Within the framework of the European Union’s (EU) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Centres of Excellence (CoE) Initiative (EU CBRN CoE), 64 partner countries cooperate to mitigate CBRN risks of criminal, accidental or natural origin. To achieve this goal, one of the tools available is the Needs Assessment Questionnaire (NAQ), designed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), which helps partner countries in identifying and documenting areas requiring CBRN risk mitigation. Based on a voluntary request from the beneficiary country, the completion of the NAQ allows countries to collect the information required to draft the initial structure of their CBRN National Action Plan (NAP).
To this end, a NAQ workshop was held in Sarajevo from 8-10 November 2022. With the support of three JRC experts, the National Focal Points (NFP) of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the national team members filled out the 300 needs assessment questions addressing the following nine areas pertaining to CBRN safety and security: legislation and regulations; state CBRN managing authorities; risk mitigation strategy; CBRN prevention measures; detection of CBRN materials; preparedness and response; CBRN recovery measures; sustainability; and strategic trade control.
The workshop was coordinated by the CBRN National Focal Point of Bosnia and Herzegovina and organized by the Joint Research Centre in close cooperation with the Regional Secretariat of South East and Eastern Europe (SEEE) region. Technical support and logistical assistance during the workshop was provided by the On-Site Technical Assistance expert (OSA) of the SEEE region.
Thirty-one government officials and other national stakeholders were invited by the NFP to attend the workshop. The following government bodies (from all competent authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina) were represented: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Ministry of Security with its agencies (Border Police, State Investigation and Protection Agency, Directorate for Coordination of Police Bodies Protection, Agency for Forensic Examinations and Expertise, Sectors for General Order and Border Security, and for Protection and Rescue); Ministry of Defense; Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations; Ministry of Civil Affairs; Ministry of Communications and Transport; Indirect Taxation Authority; Food Safety Agency; State Regulatory Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety.
Other ministries and authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina (at the level of Entities and Brcko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina) were also represented: the Ministry of Interior of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (with the Federal Police Directorate); the Ministry of Interior of Republika Srpska (with the Police Directorate); the Ministry of Health of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina; the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Republika Srpska; the Civil Protection Administrations of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of the Republika Srpska; the Ministry of Justice of the Republika Srpska; and the Public Safety Department of Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A meeting with the European Union Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was also organized in the margins of the workshop. The meeting was an opportunity for an official presentation of the NFP of Bosnia and Herzegovina; to provide an overview of ongoing projects and activities as well as to brief about future plans and events scheduled in the SEEE region - and in particular in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As a result of the needs assessment questionnaire workshop, the JRC will prepare a very first draft of the CBRN National Action Plan which will be progressively finalized by relevant national authorities and the NFP based on the country’s priorities and immediate actions to be undertaken to mitigate the specific CBRN risks of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The EU CBRN CoE Initiative is a global Initiative funded and implemented by the European Union as part of its goal to promote peace, stability and conflict prevention.
The aim of the Initiative is to mitigate risks and strengthen an all-hazards security governance in Partner Countries of the EU following a voluntary and demand-driven approach. The EU support is provided to implement a wide range of CBRN risk mitigation activities including needs and risk assessments, national and regional action plans, capacity building activities, legal framework reviews, table top and real time (including cross-border) field exercises, inter-regional exchange of best practices and lessons learnt.
Funded and implemented through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – Global Europe, the Initiative is led by the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), in close coordination with the European External Action Service (EEAS). The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) provides technical support to Partner Countries, while the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) ensures a coherent and effective national, regional and international cooperation. Other relevant International and/or Regional Organisations and experts also contribute to the Initiative, which represents the EU’s largest civilian external security programme.
The initiative involves 64 countries in eight regions across the world. The EU CBRN CoE represents the EU’s largest civilian external security programme.