“Your vote, your power!”, joint op-ed by the Head of the EU Delegation/EUSR and EU Heads of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The elections are an opportunity for citizens’ voices to be heard.

At the municipal elections this Sunday, 15 November, you will have this possibility.

Your vote counts, and only your vote can lead to positive change. Many of you may be disappointed with politics, but by voting you can choose candidates that you believe can deliver services and solutions that improve everyday life.

The present crisis does not diminish the need to hold elections. On the contrary, it highlights the importance of electing people who are capable of delivering positive change. However, the authorities must ensure that citizens can vote safely.

All across the country a new generation of citizens who have just turned 18 will enter the electorate. New voices and new ideas can bring new energy. This might prove decisive.

The EU, together with its member states, will continue its massive investment and support for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as it has done even at times of political deadlock and pandemic, including at the local level. Use the elections to demand accountability from your elected representatives and send a clear signal about the need to make good use of the EU’s assistance and partnership.

Holding elections in line with European standards, including elections in Mostar, was the top priority identified in the European Commission’s Opinion which lays out a clear path to membership. The authorities can and should deliver on the Opinion priorities and thus ensure that their citizens enjoy the same rights and protections as those in the European Union.

These elections are the opportunity – to make your voice heard at a critical time, to see more women elected as mayors and councillors, to strengthen COVID-19 recovery and to deliver real improvements to everyday life.

Seize the moment and use the opportunity by voting and demanding positive change you want to see.

Please do not underestimate the power of your vote. Use it on Sunday, vote and vote safely!