‘We want to live in our country’ say BiH high-schoolers during a study trip to EU institutions in Brussels

The winning video on the topic of brain drain calling on BiH authorities to act with the message “We want to live in our country” has been chosen through a social media vote and jury deliberation as the best out of five videos done as part of the #E4U outreach project, carried out by the Office of the EU Special Representative (EUSR) in BiH for the third year in a row.

Following a tour of the European Parliament in Brussels, the winning team of BiH high school students presented their video to European Commission and European External Action Service (EEAS) officials.

“We wanted to show with this project that young people are a resource, not the problem,” 19-year-old Tarik from Visoko said, whose winning team was rewarded with a study trip to Brussels and a visit to EU institutions.

In addition to brain drain, the topics high school students identified as priorities during research conducted among 16,000 students from across BiH were: the economic and educational system in BiH, youth mobility, peer violence and hate speech. Videos were then developed based on these topics.

“Each video produced speaks about issues common to all EU countries. The EU is about much more than economic prosperity, it is about common values – the values that these videos are communicating about,” Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) Genoveva Ruiz Calavera said, stressing the role of younger generations in the Western Balkans region in communicating together with the EU on the issues they are facing.

The video on brain drain received the largest number of votes both through social media voting and by the jury consisting of director, producer and screenwriter Ademir Kenović, actor and director Zenit Đozić, architect and producer Midhat Kapetanović, director and writer Tarik Hodžić, and Account Manager of Mita Group Đejla Mahmutović.

During their study trip to Brussels, students from BiH also visited the House of European History and the “Restless Youth” exhibition, documenting the history of young Europeans since the 1940s in their agitation for social change and greater individual freedom, as well as the pursuit of open cultural expression.

In 2019, #E4U for the first time gave high school students from BiH the opportunity to creatively express their views on the issues they face as young people through the medium of video production, with the support of top local and regional communication experts. The winning team and team representatives are finishing their visit to Brussels today.

All videos can be viewed on the EU in BiH YouTube channel.