Students from Mostar kick off series of visits by undergraduates to EU HQ in BiH

Groups from every public university in BiH will have the chance to visit the EU HQ in Sarajevo and debate the EU perspective of BiH with the Union's officials, under a programme that started on February 19.

Within the programme „EU and YOU“, students of the University of Mostar yesterday visited, the Delegation of the European Union to BiH/EU Special Representative in BiH, where they met Thomas Busch, Head of the Political Office of the EUD/EUSR to BiH.

In his welcome remarks, Mr Busch spoke about the current state of play in the process of BiH's European integration in the previous period, and stressed that the new initiative of the EU, agreed in December 2014, creates a new momentum to accelerate the EU integration process. The important role of leadership by BiH institutions and leaders, taking responsibility for BiH's further progress towards the European Union, was also underlined.

When students asked how young people can contribute to the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the European Union, Mr Busch, pointed out the value of active participation and civic pressure as instruments that can accelerate BIH - EU integration processes and hold political elites to account.

The promotional and educational programme for students in BiH ''EU and YOU'' is implemented by the Association VESTA, and is funded by the Office of the EU Special Representative in BiH, in order to bring the process of European integration closer to undergraduate students of BiH Universities. Over the course of the whole series, 650 students from eight public universities and five faculties in BiH will visit the EU HQ. The programme brings an opportunity of students' participation in a debate competition, as well as educational study visit to Brussels for the winning teams in a debate competition process.

''The aim of this programme is to increase the knowledge and interest of students for specific issues relevant to EU integration, and boost their greater participation in activities aimed at accelerating the process of accession of BiH to the European family and to build a prosperous and stable society. The programme will contribute to strengthening cooperation between BiH universities and the Office of the EU Special Representative in BIH, as well as mutual cooperation between the BiH universities in an effort to promote and integrate the EU agenda in activities of Universities“, emphasized the head of the expert team Vesta, Amra Selesković.

The work of the EU Info Centre, as well as the Erasmus+ programme were presented to the students. The EU Info Centre (EUIC), located in Sarajevo and financed by the European Union, provides information on the European Union, its institutions and policies, relations between BiH and the EU integration process of BiH and the consequences for the country.

The Erasmus+ programme offers greater educational opportunities for persons through credit and mobility scholarships for short-term studies in Europe, which will be recognized by BiH faculties.

The Universities, colleges and academies who will take part in the programme in 2015, alongside of University of Mostar are: University of Bihać, University of Banja Luka, University Džemal Bijedić in Mostar, Fine Arts Academy Široki Brijeg, University of Sarajevo, University of Tuzla, University of Zenica, University of East Sarajevo with the Faculty of Medicine Foča, Faculty for Production and Managment Trebinje, Bijeljina University Centre and the Faculty of Economics Brčko.