Citizens' activism - the key to success of local communities

Mar 15, 2017

Meeting on the topic of networking of local communities and the exchange of good practices

The success of local communities depends on the activism and commitment of citizens in the realization of the needs for the development of local communities, which is the basis for creating changes in local government from a lower to a higher level of government – that was the conclusion of all 170 participants of today’s meeting, that took place in Sarajevo in the framework of the project "Strengthening the Role of Local Communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina ", on the occasion of the exchange of experiences and best practices from the study visits to the Republic of Croatia, the Republic of Serbia and the Kingdom of Sweden.

Senior Program Coordinator and Head of the Sector for Social Inclusion and Democratic Governance at UNDP BiH, Armin Sirčo, said that this initiative is only a part of the project, and that it thus represents a step closer to achieving the maximum potential of local communities and local governments in BiH, in order to improve quality of life of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Participants had the opportunity to share experiences that were gathered during the study visits, as well as the activities and the results achieved, and to indicate possible changes modeled on the host countries that they can implement in their local communities, with a focus on the efficiency of the system, use of technology, gender equality and citizen participation.
"As a developed economy and society Sweden also has challenges to invigorate its citizens and initiate activism, and therefore it created and uses different models in order to succeed. Some of the models that we have seen are very interesting and I think that they could be applied in Bosnia and Herzegovina" said the Mayor of Tešanj, Suad Huskić.

Head of the City Department for Local Government and Administration of the City of Rijeka, Mladen Vukelić, said that he was pleased that he had the opportunity to share their knowledge, experiences, and to point out the mistakes that were made.

"Every government has to respect the interests, opinions and wishes of its citizens to maximum extent. Local communities cannot only observe their narrow particular interests, but should take into account the interests of the municipality or city in which they are located" concluded Mr. Vukelić.

This activity is part of the project "Strengthening the Role of Local Communities in BiH", which is a joint project of the governments of Switzerland and Sweden with value of BAM 14.5 million. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia and Herzegovina is in charge of its implementation in partnership with the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees, Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government of Republika Srpska, Ministry of Justice of the Federation of BiH, the Government of Brčko District and the two entity associations of municipalities and cities.