Summary: Module 1, BiH system, Academy of Political Literacy of Youth in BiH



Participants of the Second Generation of the Academy of Political Literacy of Youth in BiH attended lectures within Module 1 „Youth and Politics" during two weekends in June, 12-14 and 19. –21/06/2020. The first lecturer was Sladjan Tomic, a longtime journalist, activist and ambassador of tolerance. He introduced the participants with the ways for politics to really be the path to a better society and talked about reasons why young people should not run away from politics, referred to the counter-productiveness of refraining from voting and general apathy, and introduced them to their civic duties and the concept of political activism, and what makes the political responsibility of each of us in BiH.

The following day, the Academy hosted two excellent lecturers. Prof. Dr. Mirko Pejanović, academician and professor emeritus of the University of Sarajevo spoke about the constitutional - political structure of BiH, more precisely - about the most important legal - political aspects of the structure and functioning of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the post - Dayton period.

An interactive discussion was started among the participants about the problems and challenges of the development of our country's institutions, and the democratization of BiH society and the state in the process of transition and integration into the EU. Furthermore, participants significantly expanded their knowledge on the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina - the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH, the Council of Ministers of BiH, the Presidency of BiH, the Constitutional Court of BiH, the Central Bank of BiH; and the structure of BiH: entities (FBiH, RS), 10 cantons and 80 municipalities within FBiH, where the number of municipalities varies. They learned that within the RS we have 62 municipalities with the number of municipalities varying, and that the Brcko District is autonomous and tied to the level of BiH, or institutions at the state level.

Prof. Dr. Elmir Sadiković, from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo, talked about the executive and legislative power in the political system of BiH. He began his lecture by opening the most important issues of political, economic and legal theory and since left and right political ideology differ significantly in understanding the idea of ownership he began a conversation on the most difficult issue, that of property, as well as many others. Participants gained basic theoretical knowledge about the relationship between the executive and the legislature in the political system of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and together through conversation, arguments and discussions identified key issues.

On the final day of Module 1, lectures were given by doc. Dr. Amer Osmić, from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo, who spoke on topics related to youth and politics in BiH, as well as prof. Dr. Lada Sadiković from the Faculty of, Criminology and Security Studies in Sarajevo, who spoke about the Constitution of BiH and human rights. The focus of Professor Osmić's lecture was to explain to the participants the basic concepts related to democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, political participation and populism, and the political responsibility of both politicians and voters. Prior to the lecture, Amer Osmić pointed out that he expects "discussions on the process of democratization of BiH society, political socialization, culture and education in the time of the ubiquitous challenges of populism, and why it is important for citizens to elect and not vote." These expectations have been fully realized. The first part of Module 1 ended with lectures by a full-time professor Dr. Lada Sadiković, who teaches Constitutional Law at FKKSS University of Sarajevo. The focus of her conversation with the participants was on the need to implement the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the "constitutional instrument of European public order" in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is directly applicable and has a supra-constitutional character (Article 2.2). Provisions of Annex 4 - Constitution of BiH with the provisions of the European Convention. The second part of Module 1 was started by NJ. E. Zorica Bukinac, Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia on the topic of "Youth and Security" through which NJ. E. passed on her rich diplomatic experience as well as knowledge in the field of defense and security for which she received numerous awards. It was also discussed about the extent to which women active in politics participate in decisions related to national security, defense, and state budget allocation issues, and the availability of data on women soldiers killed in missions, conflicts, and wars vis-à-vis men. In the first part of the lecture, we met the lecturer, writer, translator and theologian Alen Kristić and learned about the concept of political culture, i.e. what is cultural policy, what are the policies represented in our society, how much religious communities have an impact on cultural policy and how important schools are for building political culture. In the second part of the lecture, we heard about political ideologies, i.e. where the term "radical" is most often used, what are the basic rights of liberalism, what is socialism, what is more represented in political parties in BiH; ideology or clientelism, how close nationalism and populism are, what populism resides on, what weak ideologies are, etc. Another topic covered in this lecture was "Political imagination", i.e. how we can use events from our own life as political capital, how to learn from others, what are our role models, how important is the media in a political career, how to turn our political failures into chance, and what are the three paradigms of politics?! The next lecturer was prof. Dr. Suad Arnautovic from the Faculty of Political Sciences, who spoke on the topic "The electoral system of BiH - lists, mandates, and compensations, with a focus on the local elections in 2020. Participants had the opportunity to get familiar with the constituencies in FBiH and RS, the manner of distribution of seats by constituencies, semi-open ballots, and the election threshold, but also the census for movement within the candidate list. The director/CEO of the "Academy for Women", Maja Gasal - Vražalica, gave a lecture on the topic of "Social and political activism", where she shared with the participants her experience as a member of the Parliament and what qualities a politician should have, to what extent are the interests in society ahead of our own, how much we are socially active in everyday life and the community in general and how much more inclined we are to say that everyone is the same, and less inclined to use available mechanisms of communication with elected and appointed persons. Module 1 was rounded off with a lecture by prof. Dr. Amer Osmić, -the task was to simulate a session of Parliament "on the topic" of Migrant Crisis. Participants had the opportunity to present their ideas, views and solutions on this topic as potential political group/party representatives or independent representatives. We thank all the lecturers who took the time to pass on to our participants at least part of their rich knowledge and experience, which the participants of the second generation of the Academy of Political Literacy of Youth in BiH will know how to appreciate and use in their future work. We look forward to the next module.