A new generation of politicians
The Palme Center supports a project called “Academy for political leaders”. The aim is to create a new generation of more democratically minded politicians ready to cooperate for the benefit of their communities. More than 40 % of the first class of Academy students, became councilors in their local government structure.
The Academy is designed for active members of political parties between 18 and 27 recommended and supported by their party boards and youth structures for active participation in The Academy. The 4-module training is followed by practical work and essay writing. The four modules cover Media, Advocacy and Leadership; Political System and EU Integration Process; Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and Youth in B&H and Regional Cooperation. The program of the Academy of Political Leaders in BiH lasts for one year and includes 25 students each year.
Since 2007, 75 young representatives from 18 political parties in 23 cities in BiH have participated in the project. In 99 seminars or lectures they had the opportunity to work with 108 political representatives and experts from BiH, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.
Participants come from 18 political parties. Parties include center, left and right wing and the focus of the project is to stregthen youth sections within the whole political spectrum. Each participant is obliged to pass all parts of the Academy to receive the diploma. The first one is Selection test which consists of questions on general culture and knowlege about the political system in BiH and the EU. Participants also need to get recommendation and support from the board of their political party. In this way parties are encouraged to recognise the potential and role of youth.
Ljiljana Vasic – best student of Academy 2009:
About the Academy I have only words of praise. When I first started the academy I was happy but also afriad that I would meet some great people and “great” politicians. I thought that I was not good enough to discuss with them. But then I realized that they are people like all of us. In some areas they are better, more confident, but they also have a lot of fears and prejudices. Politicians are individually very different. Some are calm and tolerant; conveying wisdom while others are so arrogant and angry. From the former kind I got so much knowledge and willingness to learn and progress, and from the others I got power because I know that I could do better. What is important now is that I am not afraid, when we have a meeting with someone in a high position. I know I have; youth and enthusiasm for change. Thanks to the Academy, which taught me that it does not matter how old you are, people will listen if you have something to say.
Senad Hasic – student of Academy 2009:
Academy of Political Leaders in BiH, is a unique project of its kind in the country, had a multiple impact on me. The main thing for me is the high level knowledge that we get here. The eminent speakers from countries in the region; all professionals in their fields, engaged us in discussions, shared knowledge on specific issues, followed by additional literature, presentations, guidelines and advice, made me feel more prepared for future professional involvement in politics and life in general. This knowledge will open new horizons and new opportunities.
Milos Blagojevic – best student of Academy 2008:
Academy of political leaders in BiH is inspiring me and have motivational impact, because we get the power and the necessary knowledge and skills for further engagement in my political life and career. The Academy has inspired me to think creatively and revealed the potential political entrepreneur in myself. The educational, the Academy has a vision of conecting the people, in which young people develop political and social skills, and thereby influence the social cohesion of young people in BiH.
Olof Palme International Center has supported the development of youth especially young politicians of this region for more than ten years. The Academy for Political Leaders is one way to contribute to create a new and modern generation of politicians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ready to take on the challenges ahead. Besides the Palme Center, the Academy is also supported financially by Konrad Adenauer Foundation and Germany Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ).