Messages from the Western Balkans Youth shared at the Prespa Forum Dialogue

Ohrid – Between June 16-18 RYCO has actively participated at the Prespa Forum Dialogue, a platform created by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia to enable countries, leaders, organisations, experts and citizens to strengthen cooperation. The event gathered ambassadors, local and regional policy makers, eminent speakers, and youth representatives that shared the vision for a prosperous region.

Mr. Albert Hani, RYCO Secretary General has been a speaker at the panels “The European Peace Project in the Western Balkans”, “The Importance of Women in Governance” and “Western Balkans Next Generation”. Mr. Hani underlined that it is very important to be an integral part of the processes as the change can only come from within. He further added that “RYCO itself is established on the principles of co-management with youth representatives in the Governing Board advocating for the needs of youth from the region”.

In addition, Mr. Blazen Maleski, Youth Representative at the RYCO Governing Board from North Macedonia stressed the importance of more investments for the youth and the need for more direct communication and cooperation of youth and policy makers, as the youth is here and now, and changes are needed here and now.

In the same context, the Head of the Local Branch Office in Skopje, Mr. Vladimir Gjorgjevski, added that the co- management is the best approach of working with youth, because consulting youth in the process of designing RYCO programs has resulted in over 90% of the surveyed youth to be satisfied with the programs RYCO has created, they are becoming friends, are willing to communicate and cooperate further and can much easier solve the regional issues.

The youth activists from the WB6 region have also considered the mutual challenges youth is facing, starting from personal and professional development opportunities to the need of more work ahead for reaching social security and achieving a status to enable dignified life for youth in the region. In the spirit of the panel title, participants expressed the expectation from the current and the next generation of policy makers to be more result-oriented in order to keep the youth in the region.

The Regional Youth Cooperation Office was established as a part of the Berlin Process with the aim and willingness of youth to create positive changes in the Western Balkans region.

RYCO, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia and GIZ co-organised the panel “Western Balkans Next Generation” and brought together youth representatives from Western Balkans, Greece and Bulgaria.

Preuzeto sa: RYCO