Regional conference: Foreign Policy Perspectives project

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Foreign Policy Initiative BH Organised the Final Regional Conference in the Frame of the Foreign Policy Perspectives Project

Foreign Policy Initiative BH’s final regional conference in the frame of the Foreign Policy Perspectives project, organised in cooperation with the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and with financial support of the Embassy of the Swiss Confederation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was held on May 14 2014, in Sarajevo.

The focus of the conference was on the agreements and headways made with regards to the development of regional policy supporting creation of cross-border networks, partnerships and joint actions. The aims of the conference included raising decision makers’ awareness in order to support them in taking a more active role in the regional and cross-border processes; creating a platform for further constructive dialogue, as well as providing a forum for discussing shared challenges and developing new policy approaches in the area of regional cooperation through exchange of experience between experts from BiH, the region and Switzerland. The participants discussed the role of the foreign affairs committees in regional and cross-border cooperation, as well as the issue of decentralising the cross-border cooperation in the Western Balkan countries. The panel discussions highlighted the need to strengthen good relations with neighbours in the region, as well as importance of local communities in the Western Balkan countries’ accession process to join the EU.

In addition to addresses by the chair persons/representatives of the Foreign Affairs Committees from the regional countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republic of Serbia, and Republic of Montenegro), the conference included addresses by Ms Hoda Dedic, expert for regional cooperation and member of the International Relations and Diplomacy Working Group of BH Foreign Policy Initiative, Mr Hans Roth, the Ambassador and former Head of Cross Border Cooperation Section with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and Dr Manuel Friesecke, responsible for inter-cantonal cooperation issues in Basel, as well as addresses by the representatives of the cities and NGOs from the region and B&H.

Close to 100 representatives of legislative and executive branches of government at the state and entity levels in BiH, nongovernmental sector and diplomatic missions and consular representative offices in BIH attended the conference.