ALPBACH/BELGRADE – Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia Ms Ivana Antonijević participated in the panel discussion “No More Reconciliation! It’s Time for Cooperation” organized within the European Forum Alpbach 2021. The online event took place on Tuesday, 31 August 2021, and was hosted by the Club Alpbach Belgrade and ambassadors from North Macedonia.
The discussion explored the answers to the question “in which ways should all actors, especially the youth, achieve wider and long-lasting EU collaboration, instead of encouraging conflicts and spreading misinformation, as shown by examples from the recent past. Additionally, the panelists discussed the level of cooperation between societies in the Western Balkans, the influence of fake news on their successful and enhanced cooperation, and the prospects of the Open Balkan initiative.
“Regional cooperation was significantly enhanced during the last five years and the work of RYCO is one of the examples of this positive trend. RYCO has become a fully functional and operational regional mechanism, which supported over 100 regional projects within four open calls for project proposals and provided the opportunity for more than 6000 young people from the region to participate in youth exchanges,” Ms Antonijević emphasized.
Speaking about RYCO’s strategic planning process for 2022-2024, she added that the future of the Western Balkans and the role of youth in creating its better future are currently the main focus of the organization. Young people’s active participation in decision-making processes will continue to be the key characteristic of RYCO’s work in the upcoming period.
The panelists agreed that RYCO is a crucial and necessary regional mechanism for youth in the Western Balkans. Moreover, the panel agreed on the importance of youth in the reconciliation and cooperation processes in the future and concluded that the priority in the following years has to be young people’s education and development of new opportunities for exchange and intercultural dialogue.
Among others, the panel was participated by Advisor at the Office of the Prime Minister of Serbia Ms Marta Arsovska Tomovska, Executive Editor of the European Western Balkans Mr Nikola Burazer, and Abkon’s Country Manager for Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro Mr Goran Svilanović.
The European Forum Alpbach (EFA) is a platform that drives ideas for an empowered and democratic Europe. It brings together young people, leading scholars, thinkers, scientists, policymakers, business people, and civil society actors from Europe and from all over the world to engage and contribute to its mission of shaping a stronger Europe.