Key Insights from the FishBowl Discussion from young people and NGOs in Mitrovica

Mitrovica- In a meaningful gathering at the Diakonie Youth Center in Mitrovica on January 25, 2024, the German and French Embassies in Pristina, in collaboration with RYCO, organized a Fish Bowl Discussion on reconciliation. This event, commemorating the 61st anniversary of the Élysée Treaty and the 5th anniversary of the Aachen Treaty, brought together representatives from NGOs, and young people in the Mitrovica region. The participants were invited to contribute their perspectives on the definition, interpretation, and perception of reconciliation in the region.

Before the discussion, their Excellencies Mr. Rohde (German Ambassador to Kosovo) and Mr. Guérot (French Ambassador to Kosovo), dwelled more into what reconciliation means to them, shared personal stories, and discussed their optimism for reconciliation in Kosovo*. 

Further, the multi ethnic dancing crew of the Youth Center made a beautiful performance symbolizing unity and harmony. Lastly, Andjelija and Blend from Serbian and Albanian communities in Kosovo shared their story of the tree planting in Northern France, with the support of RYCO and the French Embassy as a small, symbolic gesture to represent reconciliation and dialogue. 

The Fish Bowl discussion provided a platform for diverse perspectives on the current state of reconciliation in Kosovo, with a special focus in Mitrovica. The dialogue highlighted both challenges and opportunities, shedding light on crucial aspects that can shape the future of harmonious coexistence. 

Participants expressed gratitude towards NGOs fostering connections between communities, highlighting the motivation and commitment of young leaders in the reconciliation journey. On the flip side, challenges included current political dynamics, linguistic diversity, persisting of stereotypes, a lack of meaningful workshops on dealing with the past, exclusion of minority voices, and the absence of mental health programs in reconciliation efforts.

In conclusion, the Fish Bowl Discussion at the Diakonie Youth Center in Mitrovica provided a valuable space for dialogue, collaboration, and reflection, representing the commitment to reconciliation in the region. The shared insights and recommendations offered a roadmap for future initiatives that aimed to bring together and foster among diverse communities. 
German and French Embassy joint Press release


*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with Security Council Resolution 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.


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