Western Balkan Ministers of Youth and Education Work Together for Better Region

TIRANA – The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), the Minister of State for Youth and Children of Albania and the Ministry of Education and Sports of Albania organized the regional ministerial meeting on youth and education in Tirana on Wednesday, 8 December 2021. The meeting was attended by the ministers and deputy ministers in charge of youth and education of the Western Balkans 6 as well as the Minister of Education of Italy.

“Young people are central actors in building sustainable and peaceful societies in the Western Balkans. As such, they share many commonalities while their hopes and values across the region are closely aligned,” RYCO Secretary General Mr Albert Hani underlined and added that only through joint actions we can progress as the region by respecting the values of peace, trust based on mutual understanding, respect for human rights, diversity, dignity, solidarity, cooperation, tolerance and respect.

“Now, more than ever, the youth are the heart of the Balkans and we need to undertake all the necessary measures to keep that heart beating. This meeting is not only a confirmation that great results are achieved when we cooperate and join forces for common goals, but also a window of hope for future cooperation that shows the willingness of all the region to take care of its youth,” Minister of State for Youth and Children of Albania Ms Bora Muzhaqi pointed out and added that today, we are celebrating not only the youth of Albania but the youth of the region by reconfirming our commitment to regional youth cooperation.

Speaking about the vision of her ministry’s strategy for qualitative education, Ms Albana Tole, Deputy Minister of Education and Sports of Albania, said that it is based on principles of inclusiveness and lifelong learning, enabling the development of individual’s potentials, by contributing to personal wellbeing, strengthening of democracy and further integration. “Today’s meeting if of a special importance, because it gave the chance to its participants to exchange experiences on regional level and support policy-making that reflects the regional challenges on education of our young people,” she concluded.

Considering that youth should be mainstreamed in the policies of the governments of the region, and the role which the ministries of education and youth should play, this meeting served as a first step to bring the most important governmental representatives of the region to discuss regional youth policy and share common practices. The regional meeting also reconfirmed the importance of reconciliation and regional youth cooperation in the Western Balkans.

The participants launched the new RYCO online platform for young people. The HAJDE website is a regional media platform dedicated to young people, led by young people. Furthermore, some of the ministers are also attending the regional event on volunteering organized by RYCO’s ROUTE WB6 project.

The meeting’s results are summarized in the chair’s conclusions.


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