Europe Day: Always in the Heart of Europe in Jajce and Travnik

Europe Day celebrations in Bosnia and Herzegovina continued on 11-12 May with a visit to the historical towns of Jajce and Travnik, historic capitals of Bosnia and Herzegovina and centres of cultural heritage. Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative to BiH, as well as 13 EU Ambassadors and Heads of Mission to BiH, joined local officials, civil society representatives, entrepreneurs, athletes and youth, underlining that BiH’s place is in the EU.

“Europe Day is a special day for us,” said Ambassador Sattler. “The EU started with a simple idea proclaimed on 9 May 1950 – to unite the economies of Europe in order to make war not only unthinkable, but materially impossible. I am delighted that with EU Heads of Mission we are holding part of our Europe Day celebrations in the historic cities of Jajce and Travnik. It is an important part of my job as an Ambassador to meet people across Bosnia and Herzegovina, and it has been a pleasure to meet so many dynamic and talented people on this visit”.  

In Jajce, the dignitaries were welcomed in the morning of 11 May by the AVNOJ II Museum by Jajce Mayor Edin Hozan, as well as local school pupils who joined the Ambassadors on an exciting treasure hunt to find out more about the city’s rich history and culture, and its significance for Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Mithraic temple, churches, mosques and museums were visited in this former capital of Bosnian kings and rebels.

From Jajce to Donji Vakuf, along the Old Trail route, a group made up of Ambassadors and local cycling enthusiasts, including Ambassador Sattler, enjoyed the remarkable natural beauties of Central Bosnia. The cyclists took in the scenery along this picturesque route, the reconstruction of which is supported by the EU in an effort to boost development of local tourism and economic development.

The incredibly talented Primary Music School from Travnik performed at the Always in the Heart of Europe classical music concert in Travnik in the evening of 11 May with opening speeches delivered by Ambassador Sattler and Mayor of Travnik Kenan Dautović, both of whom emphasised the importance of EU integration for BiH. The celebrations showcased the exquisite musical gifts of the young musicians and the enormous potential of the youth of this country.

Europe Day celebrations in Travnik continued on 12 May with a meeting with BiH entrepreneurs, hosted by Snježana Köpruner owner and director of GS – Machine factory Travnik and a meeting with the remarkable Women of Kruščice who formed an association to fight environmental degradation and empower local women. The visit ended with a visit to the Museum dedicated to Travnik-born Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andrić, and an informal lunch with local officials and professionals.

Europe Day is being celebrated across BiH with a programme of events in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar, Tuzla, Brčko, Travnik and Jajce:

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B-roll video available at this link: