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Enna Beširević is a 21-year-old, who was born near Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and has roots in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is studying Public Administration, plays basketball and does the odd student job because she likes to earn some pocket money. Enna spent the past 10 weeks interning at the Institute for Youth Development KULT, where she says she learned so much in such a short time. Enna says the future will show just how important this experience will be for her career and education.

She’s been spending her holidays in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the past 15 years. While she says she loves visiting the country where her roots are, she identifies more as Dutch. Her favorite thing about Bosnia and Herzegovina is the nature, and she spends the majority of her time in Bihać, where she fell in love with the river Una. She dreams of being a diplomat and says that the ideal scenario would be working for the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

She chose to do an internship in Bosnia and Herzegovina not just because it’s the land of her ancestors, but also because of all the young people she met here during her previous visits. I was always amazed at the potential of young people in BiH. A lot of the young people I met in Bihać are so talented and motivated to make their lives better”, says Enna. She found the Institute by Googling “youth Bosnia”. She read about the Institute’s work and decided to send an email asking about an internship. She soon received a reply, and joined the Institute’s team in the beginning of 2020.

“I’m so happy I got to spend these 10 weeks at the Institute meeting young people from different parts of BiH, and had the opportunity to work with them during the UMiD training. I learned a lot from them, especially about the system in BiH and their experience and I’m also glad I was able to share my own experience and give some advice, especially about the Erasmus+ program”, says Enna. Her favorite experience was meeting foreign ambassadors, especially Ambassadors of the Kingdom of Sweden and the Kingdom of the Netherlands since she is hoping to become a diplomat.

When asked to compare the lives of young Bosnians and Dutch youth, she says the key difference is the number of opportunities that Dutch youth have. It makes her sad to see young people having to ask their parents for pocket money, and can’t earn it themselves. Enna says that the pace of life is a little faster in the Netherlands and that people in BiH spend more time together than people in the land of tulips, which she likes. Although the Netherlands is famous for its beautiful scenery and natural beauty, Enna says that she thinks the nature in BiH is even more beautiful, but she is also aware that this is in no way thanks to the system, and the country isn’t taking advantages of its natural resources.

Enna notes that she has a genuine connection with Bosnia and Herzegovina and that she hopes BiH youth will keep fighting to improve the country. She says that Dutch youth could learn a lot from Bosnian youth about how to create your own opportunities despite the problems people in BiH face.

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The Fourth Economic Forum of Bosnia and Herzegovina was held yesterday, on March 5, 2020 at the Hotel Holiday. The Forum was organized by the Faculty of Economy of the University of Sarajevo and the Economic Institute Sarajevo.  This year’s Forum was focused on promoting sustainable development goals, the importance of digital development and the Western Balkans banking sector.

The 2020 BiH Economic Forum was opened by Prof. Dr. Jasmina Selimović, Dean of the Faculty of Economy in Sarajevo, Zoran Tegeltija, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of BiH and Johan Sattler, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to BiH and European Union’s Special Representative. The introductory speeches touched upon resources and qualities that BiH has to offer, and the problems that negatively impact the economy. The event began with discussions on brain drain, the position of youth, emigration, pollution, political instability and the new coronavirus (the first case in BiH was recorded a few hours before the beginning of the Forum) and its impact on the world economy.

The 2020 Economic Forum of BiH comprised two panel sessions:


The first panel session was moderated by Professor Dr. Zlatko Lagumdžija, and the discussion focused on the regional economy and the steps the countries in the region can take to improve the economy and the business climate. The panelists discussed the situation in their own sectors, presenting the latest statistics and ways for Western Balkans countries to unite and develop together. Speakers included Jeffrey Sachs, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Adviser on the MDGs, Filip Vujanović, former President (2013-2018) and Prime Minister (2008-2012) of Montenegro, and Fadil Novalić, Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. One of the conclusions from this session is that developing youth policies is important, along with investing in startups and involving young people in decision-making processes.

During the second panel session, moderated by the General Director of the Kakanj Cement Factory, Branimir Muidža, the participants talked about youth leaving the Western Balkans, the challenges in achieving sustainable development goals and the importance of investing in education. Special focus was placed on the digital transformation of business operations and the benefits of digitalization, particularly when it comes to the digitalization of the banking sector. The panelists during the second session were: Jasmin Mahmuzić, Director of the Banking Agency of FBiH; Boško Mekinjić, Member of the Management Board of the Banks Association of BiH; Dino Ibrahimović, representative of the Infobip company; Martina Drvar, Vicegovernor of the Croatian National Bank, Director of Mistral and Amina Karić, Vice President of Operations at Authority Partners. The conclusion of the panel discussion was that education is the foundation of the society and its economy and that digital banking should develop and catch up with the world economy which has seen rapid changes in the past few months.

The Economic Forum of Bosnia and Herzegovina was held for the fourth consecutive year and has so far included more than 1800 participants from the academic community, diplomatic, political and economic sectors. This Forum facilitated numerous partnerships among different sectors, gave rise to new ideas and helped launch new initiatives. It is important to add that the Forum’s organization efforts were supported by young people, students from the Faculty of Economy of the University of Sarajevo.

The Economic Forum was attended by a representative of the Institute for Youth Development KULT.

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Today, the Institute hosted a meeting with representatives of the Vlasenica Municipality, to discuss how to improve prospects for youth in this local community. Representatives of the Municipality were particularly interested in the Institute’s models for support in developing youth policies.

We talked about opportunities for cooperation, supporting the working group for developing a youth policy, furnishing their youth center and creating a high-quality program for working with youth. One important topic during the meeting were the young people in umbrella youth structures in Republika Srpska.

Representatives of the Municipality noted that Vlasenica has young people willing to invest time in their own progress and the development of their community, and that they would like to provide these young people with stronger support.

The Institute will work with the Municipality’s Development Department on creating a Memorandum of Cooperation defining our future cooperation on improving the position of youth in Vlasenica, promoting successful young people and supporting young people’s initiatives. 

Municipality representatives were Goran Đurić, Deputy Mayor, and Željko Damjanović, Head of the Development Department.

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