Every day, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina wrestle with important issues that touch on their past, present, and future: violence, peace, migration, economic growth, government reforms, and much more. In Sarajevo, the nation’s capital, on Sept. 26, Atlas Network partner Multi (Udruzenje Gradana) held the second European Students For Liberty (ESFL) Conference at the University of Sarajevo. More than 150 students attended, with presentations by seven outstanding lecturers who addressed a series of topics centered around the theme of liberty.
Tom G. Palmer, Atlas Network’s executive vice president for international programs, presented the first lecture, about the relationship between liberty and peace. This subject has special relevance to the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the location of a brutal international armed conflict during the 1990s.
“Liberty and peace. That is what libertarians offer,” Palmer wrote in the 2014 essay collection Peace, Love, & Liberty: War Is Not Inevitable, produced by Atlas Network and Students for Liberty. “Liberty and peace are a matter of choice. They have lifted up, and are lifting up, billions of people from poverty and wretchedness. The choice for liberty and peace is the right choice for mature men and women. There is courage; there is excitement; there is daring; there is greatness; and there is even a kind of glory for those who create and trade in peace, and that courage, that excitement, that daring, that greatness, and that glory are of far greater worth than the cruelly distorted mirror images of them presented by war. Entrepreneurship, prosperity, civil society, friendship, achievement, productivity, art, knowledge, beauty, love, family, satisfaction, contentment, happiness—those can be achieved in peace or destroyed in war.”
Other presenters included Advocates for Self-Government Chair James Lark, who spoke about the future of libertarian movement; ESFL representative Alexander Kokotović, who spoke about the sharing economy; Sven Sambunjak, ambassador of the self-declared microstate Liberland near Bosnia, who shared some of the libertarian perspectives and ideas that led to Liberland’s founding. Breakout sessions included lectures by Mohammad Malayeri, board member of the Austrian Libertarian Movement and local coordinator for ESFL; Patrick Reasonover, co-founder of Atlas Network partner Taliesin Nexus; Edo Omerčević, director of Atlas Network partner the Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise; and Admir Čavalić, director of Multi.
During the conference, Multi provided copies of Why Liberty and Peace, Love, & Liberty, which were signed by their editor Tom Palmer. Additional books provided at the event included Bosnian edition of The Morality of Capitalism and The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible. Each participant was given promotional materials for both ESFL and Multi, as well as a T-shirt displaying a message of liberty.
This second ESFL conference in Sarajevo also generated an incredible amount of media attention, including:
- “Održana druga ESFL konferencija.”
- “European Students For Liberty (ESFL) konferencija u Sarajevu.”
- “SARAJEVO Regionalna konferencija European students for liberty.”
- “SARAJEVO: REGIONALNA ESFL KONFERENCIJA.”
- “REGIONALNA EUROPEAN STUDENTS FOR LIBERTY KONFERENCIJA.”
- “Regionalna konferencija u Sarajevu: Studenti o reformskoj agendi BiH, zatvaranju granica za izbjeglice, Liberlandu...”
- “Konferencija u Sarajevu: Studenti raspravljali o svjetskim temama.”
- “Regionalna konferencija ESFL u Sarajevu.”
Learn more about the 2015 ESFL Conference in Sarajevo.