After Zenica and Sarajevo, Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the Delegation of the European Union and Special Representative of the EU in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden visited the University of Tuzla and discussed the importance of activism and human rights protection with students from Law Faculty.
“The granting of candidate status was a milestone for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it also came with the expectation that progress would be made in a number of key areas, including strengthening fundamental rights. I am glad that the students of the Faculty of Law in Tuzla are so engaged with human rights issues. Respect for human rights lie at the core of any democratic society. Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot afford backsliding on fundamental rights issues. This is not just about the path to EU, it is about the kind of future people in this country would like to see. Energetic and passionate young people like the ones I met today can make a difference”, said Ambassador Sattler.
Panel discussion was organised as part of the new EU in BiH project “Generation Change” focused on students from public universities. Other panelists who joined the discussion were Almasa Bečić, President of Tuzla-based Youth Movement Revolt and Mirela Biković, an activist of the Youth Resource Center Tuzla.
“Human Rights and Rule of Law are fundaments of the European Union. Young people have the role to keep politicians responsible to carry out necessary reforms for your country to become a member of the European Union. If you want change, make sure to engage to create it.” emphasized ambassador Strömquist.
Almasa Bečić, President of Tuzla-based Youth Movement Revolt recalls that the youth activism was stronger ten years ago. “We are currently doing a lot to reinstate confidence of youth into the institutions, as well as to educate them on the mechanisms of direct democracy. I believe the situation will change for the better soon,” said Bečić.
The event concluded by inviting students to team up and apply for the next phase of the #GenChange project, and get an opportunity to be part of a winning team that will travel to Brussels this summer.
In the next two months, Ambassador Sattler, together with the EU member state ambassadors, will visit public universities throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina, talk with students about various topics that are important to young people, but also important for the country’s progress in the European Union. During six events that will take place in Zenica, Sarajevo, Tuzla, Mostar, Banja Luka and Bihac, the ambassador will meet with more than 800 students and have the opportunity to hear the thoughts of the new generation of future leaders in BiH, as well as answer student questions.