Study visit within the partnership between RYCO and the Federal Ministry of European and International Affairs of Austria

Supported by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) organized a 3-day study visit to Vienna from April 24-26. The main aim of the visit was to get insights into best practices on youth policy and youth participation from Austria and foster knowledge transfer with institutions that support the European integration process of the Western Balkans.

Overall, the study visit was attended by 23 participants, both from the Western Balkans and the diaspora in Austria, who actively engaged in structured consultations. These included mapping the priorities of Western Balkans youth and the diaspora and empowering the national youth councils in the Western Balkans by providing a space for networking and knowledge-sharing between Austrian and Western Balkan participants.

The visit kicked off with an opening segment at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a focus on EU Enlargement of the Western Balkans as an Austrian European and Foreign policy priority. Other Ministries provided participants with insights into the inclusion of children and youth in the legislative process through mandatory outcome-oriented impact assessments.

Seizing Vienna’s status as a center for international relations, the participants gained different perspectives on the EU enlargement process and the current priorities for the region by visiting and engaging with experts from institutions such as the OSCE, the Energy Community, and the Austrian Institute for International Affairs.

The visit also included the presentation of RYCO to Austrian stakeholders and participants. The participants had the opportunity to learn more about RYCO’s goals, objectives, and initiatives. Additionally, RYCO presented the Strategy Development Process 2025-2027 and its plans to develop and implement youth programs that will support the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union.

Additionally, the study visit proved an excellent opportunity for the participants to meet and learn from the participants of Speak Up!, a joint initiative of the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Department of State with the aim of strengthening pro-European forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina and amplifying their voices.

The visit provided a platform for fruitful discussions and helped establish new partnerships, which will undoubtedly contribute to youth cooperation across borders. A 2nd event in the series is planned for the 2nd half of June in the Western Balkans.

Copy Right: BMEIA/Baurecht


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