Opening Ceremony of the POLICY ANSWERS Conference on Aligning Priorities in the Western Balkans

The POLICY ANSWERS Conference on Aligning Priorities in the Western Balkans started with welcome speeches of key actors from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Commission.

  • Rifat Skrijelj, Rector, University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Signe Ratso, Deputy Director-General DG RTD, European Commission
  • Samir Avdic, Deputy Mayor, City of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Suvad Dzafic, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Civil Affairs, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Edin Forto, Minister of Communications and Transport, Bosnia and Herzegovina

In his opening remarks, the Rector of the University of Sarajevo, Rifat Skrijelj welcomed the participants to the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina. “It is my true honour to welcome you as one of the hosts of this conference,” Skrijelj said. Sharing some of the achievements of the University and expressing his gratitude to be part of the Policy Answers Project, Skrijelj wished the participants a successful day.

Signe Ratso, the Deputy Director-General DG RTD from the European Commission, greeted the participants via video message, expressing her gratitude towards the POLICY ANSWERS team for organising the conference. “I am sure that you will be able to take advantage of the many opportunities for networking and knowledge sharing between the regional and local actors,” Ratso said, expressing once again the Commission’s dedication to supporting the transition of the Western Balkan economies.

Samir Avdic, Deputy Mayor of the City of Sarajevo, welcomed the participants to the capital. “I would like to begin by acknowledging the remarkable efforts and progress made by Sarajevo and other Western Balkans cities towards becoming climate neutral and smart cities by 2030,” Avdic began, sharing some of the steps that the city administration has made towards this goal, while expressing the gratitude for hosting the event in Sarajevo.

Suvad Dzafic, Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, spoke about the steps this ministry has made towards green, heath and digital transformation. Dzafic used the opportunity to mention the grants the ministry provides for different projects, while inviting participants to cooperate.

The Minister of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Edin Forto, discussed the progress his ministry has made towards digital transformation. He emphasised that Bosnia and Herzegovina is keeping pace with European Union countries in terms of digitization and digital public services, as well as aligning its legislation with that of the EU, following its grant of candidate status.

The copyright of photos included in this entry belongs to POLICY ANSWERS.

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