IRES Students Participated in a Mock Session of NATO's North Atlantic Council

IBU InFocus

The Department of International Relations and European Studies, in cooperation with the Social Sciences Research Center, organized a mock session of the North Atlantic Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s only body established by the North Atlantic Treaty, for students of the course of Introduction to Diplomacy on Wednesday, January 12.

As a part of the exercise, students took the role of permanent representatives of individual member countries of NATO and discussed the progress made by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina toward fulfilling the obligations from the Annual National Plan and, more generally, its Membership Action Plan.

The mock session was a part of the series of assignments that aimed to introduce students to various types of diplomacy, on the one hand, and the inner foreign policy decision-making processes of NATO member countries, on the other, culminating in the simulation of the work of the NAC.

Students, as NATO member countries’ permanent representatives, welcome progress made by BiH since last year but concluded that further reforms are necessary to advance on its accession path. It is also necessary to find internal consensus on the path forward and identify a wide, cross-societal coalition supporting some degree of integration, if not full accession.

This specific assignment intended to provide practical experience to students by immersing them in the inner workings of the international organization and levering their knowledge of the two aforementioned aspects as a penultimate activity. This will be followed up by the development of policy briefs proposing recommendations on how BiH can improve its diplomatic activities.

The policy briefs, which are scheduled to be promoted in February to diverse stakeholders, issue concrete recommendations to BiH actors, including those from the private and public sectors, to improve their diplomatic activities for the purpose of fulfilling established foreign policy objectives and in light of external constraints.

Cooperation between the Department of International Relations and European Studies and the Social Sciences Research Center started last year with the utilization of students and young scholars working on original research under the guidance and mentorship of SSRC researchers, to be graded as a part of their courses and, subsequently, published by the SSRC.