Reform Agenda Must Convince Youth That They Have a Promising Future in BiH

The conference «20 years after Dayton: Prospects for Progress in Reforms in BiH» dedicated to reform prospects in Bih started today in Washington. The conference is organized by The Center for Transatlantic Relations and the America-Bosnia Foundation, on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Peace Accords.

Social and economic reforms are necessary in our country, and it is high time to build upon the Dayton Agreement, which serves a very good foundation, said Daniel Hamilton, Executive Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations from Washington. «We support the project for social and economic reforms and we will help BiH through this process. Implementing the reforms will be key. Some of the reforms are bound to cause vigorous debates in BiH. It is paramount to choose the best solution for citizens, said Daniel Hamilton in an interview with FENA.

Hamilton noted that this conference aims to provide affirmative support to the reform processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

«We support the process unanimously – the U.S., the EU and other international financial institutions, the prime ministers in BiH, businessmen and the civil society representatives. This is an opportunity, and also the first time, to bring together all the key stakeholders in this process. And this will have to happen again in the years to come,» added Hamilton.

Representatives of the America-Bosnia Foundation stated that the greatest achievement of the conference is bringing together the key stakeholders, as well as the civil sector, thus allowing them to discuss the progress of BiH. «The reform process which started in BiH should continue, because we need a better, higher quality framework to serve as a guarantee of stability, security and prosperity of our country, while respecting its full sovereignity and independence, and its territorial integrity,» said Mirza Ustamuji?, Chairman of the Executive Board of the America-Bosnia Foundation.

Jasmin Beši?, Executive Director of the Institute for Youth Development, believes that economic and social reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina are possible only if youth play an important role as those who hold the potential to create new values.

Youth are leaving BiH in droves, because they don’t see a future for themselves there, and without employed young people entire systems such as the social, healthcare, retirement system, and any other system, collapse. The reform agenda must convince youth that they do have a promising future in BiH. But that is not enough. Politics should focus on solutions which will yield immediate results. Aligning the education system with the needs of the labor market, creating new jobs in promising branches of the economy, increasing the amount of budgetary incentives for youth entrepreneurship, and introducing tax breaks to encourage employment and youth entrepreneurship are only the first steps, which will set in motion economic and social reforms.

The conference is attended, among others, by Hoyt Yee, the U.S. Deputy of Assistant Secretary, Maureen Cormack, U.S. Ambassador to BiH, Ellen Goldstein, World Bank’s Country Director for the Western Balkans, Ian Brown, EBRD Director, Nadeem Ilahi, Head of the IMF Mission to BiH, Igor Crnadak, Minister of Foreign Affairs of BiH, Fadil Novali?, the Prime Minister of the Federation of BiH, Ĺ˝eljka Cvijanovi?, Prime Minister of Republika Srpska, Jelka Mili?evi?, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in the Government of FBiH.


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