Western Balkan Youth Explore Multidimensional Aspects of Democracy

BAR – Supported by RYCO within the fourth Open Call for Project Proposals co-financed by the European Union, the Montenegrin Pan-European Union from Montenegro in partnership with the Observatory for Children and Youth Rights from Albania, Pan-European Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Centre for Foreign Policy from Serbia organized a regional summer school within the project “Multidimensional aspects of Democracy and Identity: Youth Dialogue and Learning in the time of COVID-19 pandemic”.  

The summer school took place from 10 to 15 June in Bar, Montenegro, and brought together 24 young people from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia. It enabled youth to learn and understand the complexity of the Western Balkan region and the multidimensional aspects of democracy and identity through dialogue, learning, exchange of knowledge and experience. 

The opening addresses were delivered by Ambassador of France to Montenegro Mr Christian Thimonier, President of the Montenegrin Pan-European Union Ms Gordana Djurović, Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Montenegro Mr Edin Koljenović, and Project Coordinator Mr Denis Piplaš.

“I must congratulate the organizers for addressing the topic because we all more or less know the history of the Western Balkans, but the real question is, how are the past identities still shaping us. Use this opportunity to speak and learn from each other, while also confronting and accepting your differences,” Mr Thimonier stated in his remarks.

“We are happy to welcome participants that are coming from different backgrounds, origins, education, and employment status. Their diversity adds value to the group,” Ms Djurović highlighted.

During the lectures, students had the opportunity to explore topics and concepts related to human rights, identity, democracy, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion.

“Even during this time, we have a high number of participants traveling throughout the Western Balkans. We are investing in young people and creating future cooperation that will lead us to prosperity, hoping that this will make young people want to stay in the region,” Mr Koljenović emphasized. 

In the last days, participants shared their impressions and takeaways. The school enabled them to develop new knowledge on the key values of democracy and identity as well as to engage in constructive dialogue and learn together. 

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