WESTERN BALKANS – The project of a democratic, peaceful, sustainable, social and prosperous Europe is today facing one of the greatest challenges in its history – and not only because of the experiences with the Coronavirus Pandemic. Societies and citizens of Europe are facing the challenge of “rebooting” their societies and returning to more stability, reducing the economic, social and political consequences, re-opening borders within the Schengen area, re-establishing restricted civil rights and freedoms with responsibility and evaluating the experiences from the crisis on many levels. This occurs within EU member states societies – especially among youth – and as well the ones of the Western Balkans willing to join the EU.
As a contribution to finding solutions to those challenges, and as an impetus to the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Franco-German Youth Office, in cooperation with the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) and partner organisations from France, Germany and the Western Balkans (Crossborder factory, YIHR, Peuple et Culture, Une Terre Culturelle, Pangera e.V, Pulse of Europe Toulouse), is gathering 100 young citizens from 17 to 25 years old, from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Germany, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia on a four-day online conference aimed at discussing the future of Europe, by favoring debate, dialogue and initiatives among young citizens.
The conference is being organized on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Southeastern Europe Initiative of the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO).
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence