ROME/WESTERN BALKANS – RYCO Secretary General Mr Albert Hani said that young people should stay in the Western Balkans because they are the hope of the region. “Young people know what they want, we just need to voice their concerns. RYCO is committed to provide space for youth to unleash their potential,” he pointed out at the EU-Balkan Youth Forum organized in Rome by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on 22-26 November.
Speaking at the “EU Enlargement, national and international policies” session, Mr Hani said that RYCO is an initiative of young people which started in settings like the forum in Rome, which was then also supported by the leaders from the region. “The idea of establishing RYCO was to hear young people’s voices and dreams for a better region, to increase youth opportunities, to break stereotypes in the region and to bring closer youth from the region,” he underlined.
Besides the RYCO Secretary General, the discussion witnessed the contributions of Regional Cooperation Council’s Ms Majlinda Bregu, Mr Robert Antonione of the Central Europe Initiative, and Mr Gianni Castelloneta from the Adriatic and Ionian Initiative.
The forum is organized with the lead of the Regional Cooperation Council (Sarajevo), together with the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (Tirana), the Centro Studi Politica Internazionale (Rome) and Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (Trento). It convened 78 students, 10 mentors and a number of policy makers from across Europe, in order to gather new inputs and ideas and chart a common path for further action and report the results to the Conference on the Future of Europe.
The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will also set aside funds for the network to develop future projects based on the discussions at the Forum on institutional, economic and social issues.
Photo credits: EU-Balkan Youth Forum, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation