(Regional) Cooperation Should Prevail

WESTERN BALKANS – As the current situation with the rapid spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is not calming down and the governments across the world, including the Western Balkans, are doing their best to contain the virus spread, RYCO underlines the importance of cooperation among people and governments for a successful fight against the virus.

As the further spread of the COVID-19 represents a global threat, as a majority of modern threats and challenges, it is important to join the forces in solving the current situation for good not only of the nation-states but the regions and the whole world.

The health crisis we are witnessing at the moment should be and stay only a health crisis. The governments and individuals should not allow the spill-over and start of new crises on political, societal and/or economic levels. The upcoming period will be a test of solidarity and trust – trust in people, trust in science and trust in the best in humanity.

We need each individual to get infected not by the virus but by the willingness to help the fellow citizens and neighbours. We need people to believe in each other and follow the agreed measures on the national but also the global scale. Although people will be separated for a period, we should not forget that human beings are social beings. No one will resolve the crisis on her/his own, governments included. We should use this opportunity to come together in ways we never have before.

We call upon the Western Balkan governments to acknowledge the fact that the COVID-19 spread is not a national but a regional and global warning and as such it requires well-coordinated responses, at least on the regional level. We strongly believe that it is an illusion to think that the current crisis will be resolved by closing the borders and focusing on our national levels. Regional cooperation is needed more than ever.

Having in mind the above-mentioned, we will keep fighting for having the regional cooperation spirit alive. RYCO strongly believes that regional cooperation, especially among the young people and the governments is the answer for solving many challenges we are facing in the region, including the current one.

RYCO will continue supporting regional youth cooperation despite the new circumstances. Until the situation allows us to organize physical youth exchanges in the Western Balkans again, we will find out new ways to promote and work on our mission in the region.

We also invite the Western Balkan youth to use this period to learn more about each other and the cultures in the region. New ways of communication are allowing us to easily access the knowledge and use it for creating something good.

In crisis time, people tend to show the best and the worst out of them. We strongly believe that the Western Balkan people will give an example to humanity on how true and meaningful cooperation looks like.

We wish you to stay healthy and strong. Don’t forget to follow and regularly get updated on the recent developments from trusted sources such as the World Health Organization’s website and the official communication channels of the governments and public health institutions.

Only together we can solve the crisis and young people should play a key role in resolving it. We should act responsibly and solidary. That is why we believe that a better region starts with you(th).

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