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HIA BiH 'Defending Euro-Atlantic Values' NATO supported Advocacy Event



On Friday, December 17, 2021, we had the pleasure to welcome our young participants and many esteemed guests to the final Advocacy event of our NATO PPD supported project “Defending Euro-Atlantic Values: Capacity Building and Resilience Enhancement through Strengthening Research and Debating Capacities of Young Professionals in BiH”. This event was the culmination of the last four months of intensive work within a project that aims to increase the educational and policy capacity of young people, primarily through the improvement of their research skills and enrichment of knowledge through conversations with experts in this field. The participants have worked intensively on drafting policy papers to analyze current developments in BiH or the region, with a particular focus on identifying weaknesses in foreign pressure, hybrid warfare, disinformation campaigns and factors fueling ethnic violence and conflict.

The event kicked off with a panel on the topic of Hybrid threats in the Western Balkans and How to cope with them. Panelists are professor Oliver Andonov, PhD, Academy of the Armed Forces of North Macedonia and Filip Đuranović, hybrid threats expert from Montenegro. The conversation was moderated by Ján Cingel, Founder and CEO, Strategic Analysis SK, Slovakia.

The following panel within the final event of our NATO supported project, featured Fatima Jevrić and Rešid Dževdetbegović, the project participants, who have presented their group’s policy paper on the topic “Building friendship among communities in BIH”. The panel was moderated by their mentor Ivan Iliev, Research Fellow, from Strategic Analysis SK. This policy paper examines strategies for strengthening and maintaining peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina, establishing that this can be achieved most effectively through enhancing the functionality of the state and its relationship with relevant partners. The participants have come to several recommendation in their policy paper which will be published and available on the Humanity in Action website.

We continued with the third panel of the final event on the topic of the Role of Women in security of BiH. Our project participants Olja Beader, Kerim Hodžić and Adna Softić presented their research and findings during the panel and answered many questions by the audience who was particularly interested in their recommendations regarding the the mechanisms of protection of women who suffered gender-based violence during the Bosnian War, which proves as not keeping a strong track record. The panel moderator was their group mentor Ivana Godulová, Chairperson, Education for Equality and Ecology – Edeqec.

During the final and fourth panel of our NATO supported project’s final event, our participants Nikolina Sladojević, Nejla Nanić, Kerim Mašović and Lejla Mašić presented their policy paper on topic named ‘Winning the Brains back: How can Bosnia and Herzegovina be more Attractive in the Race for its own Talent?’ The discussion was particularly lively because of the audience being mainly made up of young people. The findings claim that despite of its political popularity, the issue of brain drain in Bosnia and Herzegovina represents a dead-end street when it comes to very much needed political action. Several recommendations on how to tackle this issue will be a part of their policy paper publication which will soon be available on the Humanity in Action BiH website.

We thank the NATO Public Diplomacy Division for their support, our speakers, mentors and participants for their active engagement and contribution to defending the Euro-Atlantic values.

This project is generously supported by: