not only taking place at the notorious borders like the Bosnian one. The "game," as the migrants themselves call it when they repeatedly try to cross the border illegally until they succeed, has shifted. While the so-called Balkan route used to run mainly through Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary, now Romania has become part of the route. Why has Romania become another stop of the "Game" now?



The High Judicial Council, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, is the independent constitutional body which guarantees the appropriate functionality of the Albanian judicial system (…). As such, the Council functions as an open and cooperative institution, not only with the judiciary but also with the community of judiciary stakeholders as well as general public who expect a fair trial and a justice without delay.

Cédric Puisney / flickr / CC BY 2.0 /

Romania's judiciary before the ECJ

An investigation into the so-called “judicial laws”, the legality of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM), and rulings of the Romanian Constitutional Court

Since joining the European Union, Romania has been in the process of evolving towards harmonization with the fundamental principles for which the EU stands. The European Commission has been supporting this process through the Cooperation and Control Mechanism (CVM) from the moment of the accession in 2007. As part of the monitoring, which was originally planned to be short-term but now lasted for almost a decade and a half, the European Commission reports annually on the progress of the member states Bulgaria and Romania with regard to the situation of the rule of law: At the moment, several cases dealing with central aspects of the Romanian judicial system are pending before the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). In addition to an assessment of the controversial judicial reforms in Romania in 2017-2019, the question of the extent to which the CVM recommendations of the EU Commission are binding is another subject of decisions to be expected shortly. The analysis of the cases pending before the Court of Justice in Luxembourg and the applications of the Advocate General already allows for a number of conclusions to be drawn.

Rule of Law Rules- Romania

New Podcast

The digitalization of the relationships between the citizen and the state is a serious challenge, which also tests the concept of "rule of law." In the digital context, new problems and new solutions may arise regarding the protection of human rights, the separation of powers in the state, the rule of law or even the independence of the judiciary. We wish to explore these topics in conversations with experts, focusing on the protection of personal data, the intertwining between law and technology or the security of automated systems (artificial intelligence). In February, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation's Rule of Law Programme launched the global English version of the Rule of Law Rules podcast. In March, the Rule of Law Programme South East Europe initiated a Romanian version of this podcast, produced by the regional office in Bucharest. The Romanian version aims to inform and educate the public about what "the rule of law" means and how important this concept is for the average person, to help raise awareness of the effects of this concept in everyday life. In the introductory episode, Hartmut Rank and Stanislav Splavnic discuss the objectives of this podcast, the achievements of the Rule of Law Programme in South East Europe for the past 15 years, and some things they have learned since working in Bucharest. They are even joking a bit about the similarities and differences between Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) and George Soros (1930-) or Bill Gates (1955-).

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Country Reports

Short political reports of the KAS offices abroad

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is a political foundation. Our offices abroad are in charge of over 200 projects in more than 120 countries. The country reports offer current analyses, exclusive evaluations, background information and forecasts - provided by our international staff.

Event Reports

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its educational institutions, centres and foreign offices, offer several thousand events on various subjects each year. We provide up to date and exclusive reports on selected conferences, events and symposia at In addition to a summary of the contents, you can also find additional material such as pictures, speeches, videos or audio clips.

Press Review

On a monthly basis the Rule of Law Programme South East Europe publishes a press review collecting selected articles and reports from newspapers and news portals in English and German. Giving our readers an overview over the most important developments, we focus on news reports in the areas of democracy and the rule of law. The press review covers the following ten countries, where we also implement our activities: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Romania and Serbia.

Translation of Federal Constitutional Court decisions

In order to strengthen the institutional and judicial cooperation between Germany and the countries of South East Europe, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung considers translations of landmark decision of the Federal Constitutional Court as an important step in the realm of preserving fundamental rights and liberties, safeguarding the constitutional order and applying the rule of law. All decision so far translated can be accessed in several official languages of the countries of South East Europe (PDF file and EPUB).

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