SARAJEVO – Ambassador of Germany to Bosnia and Herzegovina H.E. Ms Margaret Uebber and Ambassador of France to BiH H.E. Mr Guillaume Rousson jointly visited the RYCO Local Branch Office in Sarajevo. The visit and meeting took place in Sarajevo at the premises of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
„Continuous and valuable support and partnership with Germany and France is a standard and biggest support to Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO). RYCO is a mechanism that is needed for youth cooperation and networking in the Western Balkans. From the very beginning, our role model was OFAJ (the Franco-German Youth Office). RYCO strives to create good results and milestones for and with the youth of the Western Balkans as OFAJ did for its own societies,“ Head of RYCO Local Branch Office in BiH Ms Berina Bukva highlighted.
During the meeting, ongoing activities, next plans and recruitment processes in RYCO were presented to the ambassadors, as well the results of RYCO open calls for project proposals and activities such as „Sarajevo Film Festival – In Youth Eyes“, an activity which took place in Sarajevo in partnership with the French Embassy in BiH. Other on-going RYCO regional projects that are supported by Germany and France in the Western Balkans, such as Germany’s support for RYCO’s third open call, were also mentioned and discussed.
„It is always a rewarding experience to meet with the people in charge of RYCO. The organisation enables young people from different parts of the Western Balkans to meet and work together on projects, which is key for reconciliation between countries and communities of the region,“ said Ambassador Rousson. „France and Germany have successful experience on these questions, particularly with the Franco-German Youth Office. This joint visit with my colleague also highlights the strong cooperation between our two countries and our commitment to supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina together,“ the Ambassador underlined.
He also added that in a part of Europe that so many young people chose to leave, RYCO supports participation of young people in decision-making, crucially contributing to building trust, the cornerstone of a brighter future. “The French development agency (AFD) has been given a mandate to operate in the Western Balkan countries – a concrete sign of France’s renewed political involvement in the region – and already allocated 500 000€ for WB6Lab, a project focused on developing social and innovative entrepreneurship by young people of the Western Balkan countries, already supported by RYCO, OFAJ, GROUPE SOS Pulse, and the South East European Youth Network (SEEYN),“ Mr Rousson concluded.
„It was very important to me to visit the Local Branch Office today in order to express Germany’s continued support to RYCO,“ said Ambassador Uebber. „RYCO is one of the most concrete and visible outcomes of the Berlin Process. France and Germany share a belief in the importance of connecting youth across countries and creating opportunities for young people to get to know one another and share their experiences. From our own history, we have learned that youth exchanges play a crucial role when it comes to reconciliation, but also to finding solutions to common challenges. The Franco-German Youth Office is a success story and we gladly share its expertise with countries in the Western Balkans,“ Ambassador Uebber underlined.
Bringing the people of this region closer and making prosperity with concrete results for the youth of the region is what RYCO really works hard for, and that is why the dedicated and professional support from France and Germany is significant and much appreciated at all stages of our work.