Delegation of Council of Europe visited Mostar

In light of the upcoming 2018 General Elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina, scheduled for October 7, Local Democracy Agency Mostar has taken several steps to restore local democracy within the City of Mostar, where local elections have not been held for almost 10 years.

The complex political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the absolute lack of political will to put Mostar on the list of priorities left this city and its citizens to fight in almost unreal conditions. All attempts by the international community in that period, proposing an optimal solution for Mostar, failed as undesirable within the ruling political structures.

As an attempt to update this democratic issue, the LDA Mostar launched and organized a public forum on September 18 called “Five to Twelve” together with partners gathered in the coalition Elect Mostar. The public forum was a unique opportunity for the youth of Mostar to meet with young representatives of political parties belonging to the category under 30 and who are candidates on the list for the 2018 General Elections.

This was the first time in Mostar that such an event was organized  where young people from Mostar were given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss the key problems they face. The organizers, young people of the City of Mostar and young politicians were pleased to discuss issues particularly affecting young people, such as education, unmployment, problems with a high percentage of emigration, and the participation of young people in the political life of the City.

As a continuation of the dialogue on Mostar, on September 20, representatives of the LDA Mostar, together with young politicians who participated in the mentioned public forum, participated in a meeting with a delegation of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. On this occasion, the head of the delegation, Mr. Stewart Dickson presented the proposal of the Congress on a possible step forward in the form of a Civic Council, the formation of which would eventually be encouraged by the citizens themselves, CSOs and other NGOs.

In this bottom-up approach, decisions are formed by citizens and presented to the ruling political structures as the will of the people. This is one of the possible solutions for the City of Mostar, since since 2012 there is no functional City Council in Mostar. This meeting was also a continuation of the dialogue between the Mostar Reflection Group formed by the Congress and the representatives of the coalition Elections for Mostar, we hope, and a step forward towards resolving the crisis in Mostar.

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