ALBANIA – Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Albania Mr Kreshnik Loka participated in an online discussion on “EU-Western Balkans – Youth struggles and challenges towards EU Integration” held within the Europe Jam series, organized by Democracy International and the European Public Sphere.
The event took place on 19 January and gathered members of parliament, researchers, experts in EU affairs, and young activists from the region and Europe. It focused on two important areas of discussion, namely the main challenges of the Western Balkan youth in the process of EU integration and the possible common solutions.
Mr Loka presented the work of RYCO and highlighted the importance of good neighborly relations among the Western Balkans six as a non-negotiable requirement for their integration to the EU.
“Giving a chance to young people to travel across the region and develop their critical thinking on the opportunities and challenges faced in the Western Balkans is crucial in shaping a new narrative, free of the inheritance of the past,” Mr Loka stated in his intervention.
Speaking of the existing needs in the region, he added that numbers are not only statistics but a good indicator of these needs. Mr Loka highlighted that over 5000 young people were exchanged in the region in the first three years of RYCO’s work and that is a good basis and motivation to further support the intra regional mobility of youth.
The discussions continued with the role of youth in the EU integration process of the Western Balkans as well as their contribution to identifying the challenges and solutions.
“WB6 needs agents of change to bring success stories into the table and further support the process of integration and youth are these agents,” Member of the Parliament of Albania Mr Ditmir Bushati emphasized.
The online event was concluded with further discussions on the EU and the Western Balkans. As a result of all the discussion series, the conclusions will be shared with the European Commission.
The series of Europe Jams, organized by Democracy International and the European Public Sphere with the support of Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S., provide youth with open spaces to share ideas on the future of Europe and to critically think of new solutions together.