On Wednesday, May 22nd, fourth national conference „Leaving no one behind in the process of EU integration“was held in Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, organized by Arbeiter Samariter Bund SEE in cooperation with the local partner LIR Civil Society, and together with FED BIH Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and RS Ministry of Health and Social Protection.
The event gathered more than 100 participants, including representatives of European Parliament, German Embassy in Bosnia and Hercegovina, Ministries of health, social protection and social policy, representatives of local and regional NGOs, representatives of local Municipalities, as well as members of regional IRIS network that gathers more than 200 social service providers.
The Conference is organized within Social Dimension Initiative (SDI), launched in 2018 as joint endeavor of the ASB and local civil society organisations from the Western Balkans, and supported by a group of distinguished members of the European Parliament, to enhance dialogue between the civil sector, citizens and political elites both in European Union (EU) and WB on the necessity for the stronger social dimension of the EU integration for WB countries.
“This year in European Parliament, the question of social policy comes in front in EU agenda, and it is important that we show solidarity and to leave no one behind. It is not secret that resources and funding in B&H are not available enough, although the situation is better than 10 years ago, but I can say for sure that better time for this is coming. Today, we will have the opportunity to talk about different aspect of social policies and inclusion. Those are the questions that are among others very important part of EU integration” said H.E. Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Head of the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Hercegovina and EU Special Representative.
From 165.8 mill euro investment through IPA II in Bosnia and Herzegovina, almost 40% is for EU integration process, same amount for socio-economic and regional development and 22% for education, employment and social policy with additional 40 mill euro for flood recovery program.
Mr. Christian Sedat, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., German Embassy in B&H expressed “strong support to joint forces of civil sector, local NGOs and local government for implementation of this initiative” and added that this conference present our joint forces to leave no one behind in this process and their firm decision to support this Initiative.
Мr. Cristian Dan Preda, Member of the European Parliament, Reporter for Bosnia and Herzegovina expressed his support through video message reminding that the citizen should be placed in the center of institutional economic and social reforms and that we have to insure that adequate minimum standards are set for the protection of most vulnerable population.
“Social protection is important for the strengthening and cohesion of families and societies, as well as the social community as a whole. The model of social protection has been created over decades. The Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Policy makes significant efforts in reforming the current social protection system in order to better and adequately respond to the needs of the socially most vulnerable categories of society, but also to address the coverage of financial support as well as all the needs of social services for a safer social community” said Mr. Vesko Drljača, Minister of Labour and Social Policy of FED B&H
„The Government of the Republic of Srpska and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection have been cooperating successfully with international organizations in this field for many years and the results are quite visible. Given the fact that European legislation in the field of social policy aimed at creating and maintaining equal opportunities for all and strengthening of social dialogue, we are facing serious challenges if we want to provide a social security at all levels” pointed out Mr. Alen Šeranić, Minister of Health and Social Protection of RS
About Social Dimension Initiative, socio-Economic situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and ASB mentoring program talked Mr. Elmir Bojadzic, Regional Director of ASB South East Europe, Ms. Biljana Zgonjanin, Director of NGO LIR CD Banja Luka and Ms. Mirsada Bajramović from NGO “Udruženje Zemlja djece” in B&H Tuzla, IRIS network member.
The best examples of the successful support of the ASB and LIRCD in B&H was presented by the Mr. Suljo Golo, beneficiary of current socio-economic project, as well as organizations, members of the regional IRIS Network who are at the same time providers of the social services.
Last panel is presentation of SDI Municipal social projects by representatives of 14 B&H municipalities within SDI action (Lopare, Laktaši, Šamac, Domaljevac, Modriča, Dobretići, Foča-Ustikolina, Vareš, Teslić, Sapna, Bosansko Grahovo, Ključ, Ljubinje)
Through the Initiative for the Social Dimension of EU integrations, implemented by ASB South East Europe together with national partner organisations, around 200 ready-to-be-funded social project ideas from 65 municipalities nominated by line Ministries from WB countries will be developed. The regional portfolio will be prepared for fundraising and also as the advocacy tool for enhanced funding opportunities in social sphere for the WB.
Next SDI national conference will take place in Skopje, on June 21st.
ASB is a German aid and welfare organisation, engaged in areas such as civil protection, rescue services and social welfare services. As a non-political organisation, ASB has, since its foundation in 1888, provided rapid and direct help to all those in need of our support.
ASB SEE Main Office Sarajevo, Aleja Bosne Srebrene 4, 71 000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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