On January 5, 2023, IUS Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) organized a promotion of the book “Bosnia and Herzegovina and European Integration: Obstacles and Challenges” edited by Ms. Dženita Šiljak, Assistant Professor at Corvinus University of Budapest and Mr. Kristian L. Nielsen, Research Fellow at Corvinus Institute of Advanced Studies. This book is part of the “Europeanization of the Western Balkan and Its Role in Growth and Development” project supported by the Ministry of Science, Higher Education and Youth of Sarajevo Canton.
The book gives an overview of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s path towards European Union integration from a number of perspectives. It brings together a group of authors who tackle different aspects of BiH’s struggle to make progress in the integration process from different perspectives. It also researches various requirements and criteria that this country must fulfill in order to join the EU. Corruption, absence of a functional legal system, social inequality, low consumer spending and purchasing power of the citizens and lack of investments are presented as just some of the shortcomings of the BiH system. Furthermore, the country’s economic immaturity reflected through its rising inflation rate, surging unemployment and a functioning market economy still at its early stage, makes BiH the least competitive country in Europe.
Despite the obstacles and challenges, BiH is a country with potential due to its open economy, educated, cheap labour force and low taxes but as the authors of the book concluded, it is up to the country and its people to make the choice on their future.
At the end of the event, the attendees had an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about these important topics related to Bosnia and Herzegovina and its path to the EU.