The first local branch office of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) was opened in Podgorica on July 7th. The office in Podgorica was officially opened by Montenegro's Minister of Sports in charge for Youth Nikola Janović and RYCO Secretary General, Đuro Blanuša.
Janović and Blanuša said that the local office in Podgorica will be a place where young people will initiate dialogue, break prejudices, talk about a common European future, discuss their everyday problems and start solving them, all in the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation among young people in the Western Balkans.
Jovanović emphasized that in the previous period, the Government of Montenegro, together with the five governments of the region, worked to establish the Regional Youth Cooperation Office. He said that bearing in mind the fact that the countries of the Western Balkans share the burden of common heritage and challenges, and that it affects young people who grew up in the region full of prejudice and intolerance, the initiative to establish RYCO came as a mechanism for supporting young people. “I would like to remind you that the Regional Youth Cooperation Office aims to provide conditions for political and institutional integration of the youth in the region, their networking, as well as reconciliation and cooperation” said Janović.
RYCO Secretary General Blanuša pointed out that the space and time in which we live are such that RYCO may be more than ever needed to the Western Balkans. "Today, in the region we have young people who do not interact with each other enough, who do not cooperate sufficiently, who do not know each other. These are key issues and key challenges that RYCO will have in its focus in the coming period. We will send a strong message that the region can and must work together and cooperate - honestly, in all areas, from economy and tourism, through sports and science, to education and culture.
German Ambassador, Hans Gunther Matern, as well as Ambassador of France, Chrsitine Toudic Gaborit, also addressed guests at the opening ceremony providing additional motivation by giving the parallel of the work of Franco- German Youth Office. The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of non-governmental organizations, the diplomatic corps and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Srđan Darmanović.