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"To build a better tomorrow that’s inclusive and progressive, we have to start taking responsibility. We can not only talk about unity. If we really are talking about a united Europe we should start working in order to achieve that dream”, this has been the main motive for young Fadil Umihanic to join the EU project which engaged six Islamic theological high schools across Bosnia and Herzegovina in promoting the EU integration process. “I think that EU is our future and that as a young student I should do my best to achieve it”, he said at the exhibition hosted at the European External Action Service in Brussels.
The project My place in Europe, implemented by the EUSR/EU Delegation to BiH in cooperation with the Islamic community in BiH, is a part of the EU's work with religious communities in BiH on promoting the EU integration process. The focus of this engagement has been on building an understanding among young people that European history is the sum of our common histories, traditions and values, which are based on respect of others while embracing our differences.
“Your work shows tremendous enthusiasm for the European Union, engagement in what we are trying to do together and commitment to the values we share in Europe. And I say Europe because Bosnia and Herzegovina is part of Europe - it’s not yet part of the European Union, but it is incontrovertibly part of Europe. That is at the core of our work in helping the country on its path towards EU integration”, said Clive Rumbold, Deputy Head of Western Balkans Division in the EEAS.
Through a series of educational creative workshops, lectures and debates these students expressed how they perceive Europe and their place in it. Aside from the study visit to Brussels, the 5-month project involving more than 1000 students also included a debate competition between the participating schools. These students are also founders of future EU Integration clubs in their respective high schools.
Another student, Amina Kahriman, said the project had been a great opportunity for students from BiH to learn new things about the EU, express their opinion, find ideas and make new friends, while ‘trying to find ways to make BiH better and its integration process quicker’. “Our project shows that Europe is first and foremost about the people and for the people and so it should continue.”