America-Bosnia Foundation, Center for Transatlantic Relations SAIS and Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH organized a conference under the title “Mediterranean women in leadership and civil society” that was held between 8 and 12 November 2013 in Sarajevo, which was attended by Populari’s policy researcher Ajdin Perčo.
The aim of the conference is to promote the dialogue and cooperation between the countries of the Mediterranean including BiH, as well as to boost the transatlantic economic cooperation.
Goran Nedić, the chairman of America-Bosnia Foundation, argued that in order for BiH to achieve strong economic progress, the liberalization of the market as well as the rethinking of IMF role is of crucial importance. He calls for the tax reduction and a decrease in the amount of social transfers as this might boost the export sector and provide state with additional money that is to be invested in the economic reforms.
At the same time, Ghazi Ben Ahmed, founder and president of Tunisia based think tank Club de Tunis as well as the Director of the German Marshall Fund Tunis initiative, elaborated on the reasons and motives behind uprising in Tunisia. Unemployment, lack of opportunities, the growth that was not inclusive as well as the corruption were main reasons behind what later become known as the launching event of Arab Spring. All of these factors are present in BiH as well although there are no signs of any possible uprising or civilian unrest.
This conference was an opportunity for Ajdin to learn more about this and other similar initiatives that are discussing BiH in the context of the Mediterranean region rather than traditionally a part of the Balkans or South East Europe. With this approach, we can uncover new opportunities and ideas and use the potentials for the cooperation with the countries of North Africa. Visa liberalization, exchange of delegations as well as the dialogue with CSOs are only few of many steps that BiH should take to utilize the potential of these relations.
More details on the conference can be downloaded below: