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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

BiH Parliamentary Assembly becomes the most-visited institution in the country

Visitors from Šekovići at Visitors Center, April 2011

With ongoing support from the USAID Parliament Strengthening Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina (the Project), the BiH Parliamentary Assembly (BiHPA) in Sarajevo has hosted the most visitors of any public institution in the nation.

“In April, we achieved our record of 17 groups with more than 900 visitors from various CSOs and citizens groups from all over the country and the world. This certainly makes us the most-visited state institution in BiH,” said Zlatko Vukmirović, head of the BiHPA’s public relations department.

The burgeoning visitor program would not be possible without the BiHPA’s Visitors Center, first opened in 2009 with direct support from the Project. Ongoing Project assistance to the 50-seat Center includes printing of promotional material and subsidizing transportation and other expenses for some groups who otherwise could not afford the trip. A growing number of visitors are coming to Parliament at their own expense through the Center, as the popularity of the program grows.

“For the members of parliament, these visits are a great opportunity to expand our constituency relations, to be closer to citizens and to demonstrate Parliament’s openness and transparency to every citizen,” said Lazar Prodanović, an MP who has become particularly involved with the Visitors Center.

Djordje Radanović, a CSO activist from the Center for Affirmation of Youth, recently led a group of visitors from his small town of Šekovići to the capital. He stressed the important link the visitor’s program provides CSOs and citizens groups as they work with their country’s political leaders to strengthen their democracy. The Visitors Center affords groups like his a progressive means to improve their advocacy efforts and working relationship with MPs while capitalizing on the support of the Project.

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Posted: May 12, 2011