Working on one of the priorities they defined, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania held a conference titled “How to Better Respond to European Aspirations of the Young Generation in the Western Balkans?” on May 28 and 29, 2019 in Bucharest.
The conference program was designed to draw attention to positive youth-oriented measures implemented in the Balkans and discuss investments in the future and providing concrete contributions to the European integration of the region. This event also fostered discussions on how to improve the social and economic participation of youth in the region, and facilitate the establishment of a dialog among youth in the EU and the Western Balkans, by encouraging understanding and identification with shared European values.
The conference was attended by youth from the Western Balkans and the EU, Romanian and foreign officials, representatives of EU institutions, international and regional organizations, the IT industry and start-ups, and academics.
Katarina Vučković, a representative of the Institute for Youth Development KULT spoke at one of the panels on the role of youth work, about supporting the local governments in creating measures that benefit youth and involving youth in decision-making processes.
While talking about the importance of youth work, she pointed out that it was necessary to involve representatives of the local government who actually implement these measures, and all other relevant stakeholders, in all youth self-employment programs. She also noted that governments should start thinking about introducing non-formal education and youth work to ensure that youth in local communities are aware of the measures being implemented for their benefit. She pointed out that no matter how topical and appropriate self-employments programs are, the local government has to keep in mind that there are youth in smaller communities who are not ready to be entrepreneurs. This is where cooperation among all stakeholders becomes even more important. It has the power to foster an entrepreneurial spirit among youth, aimed not only at their own business, but at improving the society in general.
The panelists included representatives of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), European Investment Bank (EIB), local government in Romania and the European Bank for Research and Development (EBRD).
The event was organized with the support of the European Commission and the Kingdom of Norway in cooperation with local partners – Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO).