Study trip to Brussels with SDA from BiH

June 19th, 2013   Bosnia and Herzegovina | Education | News | The European Union

June 10-13, Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged a study trip to Brussels for members of the Bosniak party SDA. The target group was young politicians who had participated in a four step training model directed by the Foundation and the SDA Political Academy in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

The study visit began with meetings at NATO with administrators focusing on the Western Balkans, who talked about the necessary steps towards a membership in the defense alliance. It was followed by a meeting with the Ambassador of the Mission of BiH to NATO, who presented the current status of the country’s application process.

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Visit at the European Commission.

Afterwards, we headed to the EU quarter in the city of Brussels, and a visit to the newly renovated European Commission visitor’s center. There, the participants were introduced to the role and work of the Commission in the EU as well as the enlargement process including different challenges for potential future members, notably from the Balkans.

The second day began with a visit to the European Parliament where the group met with Tomasz Banka, an analyst, specialized in the Balkans and the enlargement of EU. Then, the young politicians were guided in the building by Ulrica Helgesson, political assistant to Swedish MEP, Anna Ibrisagic. The day continued at the Council of the European Union and at the EPP headquarters where participants were offered further insights about the complexities of the EU machinery.

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Young politicians from BiH outside of the European Parliament.

The intense study trip was rounded of day three with a meeting with the Ambassador of the Mission of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the EU. The Ambassador told about measures that need to be taken in order to integrate BiH into the EU. Yet a lot of political and legal reforms remain before BiH can obtain candidate status, the first step towards membership, but hopefully, the young generation of promising politicians could bring BiH closer to such goal.

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