In its commitment to providing a platform for intellectual discourse and creating awareness about pertinent global issues, the International University of Sarajevo regularly hosts public lectures aiming to contribute to the academic and social development of its students and the wider community.
On May 17, 2023, the university hosted a public lecture by Emina Veljović, a 2019 graduate of the university’s MA program in International Relations. As the Executive Director of the Association “Resource Aarhus Center in BiH,” a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the protection of environment in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ms. Veljović has been at the forefront of advocating for environmental protection in the country. Specifically, she actively promotes the Aarhus Convention, which requires citizens’ participation in environmental decision-making processes.
The engaging and thought-provoking lecture, titled “European Energy Security and the Power of Social Movements: The Case of Protests Against Small Hydro in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” offered valuable insights into the complex relationship between energy and social activism in Bosnia and Herzegovina, particularly within the context of the energy security efforts of the European Union.
During her lecture, Ms. Veljović highlighted the pressing issues surrounding the development of small hydroelectric power plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She discussed the efforts undertaken by the local nongovernmental organizations to address the challenges and to advocate for changes in the relevant legal framework. By engaging in grassroots initiatives and mobilizing social movements, the environmental NGOs aim to ensure that environmental concerns and citizen voices are adequately represented in decision-making processes related to renewable energy.
As part of IUS’s commitment to sustainable development, the event was aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and showcased the university’s active role in promoting them. The lecture specifically focused on SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy). By exploring the challenges and potential solutions related to energy security, the event contributed to raising awareness and fostering discussions surrounding these vital goals.
The lecture was part of the European Energy Security Jean Monnet Module, coordinated by Aliaksandr Novikau, Associate Professor of the Political Science and International Relations program. The project aims to foster a deeper understanding of energy security in Europe, analyzing its political, economic, and social dimensions. By inviting speakers like Ms. Veljović, the project sponsored by the European Education and Culture Executive Agency provides students and the broader community with valuable insights and perspectives on pressing energy security issues.