RYCO in Serbia: Youth Participation and Mobility – What is the Role of Local Actors?

BELGRADE – The RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia organized the final conference “Youth participation and mobility: What is the role of local actors?” within the project “You (are) ask(ed). Meet your representatives” on Tuesday, 14 December 2021. The event was organized by RYCO in partnership with the National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS) and with the support of the French Embassy in Serbia and Tempus Foundation.

On this occasion, representatives of Serbian and French local governments, youth organizations, and high schools gathered around three panel discussions on the following topics: mechanisms for active participation of young people at the local level, volunteering and its benefits to the local community, and school exchanges and local communities.

The final conference was also attended by representatives of the French city of Nevers and Centre Val de Loire, in order to concretize the intention to host young people from Serbia in their local communities, but also to share their experiences and talk about examples of good practices from their communities. 

Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia Ms Ivana Antonijević underlined that the engagement on the local level is of the greatest importance for RYCO. “This is why we recognize and fully support the work of our local partners to achieve higher inclusion of young people in decision-making, enhance their mobility and promote active citizenship,” she pointed out. 

The opening part was followed by the presentation of the main achievements from five local events organized within the project “You (are) ask(ed). Meet your representatives”. Additionally, participants were informed of the main conclusions from SWOT analyses from the information provided by the young people in these local communities. At panel discussions on volunteering and its benefits to the local community, and school exchanges and local communities, colleagues from RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia presented results of the ongoing regional projects ROUTE WB6 and Superschools Western Balkans School Exchange Scheme.  

In their closing remarks, State Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Serbia Mr Milan Savić and Ambassador of France to Serbia H.E. Mr Pierre Koshar emphasized the importance of greater encouragement of volunteering, school exchanges between France and Serbia, but also the regional exchange within the Western Balkans. As France takes over the presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 January 2022, and Serbia of the chairmanship of the RYCO Governing Board on the same date, the desire to develop joint activities for the benefit of young people in the coming months has been announced.

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