Workshop on mobility and reconciliation in Stolac

Youth representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina met in the ancient south-eastern town to discuss campaigning strategies for reconciliation through mobility

The Max Planck Foundation hosted its latest workshop in the historic city of Stolac from 19 to 21 July. Young participants representing the various regions came together to discuss the bureaucratic hurdles they confront and to develop advocacy tools for change and greater domestic mobility.

Over the course of three days participants refined the campaign tool of their choice, a political-satirical board game, in order to publicise their push for administrative reform. Participants received input from experts in law as well as communication and design.

Participants explored ways to illustrate how a labyrinthine and inefficient bureaucracy stifles the aspirations of students, jobseekers and entrepreneurs seeking to cross intra-state boundaries. Unnecessary duplications of formalities and a lack of public services that are rendered transparently, predictably and in a timely fashion impede nationwide integration by discouraging cross-regional mobility and mixing.

Young persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina feel disproportionately affected by the hurdles imposed on them. However, the problems they raised are emblematic of larger structural challenges that stand in the way of lasting unity and the bridging of societal clefts.

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.