The EU-funded regional programme, EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans, delivered a positive impact on facilitating and improving the two pillars of the EU accession process in the Western Balkans – Public Administration Reform and Regional Cooperation during its pilot phase. A new, third phase of the programme was presented in the EU Info Centre on 28 November with five young BiH professionals who will join their peers in the regional training and exchange programme.
“This is the third time we have launched this programme and we will gather 30 participants from the region, 5 from BiH. For the EU, this initiative is very important because it will help increase the exchange of young professionals in the region in order to exchange experience, network and become better socialized in a larger European community,” said Krassimir Nikolov, Head of the Political and Economic Section of the EU Delegation to BiH. ”We invested EUR 1.7 million and it is important for us to support young civil servants because they will carry on their shoulders a lot of the burden of driving BiH towards EU accession in the future,” added Nikolov.
Adis Palo and Kerim Hodžić, from the Directorate for European Integration of the Council of Ministers of BiH, Liljana Đurić from the Department for European Integration Ministry of the interior of Republic of Srpska, Nejra Sarić from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Tamara Bajkuša from the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of the Council of Ministers of BiH, will take part in the EU Scheme for Young Professionals in the Western Balkans as representatives of Bosnia and Herzegovina in December this year.
“Training and education in the EU integration process in important European centres are extremely important for young civil servants and the administrations they represent. They are the ones who should facilitate the changes that the EU integration process is demanding and the added value of the programme is regional cooperation that will help them in the future,” said Maja Ribac-Bjelobrk, Assistant Director of the Directorate for European Integration of the BiH Council of Ministers.
Based on the programme’s encouraging results, again this year 30 civil servants from the Western Balkans, five of them from Bosnia and Herzegovina, have been selected to take part in the programme. They will travel to Paris on 2 December to attend a two-week tailor-made executive training course in public policy management at Science Po University, before moving to the College of Europe, Bruges, in February 2019. Upon completion of the training programmes, civil servants will participate in a regional exchange in March/April 2019 and a Regional Conference in May 2019.
On behalf of the project implementer, Larisa Halilović, Director of the British Council in Bosnia and Herzegovina, welcomed the new generation of participants and highlighted that the most valuable learning experience of the programme has been enabled through the ability to network, develop capacities and exchange experience across the region.