Summary: Module 5, EU system, Academy of Political Literacy of Youth in BiH

Participants of the First Generation of the Academy of Political Literacy of Youth in BiH attended lectures within Module 5 "EU system" during three weekends in May and June, 30 - 31. 05, 06 - 07.06 and 20 - 21.06. The module was opened by lectures of professor Dr. Nedžma Džananović Miraščija, from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo. As the professor explained: "The aim of this module was not to turn Eurosceptics into unquestioning Euro-optimists, but to clarify the basic concepts, reasons and ways of functioning of the EU and its policies, so that our understanding is complete and expectations from the EU realistic." During the lecture, numerous dilemmas were opened and the issue of whether there is an alternative to BiH's membership in the EU was discussed and why it is not just a matter of political decision; it became clear that EU membership requires serious and long-term engagement of all segments of our society. The participants had an opportunity to hear about the genesis of the development of the EU community, about ideological groups and committees within the European Parliament, about the appointments and credibility of candidates for the European Commission, about the EU Court of Justice, but also why, for example, some Eurosceptic politicians are better positioned at the elections at the European Parliament than in their own countries. The following weekend doc. Dr. Jasmin Hasić (Sarajevo School of Science and Technology; Foundation Humanity in Action BiH) first introduced the participants to the basics of the EU legal system, concepts related to democracy, as well as the political basics of enlargement and relations between BiH and the EU. The participants of the Academy had the opportunity to learn from an expert who worked in the European Parliament, the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Brussels, and the Center for Security Studies in Sarajevo, and who posed the question of what can be done while waiting for the EU accession, through civic initiatives, mini-associations and other modes of action. Through this kind of work, the participants were able to get concrete ideas and upgrade their personal capacities for effective action in the public sphere. Through a critical understanding of the principles of functioning, there was talk of a new methodology for grouping negotiating chapters and 14 key priorities from the EC Opinion on BiH's application for membership. During the final weekend, participants learned from Adnan Ćerimagić (European Stability Initiative, ESI), who has been monitoring the situation in the Western Balkans and its relations with the European Union since 2013. Adnan completed his European studies at the the College of Europe in Bruges, and worked in the Secretariat of the European Parliament and the Office of BiH in Brussels and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH in Sarajevo. The negotiation processes and the conditions that led to the agreement between Skopje and Athens were presented in detail. In particular, there was talk of negative trends in the EU that have led to attacks on democracy, the rule of law and human rights. The focus of the last day was the simulation of the EU Council meeting, at which the candidate status of BiH was being decided. Through this type of work, the participants got familiar, in more detail with the way of decision-making process in the EU, as well as the reputation that BiH has in the Union. The group work was moderated by Adnan Ćerimagić and Professor Nedžma Džananović Miraščija, by simulating a discussion in the EU Council on granting candidate status to Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries that are in favor of the candidate status, the EU Enlargement Commissioner, the Ministers and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the countries that are against the candidate status, and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy discussed the granting of candidate status to BiH. In the virtual world, on June 21, 2020, the Council of the EU adopted a Conclusion on Bosnia and Herzegovina, which states: The Council welcomes the European Commission's report from 21 June 2020, as well as the progress noted in the report, which the authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have made since the publication of the European Commission's Opinion in May 2019. The Council believes that Bosnia and Herzegovina could meet the conditions for candidate status for membership in the European Union, if and when it implements the Sejdic and Finci decision, makes progress in implementing judicial reform, the fight against corruption and terrorism, and adopts an Action Plan to combat domestic violence, and continues to work on all fourteen priorities identified by the European Commission in its Opinion. The Council will decide on this issue again in six months at the earliest, and the European Commission will report to the Council on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina by then. This concludes Module 5, which opened the door for participants to manage their way in the complicated political system of the European Union.