Europe Day marks the symbolic moment on 9 May 1950 that French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman announced a plan to make war in Europe not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible through the close integration of European economies. This peace project became the European Union and, in that context, ensuring that the Western Balkans becomes part of the EU holds particular significance. In May 2023, Bosnia and Herzegovina will mark its first Europe Day as a candidate country for EU membership.
Europe Day will be celebrated across BiH with a programme of events in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar, Brčko, Travnik and Jajce. Together, the richness of our continent’s culture, tradition and heritage will be celebrated, as well as our common goals to improve the quality of life for people across Europe.
In Sarajevo, celebrations will centre around the Eternal Flame building, which houses Europe House – the EU’s new centre for events and for members of the public to find out more about the EU’s activities. In front of Europe House, on 9 May at 20:00, a colourful array of young, talented BiH artists, including Zoster, Helem Nejse, Lela and Laka, Marija Šestić, Aida Aršić Mušanović and Nedim Bašić, will perform.
Europe House will open to the public in June 2023. Following a public competition, a new visual identity and slogan has been selected, with Ajša Beširević from Sarajevo winning the competition to design the logo and Ana Lukenda from Ljubuški winning the competition for the slogan with the proposal ‘We create together’.
The refurbishment of the Eternal Flame building is supported by the European Union as part of ongoing initiatives to support the renovation of cultural heritage objects and urban development in the centre of Sarajevo. The first phase – interior refurbishment – will soon be completed. The next phases foresee the reconstruction of the building’s facade, with ongoing works on urban development in the vicinity to be developed in close consultation with the local authorities.
Sarajevo’s renowned Meeting Point Cinema will host European Film Days from 10-19 May. The Film Days will open with a screening of the Swedish Film Cold Case (2019). Sweden is currently holding the Council Presidency of the European Union.
Following the events in Sarajevo, Europe Day 2023 activities will move to Travnik and Jajce, with events to celebrate the achievements of young people, civil society and entrepreneurs, as well as a classical music concert in Travnik’s historic fortress on 11 May. In Banja Luka on 13 May, to celebrate both Europe Day and European Night of Museums, there will be an open air concert outside the Museum of Contemporary Art of Republika Srpska, featuring Konstrakta and Zemlja Gruva, and Letu Štuke.
For children, treasure hunts will be organised in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar and Brčko, so that young adventurers can explore the richness of BiH’s natural wonders, while learning new things. In Tuzla and Mostar ‘Eurovisionaries’ events with a quiz and karaoke will take place.
Lastly, as a traditional, important sign of solidarity, unity and togetherness, cultural heritage sites in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar, Brčko, Travnik and Jajce will be illuminated with the EU flag on 9 May.
We hope to see many members of the public at these Europe Day events! The full programme is available at https://euinfo.ba/bs/dan-evrope/dan-evrope-2023-oduvijek-u-srcu-evrope/ .