In order to achieve prosperity for peoples of southeast Europe, representatives of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), met with the citizens of Sarajevo to ask them what they think about their lives, environment and business opportunities.
It was an opportunity to talk about regional cooperation, ambitious plans of the Council to assist in the creation of one million jobs by 2020, satisfaction and dissatisfaction of citizens with the regional infrastructure and employment opportunities.
RCC already organized similar street installations in Podgorica, Tirana, Priština and Skopje. Coordinator for the SEE strategy 2020 Sanjin Arifagić told reporters that the problems of the citizens in all the cities of the countries in the region are very similar.
“They identified unemployment and the economy as their major problems, and most of them have mainly the same desires for the future which is finding employment and achieving financial stability,” highlights Arifagić.
Speaking of the million people employment strategy, which is planned to be conducted by 2020, Arifagić says that they observed the potential for additional regional cooperation via economic and investment integration in the region and it is also possible to work together on removing obstacles for advancement towards the European Union.
“It is important to make clear to the investors that this region is a single investment space, and it is important to better the position of individual countries towards the investors from EU and other countries. We are also working on a regional approach to industrial policy in the region,” explains Arifagić.
He recalled that in the last 20 years there has been a de-industrialization of the region and the goal is to look which sectors can do more by cooperating. Currently sectors are working together in the production of food and beverages, as well as in the field of tourism, and the intention is to expand these activities to other sectors.
The RCC is working on a large public opinion survey in seven countries in the region, which should give a clearer picture of what citizens expect in the future and how they see the current socio-economic situation, and this will be used to create a Balkan barometer.
“We will try to assess the general situation in the region every year via this barometer, we will try to measure people’s perception every year and how they perceive not only regional cooperation but everything that happens in the national context of what governments are trying to do in terms of additional reforms and access to the EU,” concluded Arifagić.
By the end of the year this street installation and discussions with citizens are planned to take place in Belgrade.