Local Community Takes Initiative
More than a hundred of local entrepreneurs, officials, local and regional experts, high school and university students and representatives of civil society and youth organisations attended the third debate on local development held on 22 February in Derventa.
Deputy Head of the Delegation of EU to BiH Khaldoun Sinno hosted the debate and British Ambassador Edward Ferguson joined him.
“We are here today to highlight the importance of local government in creating positive business environment but also to encourage all BiH citizens to actively participate in the reform processes and EU integrations”, Sinno said adding that he wasimpressed by economic development of Derventa in the last few years.
The British Ambassador stressed that Derventa is municipality with the highest export rate in the Republika Srpska entity.
“One of the British Government`s projects aims to simplify the procedures for establishing company, which already gave extraordinary results in Derventa as well as in some other municipalities”, Ambassador Ferguson said.
Speaking on development of the entrepreneurship infrastructure at a local level, Agency for Local Development of Tešanj Municipality director Ismar Alagić said that local communities had to strengthen inter-municipal cooperation and advocate for harmonisation of entrepreneurship conditions in all parts of BiH.
The participants took this opportunity to ask local, regional and international experts about a whole range of issues regarding the EU integration. They also pointed to the huge number of employees in public administrations, lack of efficiency in public companies and the issue of youth leaving the country.
Representatives of EU-funded projects working on the development of local communities shared their experience during the informative-educational fair which was organised after the debate.
Representatives of the LID (Local Integrated Development) project, the Programme for Local Self-Government and Economic Development in BiH – EU ProLocal as well as the the Municipal Environmental and Economic Governance (MEG) project (financed by Swiss Government and implemented by UNDP) took part in the fair.
Following the debate the deputy Head of the Delegation visited three successful local companies: a small hand-made chocolate shop “MD Chocolate Boutiqe”, shoe factory with more than 900 employees “Sanino” and computer and electronic equipment “Mreža Network”.
This was the third visit implemented as a part of the EUSR`s “Local Community Takes Initiative” project, which includes vistis to total of 15 local communities to debate the role of local community and challenges and possibilities that the EU accession process provides.
Head of Delegation Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark visited Gračanica and Zvornik at the beginning of this month.