WESTERN BALKANS – Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Montenegro Mr Edin Koljenović participated in the online event “Rethinking the role of youth in the EU integration of the Western Balkans: Building resilience by investing in qualifications and skills” organized by the Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) on Tuesday, 15 December.
The event served as an opportunity to exchange experiences and views on the important role that young people can play in the EU integration process, as well as on how non-formal education shapes their skills and competencies. Moreover, the event discussed possible ways of coping with brain drain in the region, offering practical solutions from the perspectives of young entrepreneurs.
The first panel “Informal education and youth exchanges – impact on enhancing skills and knowledge of youth” was attended by the Policy Assistant in the European Commission – Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Ms Fanny Seree, Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Montenegro Mr Edin Koljenović, Executive Director at the Balkan Forum Mr Astrit Istrefi and Young European Ambassador from Montenegro Ms Emina Balota.
“I want to thank the Young European Ambassadors on all efforts and energy they invest in promoting the European values, as by doing so they are actually promoting and fostering democratization, which is a key aspect of the EU integration processes of the Western Balkans,” Mr Koljenović stated.
The second panel was dedicated to youth entrepreneurship as a means of addressing the brain drain issue, where positive practices from local communities in the Western Balkans were addressed. The panel featured inspiring youth stories from the Founder of but&co Mr Branislav Jovanović, Co-Founder of ZenDev Mr Senad Šantić, Founder of NEUAR Ms Aurora Baba and Young European Ambassador from Serbia Mr Srđan Hromiš.
This event was the first of five exciting, tailor-made webinars by YEAs which will take place in December 2020 and continue throughout January and February 2021. These events will focus on different topics of interest for young people of the Western Balkans and the EU.
The YEAs Network is composed of sixty young people from the Western Balkans who are interested in learning about EU values and promoting the opportunities that the EU offers for the youth of the region. They advocate for different topics varying from intercultural learning, joint regional youth initiatives, local community initiatives, arts and culture, sport, digital technologies, environmental protection, human rights protection, human capital and youth.