Following the closing address of the BiH Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija and concluding remarks by the Chair of the Forum, Ambassador Peter Sorensen, the two day-long Forum for Prosperity and Jobs in Bosnia and Herzegovina concluded today in Sarajevo.
In the afternoon session of the Forum’s second day, the Director General of the EU Directorate-General for Enlargement, Christian Danielsson, chaired the presentations of recommendations and suggestions produced by the five workshop groups earlier today.
Closing remarks were delivered by Director-General Danielsson, the Governor of the BiH Central Bank, Kemal Kozaric, the High Representative for BiH, Valentin Inzko, the BiH Minister of Foreign Affairs, Zlatko Lagumdzija, and the EU Special Representative /Head of EU Delegation, Ambassador Peter Sorensen.
Mr. Danielsson said:
“For our part – we are ready to support you. The economic reforms and development are the core values of the EU enlargement process. And this is long term. In the short term be sure that we will stand with you in dealing with the consequences of the devastation caused by floods.”
Mr. Kozaric said:
“We salute the EU for organizing and facilitating this Forum. We see this as a new approach to BiH where the emphasis is put on economy, employment and creation of jobs.”
Mr. Inzko said:
“Youth unemployment is a particularly pressing issue in BiH. We are constantly seeing young people from BiH succeeding around the world. But it is time now for young people form this country to succeed here and BiH needs to create this opportunity for them.”
Mr. Lagumdzija said:
“It is very clear now after the devastating floods that we need to change the laws and reform the economy. Only that way we can recover the country and rebuilt what is destroyed and damaged in the floods.”
Reviewing key points made in the Forum, Ambassador Sorensen closed the Forum saying:
“I am grateful to all the participants and especially moderators of the workshops. We are here to do one thing and that is enable Bosnia and Herzegovina to become a fully fledged member of the EU. And for that – we need to get the economy of this country back on the track.”
The Forum for Prosperity and Jobs aimed to identify measures that will attract investment, broaden access to economic opportunity, spur the creation of jobs and enhance social protection in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Forum was a high-profile gathering of citizens/institutions of BiH. There were some 400 attendees including politicians, the business community, academic leaders, civil society, and representatives of the international community.
The workshop recommendations and suggestions will be published in due course on www.europa.ba.