Europe Day in Prnjavor: A smile is the same in every language

First prize of the EU Info Centre’s “Europe Day at Your Square” competition went to Snežana Zorić and Željka Vračević, two young natives of Prnjavor, a town that is home to 12 national minorities.

Their vision of the celebration of the Europe Day came to life on 24 May at the main square in Prnjavor where representatives of minorities’ associations, local community, authorities and representatives of the European Union in BiH gathered.

The purpose of the competition was to hear from BiH citizens how they would like to mark the Europe Day in their city. Snežana and Željka, as well as the whole town known as “Little Europe” because of the minorities living there, showed that their vision of the Europe Day reflects the very essence of the EU: a life based on unity, mutual respect, tolerance.

“For me, the European Union is the values it represents. And it is these values that we see here today. Thanks to them, Prnjavor was nicknamed Little Europe. So it is to no surprise to me that the winners of this competition are from this town”, said Melvin Asin, Head of the EU Delegation’s Cooperation in BiH.

In addition to the representatives of the Ukrainian, Italian, Polish, Roma, Czech national minorities, today’s celebration in Prnjavor was joined also by representatives of eight local start-ups, Association of Parents of Children with Developmental Difficulties Neven, Tkanica Association and the Kulaši Spa.

Uki’s Chocolate Fairy-tale brand was also presented to tell a story on how children with developmental difficulties can find their way and have their own business.

Some universal messages have been sent out, such as the one from kindergarten children in Prnjavor – A smile is the same in every language – as a yet another testament to the tolerance and coexistence in “Little Europe”.

In addition to the events at the main square, Jamila Milović-Halilović, Head of EUD/EUSR Communications, met with media representatives from Prnjavor, Banja Luka and the region. They discussed EU activities in BiH, but also ways for the media, especially in smaller communities, to find information more easily and report on complex EU topics.

Following the meeting with journalists, representatives of the start-up and business community of Prnjavor met with Head of Cooperation Asin and discussed the problems small producers are facing when it comes to the placement of their products but also opportunities that the Prnjavor region can offer.

Some of the entrepreneurs said that their community is leading in gastronomy and that their food is their brand and strongest cultural heritage.