EUROPE – The closing ceremony of the Re-boot Europe conference was held online on 21 July. The conference, organized on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Southeast Europe Initiative of the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO), gathered more than 100 young Europeans from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Germany, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia, from 16-21 July.
Opening remarks of the closing ceremony were delivered by Ms Anne Tallineau and Mr Tobias Bütow who highlighted the achieved success of the conference.
The ceremony was attended by French Ambassador to Germany H.E. Ms Anne-Marie Descôtes, Minister of State for Europe of Germany Mr Michael Roth, Member of the Albanian Parliament and former Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania Mr Ditmir Bushati, and moderated by Der Standard’s Journalist Ms Adelheid Wölfl.
“Re-boot Europe conference is an example of strong cooperation. The organizations that joined forces in implementing and developing such an inspiring project, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, set an example for all of us,” H.E. Ms Descôtes stated.
Addressing the need for more youth engagement in decision making processes, Mr Michael Roth invited the young participants to remain optimistic despite the challenges they face. “Try to take responsibility wherever needed. Without you it becomes difficult to bring actual and positive change, and Europe needs you to influence and shape policy making,” Mr Michael Roth concluded.
The speakers reminded the young participants that their role in the society is crucial and encouraged them to stay connected and engaged.
“Together we need to promote fundamental European values and establish more dialogue and cooperation because young people are the real agents of change,” Mr Ditmir Bushati added.
Key highlight of the closing ceremony was a joint Political Declaration by the young participants, who presented their recommendations on the future of Europe. The declaration emphasized that peace, democracy, freedom, and human rights should guide policy making and cooperation in Europe. Young participants stressed out that a stronger Europe is possible and needed, and to achieve this, EU institutions, member states, future members, civil society and each individual across Europe must be part of a constant commitment to address issues of dealing with the past and reconciliation, solidarity, climate change, digitalization, and intercultural learning.
Read the recommendations and if you agree with them, support the conference’s declaration by signing it virtually .
Participants’ recommendations and the results of the conference will pave the way for further cooperation and the realization of project ideas between youth organizations and young people in Europe.
This event was jointly organized by RYCO, FGYO, crossborder factory, Youth Initiative of Human Rights, Peuple et Culture, Une Terre Culturelle, and Pulse of Europe Toulouse.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with Security Council Resolution 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence