Austrian Ambassador: Why is BiH important to us?

December 31, 2016 6:30 PM

pammerThe past year was marked with great cultural cooperation between Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina. More than 120 events were held in 2016, all thanks to the Austrian Ambassador to BiH Martin Pammer.

“Thousands of things connect us, our bonds are strong. However, after we analyzed interpersonal relations we noticed that perception is wrong. We see each other through past, through a stereotype – Austrians see Sarajevo as a site of assassination and a victim of a siege, while BiH citizens see Austria as a wealthy country that people run to and where everything is good. We wanted to change that,” said Pammer.

The two countries decided to present the events in the field of contemporary art, music, literature. There was a concert of the Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra, an exhibition of Austrian artists – seen in the region for the first time, then a conference on the relationship between state and religious communities, several festivals, and so on.

“For Austria, Western Balkans is the most important area of foreign policy because we have multiple interests here. Our economy is the number one investor here, we have 440 companies in BiH, around 1.3 billion EUR were invested, 200.000 people from BiH live and work in Austria, we have a joint past and, what is the most important, we have a future together. It is very important for us that BiH is stable, that it achieves visible, real progress, because that will lead to more investments and there will be fewer problems than now,” said Pammer.

Pammer also emphasized that the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sebastian Kurz visited BiH twice – “there is no other country where he has been in a bilateral visit twice”. “Minister Kurz is convinced that our relationship is very important, that BiH is very important. In Brussels he works as an advocate for BIH. Austria is not a big country, but we guarantee that BiH will always be on our agenda,” said Pammer.

What does Ambassador Pammer think about the current situation in BiH?

“I think there is progress; it was shown that progress can be made, but that always depends on expectations and circumstances. The state and state structure is as it is, a consequence of the Dayton Agreement, and there is no black or white answer to that question, but the first thing is how you look on things in life. If you look negatively, that is how you see things. If you want to see the positive side, then you see it. There is development, 100 percent, but it is slow. It is clear that there is progress and that the country is moving in a good direction, but that does not mean that there are not many things that can be improved because there are still many people who want to live and work in Austria. That’s why I say let’s make things in BiH that people look for in the West, let’s build your homeland and give our contribution to it,” said Ambassador Pammer.

Ambassador Pammer thinks that the greatest problem in Europe right now is the crisis of trust, but “Europe has a future and BiH will certainly be a part of it, there is no other option.”



Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Modalert 200mg : Buy modalert 200