Aiming to promote joint European history and encourage citizen participation in shaping the future of Europe, the European Union’s programme Europe for Citizens connects and supports dialogue and mutual understanding. In an effort to make Europe a better home for its citizens, the European Union launched this programme with the primary aim of helping citizens better understand its diversity and complex history, as well as to strengthen the idea of European identity and citizenship, and the importance of active participation in decision making processes.
Showcasing that this EU programme is one of the most successful in connecting neighbours, the programme’s contact points from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia gathered in Sarajevo for a three-day conference for the new call for proposals and to enable networking, exchange of ideas and advice to civil society organisations and local governments interested in participating in the programme.
“The Ministry of Justice of Bosnia and Herzegovina is our local contact point for the programme and so far we have organised over thirty info sessions to present possibilities to potential applications. We are pleased to have seven BiH organisations acting as lead partners and over sixty participating with their European partners,” said Nedžad Salman, Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Justice of BiH. Salman noted that one of the main conditions for participating in the programme is the formation of partnerships, which often presents a challenge to applicants, thus the conference aims to help create networks, partnerships and potential successful applications to the upcoming calls for proposals.
Vladimir Pandurević, Programme Manager for Civil Society, EIDHR, Culture and Youth of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH, stressed the importance of the exchange of best practices in the region, considering its joint history and cultural identity, which Europe for Citizens supports. “We are happy to support cooperation between CSOs and institutions, bearing in mind that civil society organisations are and will remain one of the key pillars of the European integration process. Europe for Citizens is important in this regard as it provides CSOs with the opportunity to present their full potential and to cooperate. Without active cooperation there can be no progress and the EU will continue to support their efforts and engagement in the accession process,” noted Pandurević.
Preparing for future challenges related to decision and policy making, to economic growth, security and the role of the European Union in the wider world, it has become ever more important for citizens to take part in discussions and help shape policies. Through Europe for Citizens, the European Union enables citizens to perform a larger role in the development of the Union, promoting common European values and history, thus enjoying a greater sense of responsibility for the future of Europe.