From Sarajevo to Brussels: How Sara Puts Bosnia and Herzegovina on the EU Map

The enlargement days took place at the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) on 29-30 April 2024 in Brussels, Belgium and featured several sessions with representatives of EU candidate countries. Our Young Elected Politician from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sara Arslanagić, intervened in the session on public administration reform and fiscal decentralization to provide expertise from her city, Sarajevo.

As Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with other candidate countries, continues its journey towards EU membership, the insights and experiences shared by young leaders like Sara Arslanagić will be invaluable. Their on-the-ground perspectives provide a practical roadmap for how local and regional authorities can navigate the complexities of EU integration. Arslanagić’s contribution to the CoR Enlargement Days highlights the crucial intersection of local expertise and European policy-making. It serves as a reminder that successful EU enlargement depends not just on high-level agreements but on the effective implementation of reforms at every level of governance. Through her participation, Arslanagić has reinforced the message that empowered and well-supported local governments are essential to the future of an expanded and integrated Europe.

Speaking at the Enlargement Day session on public administration reform and fiscal decentralization, Sara Arslanagić, who serves as Deputy Chair of the Municipality Council of Centar Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), lent her expertise, drawing on years of her experience as a local leader in Sarajevo to inform the broader discussion. Public administration reform is both a consequence and a pre-requisite of EU enlargement, as only a modern administration can efficiently implement the EU legislation that every candidate for EU membership must adopt. But in order to succeed, local and regional authorities must also receive the financial means needed for a successful completion of this challenging task, highlighted Arslanagić. Her intervention at the CoR Enlargement Days resonated with the broader themes of the event, which emphasized the critical role of local governance in the EU accession process.

Are you a young leader from an EU candidate country?

If you are a politician from an EU candidate country, no older than 35, and hold a mandate at regional or local level then you can still apply to the CoR’s Young Elected Politician Programme for a chance to attend our events, meet like-minded politicians from all over Europe and raise your voice at the EU level like Sara. Deadline and conditions to apply: here.


The European Committee of the Regions’ (CoR) annual Enlargement Day, inaugurated in 2015, serves as a pivotal event for EU enlargement policy dialogue and experience sharing. This flagship event underscores the importance of preparing not just central governments, but rather primarily the local and regional authorities in candidate countries for EU accession, as up to 70% of EU legislation is implemented at these levels. The 2024 edition of Enlargement Day, organized in cooperation with the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, focused on reforms, public administration, and fiscal decentralization.

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