BELGRADE – Within the framework of the 4th RYCO Open Call for Project Proposals supported by the European Union, the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) signed contracts with the Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina, the Drug Policy Network South East Europe, the Red Cross of Vojvodina and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia on Tuesday, 23 February. The signing ceremony took place at the premises of the Human Rights House in Belgrade. It was attended by representatives of RYCO, the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia and the awarded RYCO beneficiaries.
The selected projects will create partnerships with organizations in the region which will enhance youth cooperation in the fields of dealing with the past, youth empowerment and development, social inclusion of youth at risk, intercultural dialogue and freedom of media.
Most importantly, young people themselves were actively involved in the development of the project ideas that are now awarded the grant, and for some of them this will be the first time to manage this kind of innovative projects.
Project representatives stated that this will also be a new opportunity for them to exchange best practices and experiences with partners from the region.
During the signing ceremony, the welcoming remarks were delivered by the Head of Information, Communication and Press at the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia Mr Paul-Henri Presset, the Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia Ms Marija Bulat, Youth Representative in the RYCO Governing Board Mr Marko Kostić and the Assistant Minister for International Cooperation in the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Serbia Mr Uroš Pribićević.
In his remarks, Mr Presset congratulated the grantees and underlined that RYCO is a very important partner for the European Union in improving the connection between youth in the region. He emphasized the importance of the Call in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the strong cooperation that the Delegation in Serbia has with RYCO, the governments of the RYCO Contracting Parties and the civil society in the region. Mr Presset added that such partnerships have enabled many strong regional networks that empower young people to progress and realize their full potential.
On the other hand, Mr Pribićević also affirmed that the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Serbia is committed to cooperate with the European Union and RYCO in providing youth with better opportunities.
Ms Bulat acknowledged the support that RYCO has received from the European Union since its establishment by stating that it adds great value to RYCO’s work and programs.
Speaking of youth participation and engagement, Mr Kostić focused on the importance of these partnerships in enhancing regional cooperation and expressed the hope for more funds and initiatives for youth.
The projects supported within the 4th RYCO Open Call, which is financially supported by the European Union, aim to foster reconciliation and regional youth cooperation, as well as to strengthen the capacities of the civil society to adapt to the COVID-19 environment. They will be implemented from February to October 2021.
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.
Photo: Project EUINFONET