~ The following message was broadcast on BHRT’s Odbrojavanje for BiH Independence Day ~
Bosnia and Herzegovina is my second home. I have been the ambassador of the European Union here for almost four years, and as a young diplomat I lived and worked here for one year in 1997-98. It’s natural for me to come back, and I love speaking your beautiful language, which I’m still learning.
What does Bosnia and Herzegovina mean to me?
For me, Bosnia and Herzegovina is, above all, its people. I’ve met exceptional people who have done a lot for BiH and because of whom, this country is known around the world. I am thinking of the humanitarian work of the late Jovan Divjak, whom I knew personally, the sports achievements of Lana Pudar, and the perseverance of Alma Zadić, who was a refugee from Tuzla, and today is the Minister of Justice in Austria. I am also thinking of many scientists, athletes, activists and artists.
Of course, Bosnia and Herzegovina is also ordinary citizens who have big hearts – we saw this recently through the brave actions of rescuers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the selfless help for earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria organised by Elvir Karalić and activists from Pomozi.ba. Throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, I meet incredible, hardworking and smart people, who look much further than division and daily politics. They are the future.
I am a big lover of the nature of this country, it’s no secret. Vrh Treskavice, Maglić, Hajdučka vrata, rafting on the Una, sightseeing in Vjetrenica – these are extraordinary experiences not only in Europe, but in the world. I say it everywhere I go!
Precisely for these reasons, it is understandable that all those who love Bosnia and Herzegovina are angry that the enormous potential of this country has not been used in order for it to progress, to improve the quality of life and for us all to see a stable state.
“Defiant by a dream” – is not just a cliché, especially with a large part of your politicians. Here I learned how important defiance and stubbornness have always been to you. I am convinced that with your stubbornness, but of course also persistent work, success will surely come.
And I do not agree with those who say “where Bosnia begins, logic ends” because – there is no logical country in the world. Maybe it’s better that way.
For me, Bosnia and Herzegovina is neither logical, nor simple, nor predictable. Bosnia and Herzegovina is special in so many ways.
That is enough for it to have a special place in my heart.
Dear Bosnians and Herzegovinians, Happy Independence Day!