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14. December 10

It is my great pleasure to be here with you. Thank you for granting me the honorary doctorate. Honestly, I have never expected my work would be awarded with such an honourable award. Thank you very much for that, and thank you for your hospitality. It is very nice of you, I appreciate it.

These are the Tanja Fajon's words of thanks from the ceremony of awarding her the degree of Honorary Doctorate of Science by the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina ( AUBiH ), which was held in the amphitheatre of AUBiH with the presence of public figures from BiH, representatives of diplomatic corps and other distinguished guests.

Addressing primarily to students and professors of AUBiH, Member of the European Parliament, the Slovenian Tanja Fajon pointed out that the doctorate should be awarded to all of them, because they are the ones who spend so many hours learning to achieve more in their future at home and abroad.

- I agree that as a special symbol of freedom and equality, free visa regime has incredible significance for the whole Bosnia and Herzegovina and its academic community. It will not only assure much better mobility of students and teachers but it will improve especially people to people's contacts, said Ms. Fajon.

She said that tomorrow will the dreams of many people come true. She received many letters of support in which citizens of your country expressed their gratitude for all her efforts to give them back their dignity and for making make it possible for them to feel welcome in Europe, to which Bosnia and Herzegovina belongs.

- It has not been only my fight, it has been a joint effort of many others, of my colleagues in the European Parliament, Slovenia, my country, who was and is a great supporter to BiH and finally, of all responsible politicians in your country, said Ms. Fajon, adding that this doctorate will remind her on responsibility: “This honourable doctorate will remind me each time that I carry responsibility. It will remind me that the work is far from being finished and that many challenges still remain. But it will remind me about this great day, too – when citizens of BiH are finally able to freely travel to EU”, those were the final words in addressing of Ms. Fajon.

American Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Patrick Moon, also addressed the audience. Among other things he stated: “As the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for the visa liberalization process, Dr. Fajon traveled frequently over the past year to Sarajevo and Tirana, working with governments and civil society to help them fulfill EU visa liberalization criteria. With this doctorate, Tanja Fajon is rightly recognized and honored as a special friend of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as champion for the broader European ideal.”

The President of AUBiH, Mr. Denis Prcic, stressed the special importance of the decision on visa free regime for an institution such as the university, as well as the great contribution of this decision in the realization of the idea of a common European Higher Education Area which a fundamental aim is the mobility of students and university teachers.

- Tanja Fajon engagement in visa abolition was based on and inspired by her broad conception of justice and equality among countries and nationalities, not only for our country but for all Western Balkan countries, said Prcic.

The Provost of AUBiH, Dr. Sefik Mulabegovic, in the explanation about the decision of awarding of an honorary doctorate to Ms Fajon pointed out the fact that the American University in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the first time in its five year history, announces the award of honorary doctorate. There are many reasons for granting the first Honoris Causa of the University to the person who affirms the freedom of individuals and nationalities, justice and rights, equal international cooperation by promoting the idea of Europe and European values as universal values and our common goal.