Berlin Summit, Hani: We Must Act upon Young People’s Needs

WESTERN BALAKANS/GERMANY – RYCO Secretary General Mr Albert Hani participated in the Leaders’ Meeting of the Berlin Summit organized online on Monday, 5 July 2021. The meeting hosted Western Balkan and European leaders and discussed the achievements of the Berlin Process but also the challenges present in the Western Balkans. RYCO Secretary General advocated for the Western Balkan young people’s interest and their needs.

“Let me assure you that we will not miss a single chance to hear young people and address their needs. We want them to stay and be fulfilled at home. We don’t want them to vote with their feet. Therefore, please listen and act upon their recommendations, needs, desires and, concerns, reflected in the Regional Youth Agenda formulated within the Youth Forum of this Summit,” Mr Hani underlined during the meeting.

To access the Regional Youth Agenda, please click here.

On the other hand, in the Chair’s Conclusions, the participants reaffirmed their support for RYCO and emphasized the important role it plays in enhancing cooperation among young citizens in the region as a key driver of good neighborly relations, cooperation, reconciliation and peacebuilding. They also welcomed RYCO efforts to establish a regional School Exchange Scheme.

Moreover, participants underlined that reconciliation cannot be the task of RYCO alone, but that all governments must make increased efforts in this area by including representatives of civil society, media, educational institutions and other relevant stakeholders.

More importantly, the participants recognized the results of the Western Balkans Youth Forum 2021 and the Regional Youth Agenda developed by young people from the Western Balkans and the EU.

Finally, the conclusions reiterated the importance of young people for the future of the Western Balkans and the need to take concrete measures to develop the region as a place of opportunities for young people to stay and live by increasing the intra-regional mobility of young citizens, taking decisive steps in the mutual recognition of academic degrees and professional qualifications, strengthening vocational education and training, supporting youth entrepreneurship and innovations, fostering digital transformation and making improvements in the field of sustainable development and environmental protection. The focus should be on investing in youth empowerment, strengthening youth organizations and networks their integration into European umbrella organizations, and stimulating volunteering and community work.

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