BERLIN – RYCO Secretary General Mr. Albert Hani and Superschools Delegation participated in the Foreign Ministers Meeting in Berlin last Friday. The meeting was hosted by the German Foreign Minister, Annalena Baerbock, as part of the newly restarted Berlin Process.
For the first time, such a high-level conference was joined by 6 participants of RYCO’s Superschools program, a multi-donor project co-financed by the European Union and the German Government and implemented jointly by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and RYCO.
“Today with great honor, I am standing here in front of you, to thank you all for the given support to youth in WB and for the hope you are giving to the region with the Berlin Process, particularly with the new concrete results” – stated RYCO’s Secretary General Mr. Hani in his speech during the meeting.
Throuh a heartwarming speech, Superschools students expressed their experience and their need to be more connected. They emphasized that together with their peers they had the opportunity to embrace new and diverse perspectives, meet new friends, and even cherish getting a passport for the first time.
The Superschools program has brought more than 800 young people together through school exchanges, training, and intraregional activities in 2022. Application for the new cycle is still ongoing, and in 2023 100 secondary school exchanges are to happen throughout the region.
“Yet, motivated as we are, we are not all-powerful. You can’t do this without us, and we can’t do it without you” – superstudent Sarah concluded.
The students ended their message by pointing out that young people in the region need “more opportunities to meet each other, fewer barriers to travel, more empowerment… and more Superschools”.
It seems that the message was heard because some historic steps that will change people’s lives in WB were confirmed by Minister Baerbock who stated:
“In negotiations led by our Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Manuel Sarrazin, governments of the six Western Balkan countries have committed to concluding three regional mobility agreements. With these agreements, the people of your countries will be able to cross borders in the Western Balkans using only their ID cards.”
This means that young Bosnians and Kosovars will visit each other without a visa something that the next generation of Superschools exchanges students will benefit immensely from as well.
RYCO commends all the stakeholders present in the Berlin Process meeting for their work and efforts in assisting the region’s development and highlights the achievement of the Western Balkan government and the Berlin Process which succeeded to establish, an institutional mechanism that connects youth in the region.
Western Balkans Summit: Familienfoto, © Janine Schmitz/photothek.de