Press Conference by Chris Bennett, EUSR Director of Communications launching the Public Information Campaign “This is for us!”

Simultaneous EUSR Press Conference in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar

Good morning. Thanks for coming this morning and braving the weather.

I have invited you here today to talk to you about several matters relating to the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, that is the treaty creating the European Economic Community that has today evolved into the European Union.

These are an EUSR public information campaign and an educational poster for schools.

The public information campaign is, I repeat an EUSR public information campaign, and I will shortly give you a preview of a spot that will be running on television throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina for the next month as part of it.

The campaign will start tomorrow and is timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Rome Treaty, that falls on Sunday 25 March.

The message of the campaign is, however, very real today to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Allow me to take you back 50 years to illustrate the parallels.

Because of the enormous success of the European Union, it is all too easy to forget the circumstances of its birth.

However, when Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and The Netherlands came together to create the European Economic Community in 1957, memories of the Second World War, that had ended only 12 years earlier, were fresh.

Essential items were still subject to rationing; medical and social services were basic; poverty was endemic; and citizens lived in fear that the end of the world war had been a remission in rather than a conclusion to the century’s – and the continent’s – recurring violence.

The European ideal gave these countries hope and has provided future generations with the kind of peace and prosperity that the signatories of the Treaty of Rome could probably only have dreamed of.

Today, we are in the 12th year of peace following the signing of the Dayton Accord and Bosnia and Herzegovina stands on the threshold of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union, that is the beginning of a process leading to membership.

Indeed, all that is required for Bosnia and Herzegovina to get to that point is agreement among the country’s political leaders on a series of key reforms, including obviously police restructuring.

To build a better future for the next generation, this country’s leaders have to set aside their differences in exactly the way that the leaders of the European Union’s original six countries did in 1957.

So, without further ado, let’s see the spot.


Perhaps you’d like to see it again.


“This is for us.”

This is for the children, the children of Bosnia and Herzegovina who deserve the opportunity to grow up without fear of conflict, who are entitled to expect a better future, and who merit the same opportunities that their peers elsewhere in Europe take for granted.

All this could and should be theirs if, and only if, this country’s political leaders demonstrate the same leadership as shown 50 years ago by the European Union’s founding fathers.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed watching the spot and you will show it on the evening news tonight. Copies are available and you are free to collect them after the press conference.

In addition to the TV spots, you should be aware that there is a radio jingle, a press advertisement, billboards and city lights as part of the campaign, all on the same theme. The campaign will run between 23 March and 31 May.

The television spots will appear on the following television stations: BHT 1, FTV, OBN, Pink and RTRS as well as the Mreza + network.The radio jingle will run on some nine stations across Bosnia and Herzegovina. The press advertisement will appear in all the main newspapers and magazines.

Educational Poster

In addition to this public information campaign, I would like to share with you a timeline of the European Union that we have produced together with the European Commission and the Office of the High Representative for the benefit of school children throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This educational poster depicts the history of the European Union in an easy-to-understand format mixing lively graphics and short explanatory texts. It presents the 25 most important events in the European integration process from the Second World War until almost the present day, together with images of everyday life as well as key historical events from that period.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Ministers of Education kindly accepted our offer to distribute the posters to 300 secondary schools throughout the country to enable children in secondary school to learn more about the evolution of the European Union.

These posters have now been distributed throughout the country. The only examples we have left in stock are in English. If, however, anyone wishes to get a copy for him or herself, it is possible to download the poster from the EUSR web site and to print it out.