Youth conference in Bucharest – How to better respond to European aspirations of the young generation in the Western Balkans?

Bucharest, 28 – 29 May 2019

Prepared by The Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Representatives of Youth Bank Hub for Western Balkans and Turkey Network participated at one of the biggest youth conferences in Europe “How to better respond to European aspirations of the young generation in the Western Balkans?”.

Under the auspices of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, over 200 representatives of youth organizations, social workers, young entrepreneurs, researchers, students, experts from Western Balkans and the European Union met in Bucharest, on 28 -29 May 2019, to explore creative ways to amplify the role of youth in supporting the transformation of the Western Balkans. This was opportunity to present Youth Participation Index as well.

Representatives of the European Commission, European External Actions Service, International Financial Institutions and international and regional organizations also attended the conference.

Conference objectives:

  • Explore creative ways to inspire and empower young people in finding/improving their professional prospects in their own countries while restating the support for the European perspective of Western Balkans.
  • Facilitate the establishment of a long-lasting dialogue among young professionals from the local administration and civil society, entrepreneurs, academics, youth organizations from WB and EU, thus contributing to a better mutual understanding and attachment to the European values.
  • Enable the transfer of best practices and sharing of expertise among young professionals in the process of economic reforms, democratization and civic participation.
  • Raise awareness on the need to build trust and resilience, while contributing to the reconciliation efforts.
  • Support the implementation of the Enlargement Strategy (Commission’s Communication from 6 February 2018) and its flagship initiatives, as well as of the Sofia Priority Agenda (EU-Western Balkans Summit, Sofia, 17 May 2018).
  • Take stock of the European and regional strategic development framework for youth and offer models of cooperation and good practices to be promoted and further scaled up.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with Regional Cooperation Council, Regional Youth Cooperation Office, National School for Political and Administrative Studies, European Youth Forum and Digital Citizen/Social Doers.  The conference structure consisted of one opening session and four thematic interactive panels. Mr Dan Neculăescu, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Romanian EU Council Presidency, addressed the audience with a keynote speech highlighting the importance granted by the EU Council Presidency to the enlargement policy and the focus on a positive agenda for youth.