EUROPE – On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Southeast Europe Initiative of the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), the Re-Boot Europe conference is taking place online in the next six days. The event discussed the future of Europe and brings together 100 young European citizens, between 17 and 25 years old, coming from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Germany, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia
The welcoming remarks were delivered by FGYO Secretaries General Ms Anne Tallineau and Mr Tobias Bütow and RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša. Their remarks served as a call for action for the conference’s young participants to contribute to the discussions on the future of Europe which is of particular importance.
“Internal and external European challenges, as well as the ones posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, remind us that it is the time to think about the future of Europe we want, and how to work together in finding common answers. That begins here, with this conference, your enthusiasm and contribution,” Ms Anne Tallineau stated.
Highlighting the importance of cross-border cooperation in times of challenges, Mr Tobias Bütow, recalled the successful journey of RYCO and reminded the participants about the power of cooperation. “It is of utmost importance that the next generation learns from the previous ones and we hope that together with the youth we will do better,” Mr Tobias Bütow pointed out.
RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša took the opportunity to congratulate the FGYO and thank partners of RYCO that contribute to making the Western Balkans region a better place. He highlighted the challenges that young people in the region face and stated with optimism that youth organizations are confident in turning the challenges into opportunities, alongside the valuable contribution of young people.
“It is important to reflect, look back to the past and learn from it, while being aware of our responsibilities and of the fact that young people are part of the process in our work of shaping the future. This conference gives them a space to discuss crucial European topics and make joint efforts in finding common solutions to our common challenges, as we look forward to supporting their great ideas,” Mr Blanuša concluded.
The event continued with keynote speeches from Mr Ivan Hromada, Chair of Joint Council of Youth, and Mr Benjamin Günther, Board member of European Youth Forum, who highlighted that youth should get involved in rebooting and revitalizing Europe in a way that takes into consideration the current circumstances and is responsive to both current and future needs.
The results of the conference will be carefully evaluated by the partner organizations and will be incorporated into future work with young European citizens.
The event is jointly organized by RYCO, FGYO, crossborder factory, Youth Initiative of Human Rights, Peuple et Culture, Une Terre Culturelle, and Pulse of Europe Toulouse.