From the meeting of delegations of the Bosnian Academic Society of Austria and the “Circle 99” of Sarajevo

Krug 99 – Circle 99 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

From the meeting of delegations of the Bosnian Academic Society of Austria and the Association of Independent Intellectuals “Krug 99” (“Circle 99”) of Sarajevo

               At a meeting of the Bosnian Academic Society of Austria and the Association of Independent Intellectuals “Krug 99” (“Circle 99”) in Sarajevo, participants expressed a high level of agreement on mutual cooperation and activity on issues where program efforts coincide.
                 Undoubtedly, through thirty years of diligent efforts, both organizations have aspired to project the highest values of the state and society of Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This includes the integration of our citizens and the diaspora into a new and modern political, social, cultural and labor environment.  Assembling the academic and intellectual communities in both countries, these two associations have opened a productive theoretical and political dialogue and have identified specific initiatives concerning the values and visions of the European community, the values of contemporary democratic standards.  This is an example of the consciousness that has developed of the advantages and necessity of more comprehensive mutual cooperation between the homeland’s diaspora and domestic Bosnian society.  Civil society organizations should make even greater contributions to common coordinated initiatives and activities.
                 Of special significance is the Bosnian Academic Society’s long-standing support and steadfast demand in Austria for citizens from Bosnia and Herzegovina to be accorded the status of an official Austrian national minority, regardless of personal identity or ethnic/national, religious or other affiliation.  This would go a long way toward securing their stronger position and more complete equality in all respects within an Austrian society of free and equal citizens.  The positive experience of the work and activity of other national minorities already recognized in Austria augurs well for this solution.  It was jointly agreed that citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina should support this initiative and get more deeply involved and actively organized in other countries through similar associations or by advocating such policies through organizing new civil society initiatives within their respective countries.  This is especially urgent given that EU intentions and standards in this regard generally favor such demands for the status of national minorities within democratic states.  Accordingly, much wider support should be given to this effort:
                 At the meeting, special appreciation was expressed for the historic vision of the Bosnian nation, consisting of all citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a community of sovereign states and free nations, without denying the right of anyone to civil, personal and collective identities.  That is a sure path toward the reconstruction of a stable society and a prosperous state.  Emphasis was placed on the need for continued efforts among the populace toward understanding and interpreting the concept of a Bosnian nation in harmony with modern Western theoretical and political principles and academic experience.
                 An appeal was made to other civil society organizations in the country and abroad to unite in common cooperation, activity and support.
                 The cooperation initiated between the Youth Forum of Krug 99 (Circle 99) and young members of the Bosnia Academic Society of Austria should be strengthened and should be an example for other organizations in terms of further networking and collective activities between the youth of the country and the youth of the homeland’s diaspora.
                 At this meeting, the Bosnian Academic Society of Austria was represented by Siradj Duhan and Alen Suljagic, while Krug 99 (Circle 99) was represented by Adil Kulenovic, Senadin Lavic and Bojan Sosic.
Adil Kulenovic, President of “Circle 99” (“Krug 99”)  
Association of Independent Intellectuals – Circle 99 (Bosnian: Krug 99), a leading Bosnian think-tank, was established in Sarajevo in 1993, in the midst of the Bosnian war (1992-1995), while the capital was under siege. Circle 99 provides a platform to bring together intellectuals of various professional and ethnic identities; university professors, members of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, artists, journalists, entrepreneurs, diplomats, and other prominent figures from Bosnia and from abroad. Multidisciplinary discussions and initiatives are held each Sunday throughout the academic year, in the form of regular sessions about politics, science, education, culture, economy, and other societal issues. The overall goal is to sensitize the public towards a democratic transformation, achieving and maintaining peace, and integration of modern Bosnia into the community of countries fostering liberal democracy. Circle 99 has been declared an organization of special significance for the city of Sarajevo.