WESTERN BALKANS – The Governing Board of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) appointed Mr Denis Piplaš as the new RYCO Deputy Secretary General during its online meeting held on Wednesday, 4 August 2021. The decision was made by the representatives of the Western Balkan governments and youth representatives in the RYCO Governing Board. The mandate of the new RYCO Deputy Secretary General will start on 1 September 2021 after the four year mandate of previous RYCO Deputy Secretary General Mr Fatos Mustafa ended on 2 July 2021.
Mr Piplaš is currently serving as the Project Coordinator of RYCO’s project “Enhancing Youth Cooperation and Youth Exchange in the WB6” financed by the European Union. He is an experienced democratization expert with a track record in managing and implementing projects related to good governance, regional cooperation, transitional justice and European integration. Before joining RYCO, he was the Regional Project Manager for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe Office and a consultant for various international organizations, development agencies, and NGOs.
He has in-depth knowledge of EU institutions and was trained in the Cabinet of President Martin Schulz in the European Parliament, where his focus was EU foreign policy. By working for the UN ICTY in The Hague, Mr Piplaš pursued his interest in transitional justice mechanisms. He is a published author writing on issues related to political developments in South-East Europe and the integration of the Western Balkans in the EU.
Mr Piplaš holds a Master’s degree in EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Sarajevo. His academic records also include exchange programs and research periods in institutions such as the Vilnius University, University of Iceland, and the University of Innsbruck.
The recently appointed RYCO Deputy Secretary General will assist the RYCO Secretary General in fulfilling his mandate, and will be specifically responsible to oversee and coordinate the work of the Secretariat in coordination with the Secretary General, ensure compliance with the Rules of Procedure and Financial Regulations by all staff within the Secretariat, and coordinate the work of the Advisory Board.
The open call for the new RYCO Deputy Secretary General was launched on 6 March 2021 and it was opened for a one month period. After the RYCO Secretariat evaluated the received applications based on the eligibility criteria, the RYCO Governing Board interviewed five best evaluated candidates.