On Wednesday, 21 September 2022, the Office of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina held a panel discussion in Banja Luka titled “Increasing youth participation in political and decision-making processes”.
The discussion, which is part of the campaign “It All Starts with a Choice”, raised numerous issues such as how to motivate young voters to go out and vote, how to encourage their participation in other political processes as well, is there trust in the election process, and many other topical matters.
“The future of Bosnia and Herzegovina lies in the hands of young people. Across the country, a new generation of citizens will vote for the first time. The new votes and new ideas could bring new energy. The EU is committed to investing in BiH’s future and reversing some of the worrying trends causing young people to leave the country. But young people too should raise their voice. We have chosen the slogan ‘It All Starts with a Choice’ because the essence of democracy is actually to – choose. And that is why I would like to say go out and use your right to choose,” said Ambassador Johann Sattler, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Apart from Ambassador Sattler, the participants of the panel discussion were Srđan Ostojić, election analyst of the Coalition “Pod lupom”, Anastastija Katić, Young European Ambassador, and Tanja Topić, political analyst and Office Manager of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation Banja Luka.
As one of the most significant partners of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the democratisation of society, the European Union has for years been providing support in empowering the election system by training the citizens, and strengthening institutional capacities. Credible and fair elections in which the majority of citizens take part are paramount for democracy, rule of law and protection of human rights. That is exactly why we wish to show by pointing out the importance of every single vote in the democratisation of society that citizens are the ones who take part with their choices in the creation of their own future. For, it all starts with a choice!