Ambassador Wigemark: The greatest optimism can be found among young people

The ninth and final public debate within the project ‘prEUzmi inicijativu‘ („Take the EU initiative“),initiated by the Office of the Special Representative of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina (EUSR), was held in Zenica and attended by more than 100 entrepreneurs, representatives of civil society organisations, youth and other participants from this local community. The host of this debate was the Head of the EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Special Representative of the EU, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, who was joined by Guillaume Rousson, Ambassador of the Republic of France to BiH.

During the nine debates, I got the confirmation of what I already knew – the citizens of BiH are most worried about jobs, future perspective and existential issues. In the older generations pessimism is more present, while the most optimism is found among young people who are more willing to take the initiative. It is important that all citizens understand that the process of European integrations is comprehensive and all-encompassing, and it implies the transformation of society and it is not just reserved for political elites and their decisions,” said Ambassador Wigemark.

French Ambassador to BiH, Guillaume Rousson, pointed out that Bosnia and Herzegovina has a European perspective and that, despite all obstructions, there are no obstacles that it cannot overcome on this path. His message to the citizens was to accept and fulfil the conditions set by the European Union in order to join this community as soon as possible.

The debate was attended by local expert on air quality and climate change, Martin Tais, as well as regional expert for the European integrations process from Croatia, Tamara Puhovski.

During the public debate in Zenica participants also talked about the issues of minorities, specifically Roma people. The debate included talks on the various programmes of support provided by the EU to BiH within the framework of the European integrations process, the alignment of the education system with the labour market and the broader perspective of BiH and its potentials.