BERLIN – RYCO Team, during our study visit to Berlin, met on Thursday with the Member of the German Bundestag Mr Josip Juratović with whom we discussed the ongoing processes in RYCO and support for them.
“I’m happy to meet people from the Western Balkans who are working for and with youth”, Juratović welcomed RYCO Team. He said that we are living in turbulent times where there’s a lot of movements which are using democratic means in order to abolish democracy. Mr Juratović added that these movements are nothing new in the Western Balkans and that media have a crutial role in preventing their policies.
“As someone who knows the region, I can tell you that people in the Western Balkans do not hate each other. They are feeling afraid and because of that they are trying to avoid this situation”, Juratović pointed out and added that the time we are living in shoud have individual rights as the ground of democracy.
He said that the region is a natural economic area as the people of the region are cooperating in different fields such as small and big enterprises, academia and youth which means that the region can and should cooperate. Juratović highlighted that in order to bring the region even closer, Croatia should take its responsibility towards the region seriously and said that it should join RYCO.
Thanking for the support, RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša said that RYCO is not only an example how youth can cooperate, but it is also an example of successful cooperation in the region which should happen in other fields as well. He also presented the results of the first Open Call.
He added that the Berlin Process succeeded in bringing relevant stakeholders together and that RYCO, as one of the concrete results of the process, is now exposed and that there are huge expectations of its work. Because of that, Blanuša added, it is important to get full support of the governments of the region and all the stakeholders interested in regional cooperation.
“Finally, we have a concrete instrument which can make a change in the region, but it should be more financially supported as the youth sector of the region can absorb far more funding”, Blanuša highlighted and concluded that the idea is to provide youth of the region with an opportunity to meet and connect.
At the end of the meeting while receiving a present from our team, Juratović assured us that he will continue to support RYCO by advocating for it on the national and international level.