Sarajevo, 26 May 2014
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends,
Thank you very much for being with us today.
I want to start by expressing my deepest sympathy to the many who have suffered in the catastrophe that has just hit Bosnia and Herzegovina and its neighbours: To those who lost members of their family, or people they were close to, or their homes.
All of us here today will stand by your side, morally and financially, during the ongoing emergency as well as during the upcoming reconstruction phase.
One of the core values of the European Union is solidarity. Bosnia and Herzegovina, a future member state of the European Union, can count on us.
Economic recovery in these very difficult times is more important for Bosnia and Herzegovina than ever.
Our ‘Forum for Prosperity and Jobs’ provides a platform for all the citizens of this country to do exactly this: to initiate a socio-economic reform process that will lead to more investments, more employment, higher revenues for the public budgets, and ultimately a better standard of living for each citizen and for society as a whole.
We have representatives from all segments of the society of Bosnia and Herzegovina here with us today, academia, political parties, civil society representatives, think thanks and others. I am pleased to see so much expertise gathered in economic reform and transition. We also have many distinguished visitors.
With this in mind, I would like now to give the floor to our first speaker: the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier.