May 28, 2024

Opening of the Conference titled “Meeting the FBiH Youth Strategy”: Wishes, needs and attitudes of young people are a key in the Youth Strategy creation

The Working Group for Development of the Youth Strategy of the Federation of BiH organised the Youth and Government Dialogue: Youth Strategy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina 2024 – 2027 at the Holiday Hotel in Sarajevo with the support of the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports, and in cooperation with the Institute for Youth Development KULT and the Youth Council of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This interactive conference was attended by representatives of governmental institutions, international community, youth organisations and civil society organisations, and over 150 young people from all over the Federation of BiH, who thus had an opportunity to discussed key issues the young people in the Federation had been facing, as well as their needs and possible solutions.

“I have just come from the session of the House of Representatives of the FBiH Parliament, where I was asked the question of how far the Youth Strategy had come, which had been talked about for months, and I was happy that the question was addressed to me. We will have the Strategy in a month and then, we will move on to the Action Plan. I am happy that we are here today and I am convinced that in a month we will have a nice story and a nice message”, said the Federal Minister of Culture and Sports, Sanja Vlaisavljević, at the opening of today’s Conference.

The Prime Minister of the Federation of BiH, Nermin Nikšić, addressed the audience: “I want to confirm very clearly the determination that Minister Vlaisavljević clearly shows by acting and communicating with the representatives of the Working Group and with the people working on the creation of the Strategy. The Government of the Federation of BiH will make a full contribution to this story and will be a partner in the implementation of the Strategy, because I believe that we all have to create a space for our young people to stay here and that by creating the conditions for them to stay, we are opening a space for the return of our people who have already left BiH. When we use all resources in the interest of all citizens of BiH, I think that life in our country can be made pleasant and beautiful”, Prime Minister Nikšić said.

Coordinator of the Working Group for the Development of the Youth Strategy and Assistant Minister for Youth in the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports, Adis Salkić, emphasised the unquestionable importance of young people in the process of drafting the Strategy: “At the end of October 2023, the FBiH Government adopted the Decision on the development of the Youth Strategy, and with that Decision, 20 federal institutions were tasked with working on drafting the Strategy. The bearer and at the same time the proponent of the Strategy was the Federal Ministry of Culture and Sports. Before the actual creation of the Strategy, it was necessary to check the attitudes and needs, as well as the wishes and thoughts of young people in this process. Through a public call, we selected the Institute for Youth Development KULT as our partner in the process, which conducted a research and presented it at the first meeting of the Working Group. We chose KULT to be our consultant and expert support during the entire process of creating the Strategy, and we hereby thank them for the exceptional contribution they had provided. We did not want to create a document that would impose on the young people the decisions of representatives of governmental institutions, but we have established a partnership cooperation with the umbrella institution of youth associations at the FBiH level, the FBiH Youth Council. In the very process of creating the Strategy, there was not a single activity that was not proposed by or in which the Youth Council of FBiH did not participate. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my colleagues, the members of the Working Group who, in addition to many other obligations, worked actively for five months on drafting the Strategy, so that we could have this document today. Public consultations, that is, the last phase of the Strategy, shall be opened today. I want to especially thank Minister Vlaisavljević, who had an ear for this document and who, after so many years, decided to put young people in the focus,” concluded Salkić.

The representative of the KULT Institute for Youth Development, Jasmina Banjalučkić, emphasised the importance of this document: “The Youth Strategy in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is an extremely important document, especially because we are witnessing a huge percentage of young people who want to leave Bosnia and Herzegovina. That was our alarm. The very process of creating the Youth Strategy includes 20 governmental institutions that were divided into seven working teams, and in the past five months they worked really hard to recognise the needs of young people, but also to conduct a dialogue with young people in order to present programmes and measures in the best possible way, in fields of education, employment, security, social care, health, sports, culture, activism, volunteering, that is, in all areas that are of interest to young people,” Banjalučkić pointed out.

The President of the FBiH Youth Council, Asja Dizdarević pointed out that the views of young people were crucial in the creation of the Strategy: “We wanted to hear the views of young people for all the areas that are important to them and which are included in the Strategy. Until the adoption of the final version of the document, meetings and dialogues await us with the young people, and we will discuss everything that we have recognised as important together with them “, said Dizdarević.

The organisation of the Dialogue in the process of creating the first Youth Strategy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina represents a significant step considering the importance of a dialogue and cooperation with governmental institutions, but also the lack of similar initiatives in the past. The creation of the first FBiH Youth Strategy will, for the first time after the adoption of the FBiH Youth Law from 2010, provide a direct and systemic approach to improving the position of youth in the entire Federation of BiH.