Igman Initiative’s expert team and parliamentarians visited the Nordic Council

Presidents of Foreign Policy Committees from the four countries signatory to the Dayton Agreement, together with members of the expert team working on development of a model to improve inter-parliamentary cooperation, made a study visit to the Nordic Council and the Parliament of Denmark in Copenhagen during the period between February 19th to 21st 2013. Purpose of the visit was to broaden the understanding of knowledge and opportunities drawn from experiences of the Nordic model in the process of achieving the highest level of regional cooperation between the four states (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia), as well as to obtain direct insight in the work the Danish Parliament.

On the first day of the visit, members of the delegation got the chance to obtain detailed information about the genesis of the Nordic Council and its operating procedures from Mr. Torkil Sorensen, foreign policy advisor and Mr. Jan Widberg, Chief of the Secretariat of the Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference. After that, several advisors from certain committees spoke about the work of the Presidency, Committee for Labor, Energy, Transport and Regional Policies, Committee for Cooperation and Research, as well as about the work of the Committee for Education and Media. Delegation of Igman Initiative was received also by Bertel Haarder, President of the Danish delegation to the Nordic Council, first vice-president of the Parliament of Denmark and former minister at the Government of Denmark. Second day was focused on the visit to the Parliament of Denmark and detailed presentations about the organization and operating procedures of the Parliament provided by Bertel Haarder and other representatives of the Parliament.

During the visit to the Nordic Council, members of the delegation of Igman Initiative talked with their hosts about the current situation and perspectives of relations between four countries signatory to the Dayton Agreement, especially about efforts to use Nordic experiences to intensify mutual cooperation and improve the overall situation in West Balkans. This visit served as opportunity to review the conclusions reached at the previous consultative meeting in Sarajevo where representatives of Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia and Serbia gathered to discuss about improvement of inter-parliamentary cooperation. At the same time, valuable connection with the Nordic Council was reinforced and its representatives were informed about further steps envisioned by Igman Initiative in cooperation with the four Parliaments on their path to the higher level of regional cooperation on the basis of Nordic Council experiences. On this occasion, representatives of the Nordic Council were invited to take part in the thematic session of Igman Initiative scheduled for this spring in Cetinje, which will be focused on improvement of inter-parliamentary cooperation with the help of Nordic experiences.

With all the insights obtained through this visit, consultative meeting in Sarajevo and all previous activities, expert team of Igman Initiative approached the work on development of a proposal for a model of improvement of inter-parliamentary cooperation between Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.