Dealing with the future: Youth Workshop in Mostar

A group of committed students met as part of an ongoing series of workshops conducted by the Foundation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Max Planck Foundation continued its work with youth in Bosnia and Herzegovina with its latest workshop in the city of Mostar from 20 to 22 of May 2022. Participants from across the country shared experiences on administrative impediments to their mobility as students, jobseekers and entrepreneurs. Expert instruction provided them with strategies and approaches to advocate change in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ranging from the technical to the performative of relating their frustrations with bureaucracy and societal division to a wider audience.

The three-day event convened both prior and newly invited participants to shape the design of a campaign for administrative reform. Invited experts provided them with advice on the participants’ chosen means of awareness-raising – real grievances expressed through a political-satirical board game – and guided them through the framing of their shared experiences. Participant statements and their discussion confirmed prior working hypotheses concerning bureaucratic inefficiency and consequent bypassing of legal and administrative procedures as well as the stifling effects of the burdens imposed by a system in which incompatibilities and multiplied hurdles frustrate initiative, movement and the nationwide integration of the population.

The rationalisation of administrative structures in Bosnia and Herzegovina can promote individual mobility, freedom and self-fulfilment. At the same time, the pursuit of common causes and approaches to reform have every potential to foster greater unity and engagement across societal divides.

The proceedings were part of the project Strategic Approach to Future and Youth-Oriented Reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.