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State Secretary Jörg Asmussen in Bosnia and Herzegovina

On a two-day trip to Sarajevo on 18 and 19 November, State Secretary Jörg Asmussen held talks with the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the country as a whole, Mirko Šarović.

On a two-day trip to Sarajevo on 18 and 19 November, State Secretary Jörg Asmussen held talks with the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations and Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the country as a whole, Mirko Šarović. He also met with the Minister of Labour and Social Policy of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina entity, Vesko Drljača.

The talks focused on the recently adopted EU reform agenda for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the new regulations put in place by Germany's Federal Government concerning citizens of the Western Balkan states taking up employment in Germany.

Secretary Asmussen welcomed the willingness to reform and the will to strengthen the economic and social framework conditions for more employment in the country. Asmussen said that this was an important prerequisite for giving young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina stable professional and personal prospects in the country in the long term. He went on to say that with the regulations on taking up work in Germany valid since the entry into force of the statutory instrument on legislation to accelerate the asylum procedure, new opportunities had also been created for legal labour migration to Germany and at the same time a clear signal had been sent that applications for asylum in Germany had no chance of success.

Secretary of State Asmussen spoke with representatives of civil society, business and international development cooperation about current and future measures to strengthen vocational education. The program included a visit to the German automotive supplier Veritas, which has run a factory in a suburb of Sarajevo since 2011 and is involved in the field of vocational training through programmes of its own.

State Secretary Asmussen made the following statement: "Strengthening vocational training is one of the key measures to strengthen youth employment worldwide. The dual system in Germany, with its close connection between vocational training and learning in school can provide substantial experience here". State Secretary Asmussen also welcomed the local involvement of companies such as Veritas as well as the German development cooperation.

To continue the talks, Secretary Asmussen will welcome Minister Šarović to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs during his return visit on 17 December 2015.