Online interparliamentary conference on economic issues of European integration

The Twinning Project organized an online inter-parliamentary conference of committees dealing with economic affairs with the participation of Chairs and members of relevant committees of the project implementing EU Member States Austria, Croatia and Hungary and the four Beneficiary Parliaments of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 23 March 2021. The meeting was chaired by the Chair of the Committee on the Economy of the Croatian Parliament.

The online conference provided a great opportunity for parliamentarians to discuss the latest developments related the EU’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans and its effects on Bosnia and Herzegovina, and also the economy-related experiences which can be used from the accession and membership of Croatia, Hungary and Austria.

The interparliamentary conference addressed the following topics:

-Debate on the current and future EU related economic issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina focusing on the following topics:

-EU Economic and Investment plan for Western Balkans

-The European Green Deal and Green Agenda for the Western Balkans – strategic opportunities for growth and a tool for intensifying EU accession process

-Possible cooperation and support of EU Member States in the green transition of Bosnia and Herzegovina

-Support of EU Member States to the process of EU accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina

The participating Members of Parliaments addressed characteristics, challenges and prospects of the economy in BiH, while the topics of energy industry and infrastructure projects (i.e. connectivity) were discussed broadly.

The constructive debate showed the relevance of the topic and its importance for the future development of economy both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in EU Member States. Representatives of all Parliaments contributed to the valuable discussion showing the wide range of topics and tasks when it comes to the green transition of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a part of the process of rapprochement to the European Union. It was strongly emphasized that quick achievement of the candidate status is of utmost priority for Bosnia and Herzegovina and a support was requested from EU Member States.

As the issue of green transition is one of the future priorities that will shape the economies of both the EU Member States and Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was important to open discussion at the political level on this issue in order to establish a link between the relevant committees of EU MS and BiH parliaments and lay foundations for future cooperation. 

The delegations of the interparliamentary conference were headed by:

Mr Žarko Tušek, Chair of the Committee on the Economy, Croatian Parliament

Mr Erik Bánki, Chair of the Committee on Economics, Hungarian National Assembly

Mr Christoph Matznetter, Deputy Chair of the Committee on Economy, Industry and Energy, Austrian National Council

Ms Sonja Zwazl, Chair of the Committee on Economy, Austrian Federal Council

Mr Nikola Lovrinović, Chair of the Joint Committee for EU integration, PABiH

Mr Šemsudin Dedić, Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Reforms and Development, PABiH

Ms Marina Pendeš, Deputy Chair of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Trade, Customs, Transport and Communication, PABiH HoP

Mr Husein Rošić, Chair of the Committee for Economic and Financial Policies, PFBiH HoR

Mr Maksim Skoko, Chair of the Committee on Economy, NARS

Mr Damir Bulčević, Member of the Committee on Economic Development and Agriculture, BDA