VIENNA – The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) announced on Monday the 18 finalists of the OSCE Scholarship Programme for young people from the Western Balkans to attend the European Innovation Academy (EIA), one of the world’s leading summer entrepreneurship programmes in Turin, Italy. The scholarships were promoted through the network of the OSCE Field Operations as well as the local branch offices of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO).
Out of 1035 applications and 166 motivational videos received, 11 females and 7 males successfully completed the competitive process: Aleksandar Momiroski (20), Brisilda Munguli (28), Damjan Postolovski (20), Dian Fishekqi (20), Diellza Hyseni (23), Diella Salihu (19), Isidora Perovic (21), Jelena Aleksic (19), Kerim Panjeta (19), Luka Topić (24), Ljubica Smolović (21), Marina Angelovska (23), Mario Hysneli (21), Milica Novaković (21), Natalija Nikolić (22), Oltjana Beci (24), Uroš Ranković (22) and Xhemal Kodragjini (20).
“We are glad to offer a quality learning opportunity to young people from the Western Balkans,” said Ambassador Alessandro Azzoni, Chairperson of the OSCE Permanent Council, on behalf of the Italian 2018 OSCE Chairmanship. “The economic future of the region is in the hands of young generations. We have the duty to support their efforts and invest in their skills.”
From 8 to 27 July in Turin, the selected finalists will be immersed in a multicultural ecosystem with professionals and mentors from the world’s top institutions, including business leaders from America, Europe and Asia, to help talents emerge and make a difference in society.
Anni Sinijarv, CEO of the European Innovation Academy, said that the selection process was a hard one. “The videos we received were full of motivation, good ideas, and hope for the future. We chose those whose motivation was the best fit for the EIA. We will do our best to empower the participants and leverage their potential to be ambassadors of positive change in their own societies.”
The OSCE Scholarship Programme is sponsored by the Italian 2018 OSCE Chairmanship in the framework of the project YDEAS (Young Developers and Entrepreneurs to Advance Start-ups in the Western Balkans) managed by the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA). The scholarship’s benefits include attendance at the 21-day programme, 6 ECTS credits, travel and accommodation, follow-up mentorship and networking events.
Đuro Blanuša, Secretary General of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), said that his office believes the youth of the Western Balkans should be active contributors to social and economic prosperity, democratic development and European integration in an increasingly open region. “We are honoured that we had a chance to contribute to the EIA scholarship programme and we wish the winners a great and productive learning time in Turin.”
This pilot initiative is an integral component of the engagement of the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA) in the field of human capital development, in line with the priorities of the Italian 2018 OSCE Chairmanship.
Representatives from the OSCE, the EIA, the Regional Youth Cooperation Office, and the Italian 2018 OSCE Chairmanship met in Tirana today for a co-ordination meeting. Two finalists, Xhemal Kodragjini and Brisilda Munguli, were also present.
Photo: European Innovation Academy; Participant at the European Innovation Academy, Turin, 28 July 2017.