BELGRADE – RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša participated in the the meeting of the Western Balkans Platforms on Education and Training and Research and Innovation organized by the Directorate for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission. The event took place in Belgrade on 28-29 September 2017.
During the meeting, Mr Blanuša had the opportunity to present the ongoing activities in RYCO regarding the establishment and consolidation phase, process of strategic planning and launching of the RYCO’s first Open Call. He mentioned that the Open Call will be opened in October and that it is one of the key activities of RYCO which should bring the youth of the Western Balkans closer and enhance the overall youth mobility in the region. Furthermore, Mr Blanuša emphasized that RYCO will try to avoid overlappings with already existing and available EU ERASMUS + program, by putting more focus on high schools students and youth exchanges in general. He also thanked European Commission for their political and financial commitment as well as for the overall support during the process of RYCO’s establishment.
The event was participated by a number of officials from the Western Balkan Six, European Union and other international organizations, among whom where DG NEAR Director for Western Balkans Ms Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Mr Tibor Navracsics, Head of EU Delegation to Serbia Mr Sem Fabrizi, EU Director for International Cooperation Ms Maria Cristina Russo, Minister of Education and Science of Macedonia Ms Renata Deskoska, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development of Serbia Mr Mladen Šarčević, Montenegrin ministers of Education and Science, Mr Damir Sehović and Ms Sanja Damjanović, Minister of Education, Science and Technology of Kosovo* Mr Shyqeri Bytyqi, Federal Minister of Education and Science of Bosnia and Herzegovina Mrs Elvira Dilberović.
Since its launch in 2012, the European Commission organizes an annual high-level meeting of the Western Balkans Platform on Education and Training where all Ministers of Education in the region are invited to review the state of educational reforms in their countries, learn about the latest strategies in the EU, identify priorities, agree on follow-up to be given to studies/reports as well as to cooperate on activities undertaken by the Platform. A main objective of the Platform is to share experience, good practice and engage in regional cooperation on tackling similar issues.
The Western Balkans Steering Platform on Research and Innovation also meets annually since 2007 with the overall objective to advance on the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Research Area in a perspective of accession to the EU. The Platform discusses the research and innovation capacities in the Western Balkans, participation in the EU’s framework programs for research and innovation, monitors the progress of regional strategies and actions and helps in exchanging information and best practice.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence