RYCO Signs Host Country Agreement with Albania

TIRANA – RYCO and the Government of Albania, in the presence of representatives of their partners, signed the Host Country Agreement Tuesday, a document that will serve as a legal basis for RYCO’s work in Albania. On behalf of RYCO, the agreement was signed by RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša and on behalf of the Government of Albania the document was signed by Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs H.E. Mr. Ditmir Bushati.

Mr Blanuša said that Albania has been one of the first promoters and believers in the need of having a regional institution that will really promote people-to-people connectivity agenda for the Western Balkans and boost youth mobility in the region. He added that RYCO was one of the pioneers for Albania, and together with the Western Balkan Fund was one of the first regional organizations headquartered in Tirana. This is still a learning process for both the Government of Albania and RYCO, he said, underlining that he is happy to undertake this process jointly.

RYCO Secretary General pointed out that the organization strongly believes that the better region starts with youth and their wellbeing within the region’s societies. Therefore, he thanked the Government of Albania for hosting RYCO in Tirana, the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs for fulfilling their obligations in setting a normative framework for the organization’s further development.

He concluded by thanking the present guests, the RYCO friends, by reminding them that RYCO’s work has just started and it is in hands of all the partner institutions and individuals now to jointly, together with the region’s youth, bring some new and positive perspectives for the Western Balkans.

Mr Bushati said that the event marks another key moment into making RYCO the best example of a genuine contribution Albania is continuously providing at the regional level thus showing commitment to the most transformative course the region has undergone in the last years thanks to the Berlin Process.

He underlined that bridging a better knowledge of each other in the region means first and foremost overcoming painful legacies and animosities, healing wounds and prejudices, but also taking decisive steps for reconciliation, understanding and societal development. The Minister said that the youth of the Western Balkans is the region’s unique resource and potential towards building the only model of peace and cooperation the region has chosen to adhere – the European Union.

Moreover, he said that RYCO is a living proof of serious and continued efforts with the purpose of fostering regional cooperation and good neighborly relations in the Western Balkans. RYCO’s creation, Mr Bushati said, was a result of WB6 governments’ shared political will, but also of precious European partners, such as France and Germany.

He reassured the present guest that the Albanian Government and the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs will continue supporting RYCO so that it continues to make a positive difference in the region.

The Agreement will enter into the force once it is ratified by the Albanian Parliament and published in the Official Gazette of Albania.

Photo: Albanian Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs

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