TIRANA – Delegation from the German Parliament (Bundestag), headed by Member of Parliament Mr Josip Juratović, met with RYCO high officials and Local Branch Officer in Albania on Wednesday in Tirana. They discussed RYCO’s ongoing activities as well as the current situation in regard to the young people in the Western Balkans and Albania in particular.
Mr Juratović said that RYCO is important for the region and that the German parliamentarians tend to visit the RYCO’s offices across the region whenever possible in order to show their support for the organization’s work. He pointed out that the visit aims to get insights about the EU integration process of the region, but also the current political situation and especially the role young people are playing in it.
“I will personally keep supporting and promoting RYCO among other parliamentarians since it is politically important for us to support such initiatives”, Mr Juratović pointed out and concluded that politicians should consult RYCO more on cooperation matters since it sets out an example for successful regional cooperation.
RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša thanked the parliamentarians for their support for RYCO’s work and highlighted the importance of cooperation between the organization and the German and French governments. He also briefly updated the delegation on RYCO’s ongoing activities.
“The recently held meeting of the RYCO Governing Board gave an example how regional cooperation is possible and fruitful when there is a political will of the Western Balkan governments to cooperate”, Mr Blanuša pointed out.
RYCO Secretary General, together with RYCO Deputy Secretary General Mr Fatos Mustafa and RYCO Local Branch Officer in Albania Mr Kreshnik Loka, reflected on the latest data concerning young people in the region as well as their attitudes towards the EU. They also underlined the importance of meetings between young people and parliamentarians and highlighted the success of such a meeting organized in Berlin recently.
“As RYCO stands for mobility in the region, we should not forget that we also face challenges in the region regarding this important component of our work”, they said and shed the lights on mobility obstacles in the region such as visa regime between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo*, as well as the issue of visa liberalization for young people from the later.
“RYCO is a proof that regional cooperation and dialogue are possible, but it would not be successful without the commitment of the Western Balkans 6 governments and strong political support from Germany and France”, they concluded.
Besides Mr Juratović, the delegation’s members included his colleagues Ms Renata Alt, Mr Hansjörg Mueller, as well as Representative of the Office of the German – South East European Parliamentary Group Ms Cordula Klinger and representatives of the German Embassy in Albania, Ambassador H. E. Ms Susanne Schütz and Embassy’s Head of Culture and Press Department Mr Enrico Günther.
*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 Independenc