“Minute by Minute” until the election – the EU invites citizens to go out and vote

On Wednesday, 28 September 2022, the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina organized three parallel events called “Minute by Minute” in Sarajevo, Banja Luka and Mostar as the final activities of the “Everything Starts with a Choice” campaign. Digital countdown clocks showing the remaining minutes until the day when citizens will have an opportunity to take part in the election and vote have been installed at central locations in three cities.

The campaign “Everything Starts with a Choice” was launched beginning of September 2022 to encourage and motivate citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina to exercise their democratic rights and go out and vote.

“The EU is committed to help BiH on its European path, investing in the country’s future and supporting initiatives that aim to reverse some of the worrying trends that drive people, especially young people, to leave the country. But, it is the citizens of BiH who have the most important role in shaping the future of this country. One of the main ways citizens can make an impact is to go out on 02 October and use a minute of their lives to fill out a ballot. Exercising the right to vote is the essence of democracy,” said Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative in BiH, addressing the audience at the event in Sarajevo.

The campaign included the testimonials of prominent BiH citizens about the importance of voting, such as basketball star Jusuf Nurkić, actress Vedrana Božinović and football player Nemanja Bilbija.

“I believe that citizen participation in the election is a civic duty, and considering how long women have been denied the right to vote, it is also a privilege that generations before us fought for. I don’t foster an illusion that things can change overnight, but I believe there are people who deserve our trust. If not entire political parties, surely some individual do. There is always a choice. It’s up to us to use it,” said Kristina Ljevak, a journalist and one of the participants in the “Everything Starts with a Choice” campaign.

As part of the campaign, the EU Info Center in BiH organized more than ten educational workshops for young people throughout BiH to discuss the process and importance of voting for those voting for the first time. Also, a digital campaign “I kad malo bolje pogledaš, žene su nevidljive” was also launched with to strengthen the political participation of women in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Ferdinand Koenig, Head of the Communications and Spokesperson for the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina, addressed the media representatives and citizens in Mostar, and Simone Guerrini, Head of the Banja Luka Regional Office of the European Union addressed the crowd in Banja Luka. All three events were attended by Young European Ambassadors from Bosnia and Herzegovina – Nejra Gurbeta, Ena Porča and Anastasija Katić, who spoke about the importance of going out to vote from the point of view of young people.

“As a young woman and a future entrepreneur, I want to see a change, and I know how many other young, promising people want the same. And that’s exactly why now is the time to be that force and that change, to be the voice to be heard, for all people, and especially for young people who want to be and are the future of Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Ena Porča, the Young European Ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina stressed.

There is little time left until the election.

Spare a minute of your life and – vote!

For more information about the campaign “Everything Starts with a Choice” please visit www.svepocinjeizborom.europa.ba.