Brcko District Supervisor and Principal Deputy High Representative Michael Scanlan addressed the Brcko District Assembly today, upon the invitation of the Assembly Speaker. He underscored that this is a deciding moment for changing the downward course the District has been taking in recent years.
Over the past six months, the Supervisor has had the opportunity to talk to political representatives, business owners, religious leaders, as well as ordinary citizens of the District. All of them have pointed out the key problems Brčko is facing: lack of private investment, economic stagnation, and poor infrastructure development, leading to the outflow of the population, especially young people – all of it in a community that has clear geographical and financial advantages. This is a wake-up call for the Assembly to come together and act.
Members of the District Assembly have a chance to take the initial steps this fall which will allow Brčko to revert to a vibrant and positive community, and to keep its people from leaving. These steps include the adoption of the new Budget Law and the Law on Foundations and Associations, finalizing the Port modernization, focusing on infrastructure development and clean energy production, and improving the investment legislation. These are the steps for creating a pro-business environment that will attract investors and bring much-needed good-paying private sector jobs to this community.
The Supervisor shall continue to visit the District monthly and meet with stakeholders to see if these changes are taking place.
Following the Assembly session, Supervisor Scanlan also met with Head of the Education Department with the Brcko District Government, Senad Osmanovic, and heads of divisions for pre-school, primary, secondary and higher education. They discussed the present situation and steps necessary to further strengthen the positive aspects of Brčko’s integrated school system.
Supervisor Scanlan also toured the Brčko Port, emphasising its vital importance for advancing infrastructure development. If the commitment to finish the Port modernisation project by the end of 2020 is kept, it will be a cornerstone for unlocking other infrastructure projects which will in turn help boost business expansion and job creation, the Supervisor stated.
The full text of the PDHR/Brčko Supervisor’s address can be found on the OHR website.