TIRANA – RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša took part in the debate entitled The European Union, Albania and the Western Balkans: Making enlargement a more credible process which took place in Tirana on Wednesday. The discussion was a part of a roundtable organised in the framework of the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Speaking as one of the keynote speakers at the opening of the conference, Ambassador of the French Republic to Albania H.E. Ms Christina Vasak said that RYCO has a huge potential for change, not only in Albania but across the Western Balkans. She underlined that the French Government provided support to RYCO and promoted its work since its establishment phase, but also expressed her view that RYCO must be equipped with adequate instruments to deliver its objectives in the region.
The moderator of the debate, Deputy Secretary General and Research Fellow of the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe Mr Florent Marciacq expressed his regrets while opening the debate that the young people in Albania are not enough involved into decision-making processes and underlined the importance of the reforms in the region for the EU integration process.
During the debate, Mr Blanuša highlighted the fact that RYCO has a great potential in the region because of a number of reasons among which are fostering people to people connectivity that is of a high importance of the region’s development, but also because of the fact that it is involving young people in decision-making processes in its highest decision-making bodies such as the Governing Board. Moreover, he said that RYCO can serve as a good practice of regional cooperation, not only in the Western Balkans but also across Europe.
The event was enriched with the inputs from Director of the European Union Department of the Albanian Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs Mr Sokol Dedja, Ambassador of Austria to Albania H.E. Mr Johann Sattler, Researcher of the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) Mr Matteo Bonomi, Senior Fellow of the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW) Ms Marta Szpala, and concluded with the remarks of Lecturer and Researcher of the National School of Political Science and Public Administration in Bucharest Ms Miruna Troncota and Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Albania H.E. Mr Luigi Soreca.
The debate was organized by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Cooperation and Development Institute from Albania, the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe, the European Univesity of Tiran and CIFE. The event attended a number of students of the European University of Tirana who took a part in the discussion.