Round table about youth participation at the local level organized in Belgrade

Central event within the study visit of YBHforWBT representatives to Serbia – round table “Youth participation at the local level in Western Balkan and Turkey: challenges and perspectives” – was organized in the Palace of Serbia on June 26th.

Key speakers at this event were: Sem Fabrici, Ambassador of the EU in Serbia, Darko Stanić, State Secretary in the Ministry for Youth and Sport, Žarko Stepanović from the Office for the Cooperation with Civil Society and Ana Koeshall, Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation Director.

All participants have concluded that the most vulnerable categories of young people in this region are those from rural areas, as well as those who are at the risk of poverty or belong to migrants or refugees population. Common problem of youth in all countries covered by YBHforWBT is the fact that they are not included in important decision making processes in their countries, especially not in political, economic or social sphere and that actual public policies are not encouraging toward young people.

Sem Fabrici, the Ambassador of the EU in Serbia, said that empowering participative policies toward youth in all social spheres is the key issue since young people are promoters of changes, especially in economy. Darko Stanić from the Ministry, also, stressed out the importance of youth participation in public life while Žarko Stepanović reminded that this Office was included in creating of National Strategy for Youth (2015 – 2025) pointing out that it was good example of cooperation between civil society and governmental bodies in the process of passing laws.

Ana Koeshall from Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation reminded that YBHforWBT network has introduced a unique method for measuring youth participation in decision making (Youth Participation Index) and that the network is going to promote and present it in EU countries in the future.

Round table was an opportunity for deeper discussion about youth issues in the region covered by the project.