An address by Her Excellency Mrs Željka Cvijanovic, Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska.
The challenges of post-conflict reconstruction in the eighteen years since Dayton have continued to draw largely negative attention to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Progress has been slow and headlines have continued to claim a constant "crisis in the Balkans". Bosnia and Herzegovina has moved haltingly on the path towards membership in the European Union but has had some important successes, including membership in the Schengen group entitled to visa-free travel through most of the EU.
Despite the negative press surrounding the Dayton Accords, it is no small feat that they succeeded in ending the war and creating a functional framework for peace that has now withstood the test of time. Two decades later, there has been no return of interethnic violence. Furthermore, the Republika Srpska has amended over eight hundred laws to harmonise them with EU requirements, engaged in extensive regional cooperation with other European regions and constantly proposed legally sound and pragmatically sensible resolutions to the issues facing Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In her address, Prime Minister Cvijanovic will describe the practical steps she has initiated to deal with the day-to-day difficulties the country's citizens face under circumstances of general economic recession in the region. Both as Economics Minister and now as Prime Minister, she has led efforts for EU accession and regional economic collaboration.
Her Excellency Mrs Željka Cvijanovic, originally an English teacher, spent thirteen years working for the European Union Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina in her hometown of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska. From 2006 to 2010, she served as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister and from 2010 to March 2013, as Minister of Economic Relations and Regional Cooperation. As Minister, she was responsible for internal coordination of all ministries within Republika Srpska and for coordination with the Federation Government and BiH Institutions in Sarajevo. In addition, she was responsible for the EU integration agenda and drove a massive reform effort to comply with EU standards. Since March 2013, she has served as the first female Prime Minister of the Republika Srpska.
The address is followed by a drinks reception from 1900 to 2000.
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