LONDON – Following the recent Western Balkans Summit in London, the UK Parliament hosted the International Parliamentary Seminar on the Western Balkans under the auspices of the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU). The event took place in the Palace of Westminster from 10 to 12 September. The event brought together the parliamentarians from across the Western Balkans as well as their colleagues form the countries whose governments are actively involved in the Berlin Process with the aim that the regional issues and priorities are not just being discussed at the Executive level but the Berlin Process is better understood and scrutinized at the Parliamentary-level.
RYCO Local Branch Officer in Kosovo* Ms Krenare Gashi participated in the panel discussion Parliament & Inclusive Politics. This session focused on the need for inclusive politics and inclusive parliaments, with particular focus on women and young people.
Ms Gashi presented RYCO as a good example on youth and gender inclusion in decision making processes and added that it is highly important that parliamentarians are finally being invited to be part of the Berlin Process due to their crucial role in giving legitimacy to each decision and agreement adopted within the process.
She pointed out that all the stakeholders involved in the Berlin Process, as well as the citizens from the region should be proud of the MPs who gave the green light to the RYCO establishment by ratifying the Agreement on the Establishment of RYCO in their parliaments. RYCO Local Branch Officer underlined that the most unique mechanism on the regional level and beyond it was established this way, explaining that it is unique because of its balanced ownership of the governments and civil society since the very beginning of the process. She added that RYCO is governed by both the governments and the young people, having six ministers and Youth Representatives in its Governing Board.
Ms Gahsi presented the RYCO ongoing activities and underlined that there is a clear indicator that we have to do more. However, she said, RYCO cannot go ahead alone in the complex environment in which it operates, underlining the bilateral disputes that exist in the region. Therefore, she explained the RYCO perspective, the role of MPs is essential in fostering youth mobility in the region. She added that RYCO has already organized the first meeting of the WB MPs in Tirana in June that which aimed to initiate a platform for connecting MPs and pushing ahead the youth agenda in the region.
Photo: Twitter/British Group of Inter-Parliamentary Union
*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