PODGORICA – Youth Exchange as Motor for Regional Cooperation conference is taking place in Podgorica, Montenegro. The conference, organized by RYCO in cooperation with the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, aims to discuss the results of the Berlin Process with a special focus on the youth cooperation. The event gathered ambassadors, MPs, representatives of international organizations as well as the first RYCO grantees in Montenegro.
The first panel discussion addressed the youth cooperation and mobility within the Berlin Process as well as the role of MPs from the region in the process. The panel’s participants, Ambassador of Germany in Montenegro Mr Robert Weber, Ambassador of France in Montenegro Ms Christine Toudic, Head of the EU Delegation in Montenegro Mr Aivo Orav, Ambassador of Poland in Montenegro Mr Artur Dmochowski, Members of the Parliament of Montenegro Mr Nikola Rakočević and Mr Dritan Abazović agreed that RYCO is a successful regional initiative.
Furthermore, the panelists gave a number of suggestions for a significant improvement of RYCO’s work, notably in the areas that the organization should focus on. They also highlighted the need to increase the number of parliamentarians involved in the process, but also the recommendation to create an informal parliamentarian group that will gather MPs from the Western Balkans and advocates for RYCO and the regional cooperation.
The second panel discussion entitled Regional Youth Cooperation Office: Organizational Growth and Vision of Future was participated by the individuals directly engaged in the work of RYCO – RYCO Deputy Secretary General Mr Fatos Mustafa, RYCO Communication Officer Mr Nikola Ristić, RYCO Advisory Board Member Ms Olivera Komar.
The panelists presented the organization’s achieved results but also the ongoing activities that RYCO is implementing. Mr Mustafa briefly presented the recently adopted RYCO Strategic Plan as well as its key priorities but also his impressions on the overall activity of the organization. He expressed his hopes that RYCO will become a role model for a number of regional initiatives that want to foster regional cooperation, not only among the young people.
The final panel discussion, Youth Mobility in The WB Region: Results and Obstacles, was participated by the representatives of the first RYCO grantees and organizations and secondary schools that got a chance to be the partners on a RYCO supported projects – NGO Alpha Center Mr Aleksandar Dedović, Gymnasium “25 May”, Tuzi Ms Katrina Berišaj, NGO CEDEM Mr Marko Pejović, Vocational High School Berane Mr Mehdija Adrović.
The representatives of the civil society organizations and secondary schools from Montenegro agreed that programs such as the ones that RYCO is supporting and implementing are highly important for the young people of the region since they can help the youngsters to meet and learn more about their peers.
Moreover, the representatives shared their experiences in the implementation of their RYCO supported projects, underlined their findings from these implementations but also presented a number of recommendations to RYCO that should make the future open calls more suitable to the needs of secondary schools and civil society organizations from the Western Balkans.
Read the news from the opening of the conference here.