Westen Balkans Summit - Connecting Youth conference in Paris / Regional Youth Cooperation Office
The Connecting Youth conference took place in Paris, 4 July 2016, in the margins of the Western Balkans Summit. Connecting Youth, brought together 150 young people from the EU and Western Balkans countries, to discuss common challenges and work towards finding joint solutions.
The participants joined forces, discussed and gave recommendations on the following topics:
A. Youth on the move, education on the move - Education and mobility for young people;
B. Knocking on job market's doors - Employment and entrepreneurship for young people;
C. Not just another brick in the wall - Youth engagement & participation and
D. Get up, stand up, speak up! - Youth and the media
The outcomes of the discussions were presented at the ministerial conference for youth on the Western Balkans Summit.
Beside this also the Agreement on establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) of the Western Balkans has officially been signed during the Western Balkans Summit in Paris on 4 July 2016. The Paris Summit 2016 followed the Berlin Summit in 2014 and the Vienna Summit in 2015. At the Summit in Vienna on 27 August 2015, the governments of the Western-Balkans –Six had signed a Joint Declaration where they expressed their will to create a Regional Youth Cooperation Office.
A Working Group with representatives of the Youth Ministries and of youth organisations of the six countries was then established in order to develop concrete proposals about the mission, structure, activities and financing of the future institution. The Working Group handed over its proposals to the governments on March 1st, 2016. After the finalization and approval of the documents by the governments in the following months, the Agreement to create RYCO was ready to be officially signed for the Western Balkans Summit in Paris the 4th July.
The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) is an international organisation established by regional governments in partnership with the civil society to create the conditions and support activities that promote reconciliation, mobility, diversity, democratic values, participation, active citizenship and intercultural learning, with the spirit of the European integration process of the region in mind.
RYCO aims to apply an inclusive and equitable approach to youth exchanges that will enable young people to use a supportive international mechanism to realise regionally owned projects that will make a strong contribution to meeting, making acquaintances, engaging in regional dialogue and improving their understanding of the realities of each other’s societies and historical events.
Now after the agreement has been signed, each of the six countries from Western Balkans are in the process of selecting their members in the governing board, which will function with the co-management system, where representatives from the youth ministries and the youth organizations will jointly have the power of decision-making.
For more info check https://rycowesternbalkans.org/