PODGORICA – The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) signed a contract with the Montenegrin Pan European Union (Crnogorska Panevropska Unija) on Thursday, 18 February, within the framework of the 4th RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals supported by the European Union. The signing ceremony took place at the premises of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Podgorica and was attended by representatives of RYCO and the awarded RYCO beneficiary.
The awarded project will address the gaps of youth active engagement in regional reconciliation processes by focusing on aspects of democracy and identity. To reach the objectives, the Montenegrin Pan European Union is partnering with the Center for Foreign Policy from Serbia, Observatory for Children and Youth Rights from Albania and the Pan-European Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a partnership which aims to connect over 600 young people in the region.
During the signing ceremony, the welcoming remarks were delivered by the Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Montenegro Mr Edin Koljenović. The beneficiary was also addressed by the RYCO Project Coordinator Mr Denis Piplaš and the RYCO Program Manager Mr Besnik Vasolli.
Mr Koljenović pointed out that besides awarding grants, the most important thing is the solid networking and partnerships made between CSOs in the region. “The Local Branch Office in Montenegro is looking at the Montenegrin Pan European Union as a friend and a partner, because we are in this together to make the project a successful one,” Mr Koljenović underlined.
In his remarks, Mr Piplaš emphasized that despite the challenging circumstances RYCO will keep supporting projects, striving to keep youth in the region connected. Mr Vasolli added that topics which are addressed within the project are at the heart of the EU’s and RYCO’s work, helping to provide youth with new opportunities.
In continuation, the President of the Montenegrin Pan European Union Ms Gordana Đurović introduced the project objectives for the upcoming period and affirmed willingness to make this partnership a fruitful one for both parties and youth.
The projects supported within the 4th RYCO Open Call are being implemented from February to October 2021, fostering reconciliation and regional youth cooperation, as well as strengthening the capacities of the civil society to adapt to the COVID-19 environment. Throughout the implementation of this call, innovative projects will provide youth in the region with new spaces for dialogue and engagement.
RYCO believes that it is of crucial importance to maintain youth cooperation and reconciliation momentum even in times of crisis. During the application phase, 129 applications were received which brought about 400 partnerships from the region. The overall financial envelope for the Call was 333,000 Euro.
The 4th RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals is financially supported by the European Union.
In the following days, the signing ceremonies for the beneficiaries from the other RYCO Contracting Parties will take place.