The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights (BIM), in cooperation with the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs (BMeiA), has organised a panel discussion on 12th June 2014 on the political and economic situation and the role of civil society in the political process in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) ahead of the October elections: "Bosnia and Herzegovina ahead of the elections 2014: the Civil Society Movement as a factor for Change?"
The panel discussion was the beginning of a long-lasting process in order to support the civil society movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The panel discussion was opened by Foreign Minister Mr. Sebastian Kurz, Ambassador Peter Sørensen (EU Special Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Prof. Hannes Tretter (BIM).
The panellists were well-known Bosnian and Austrian public persons:
Mr. Damir Imamović, musician, Sarajevo
Ms. Aida Sejdić, founder of the movement “Bosnian spring”, Bihać
Ms. Amna Popvac, Mostar Plenum, Radio Studio 88
Mr. Aleksandar Trifunović, internet portal BUKA, Banja Luka
Mr. Florian Bieber, University of Graz
Mr. Jan Kickert, Political Director, Austrian Foreign Ministry
Moderation: Mr. Vedran Džihić, Austrian Institute for International Politics
In this framework, a three-day working conference will take place in September in Vienna. Civil Society actors from Bosnia and Herzegovina will have the opportunity to discuss initiatives and concepts with Austrian and regional experts from different institutions and fields (Justice, labor, economy, health, culture, NGOs etc) in order to improve the living conditions for the people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and to support democratic reforms.
The panel discussion on 12th of June served as the first meeting regarding the conference in September, with the aim to initiate an open dialogue, generate ideas and create networks.
The report of the panel discussion can be found here.