The Regional Youth Leadership Forum (the Forum) will be co-organised by the Novi Sad office of the European Movement in Serbia, the European Fund for the Balkans and the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence in the period between November 20-22, 2016.
By bringing together experienced actors such as representatives from numerous governments of both state and local level, members of the diplomatic corps, the civil sector and the media, the Forum will be a venue of salient discussions from which participants will be able to enhance their knowledge of the questions at hand.
Around 200 socially active young professionals and leaders between the age of 19 and 30 from the Western Balkans region and the EU will have the unique opportunity to have their voice heard through dialogue and exchange of opinions. Taking part in numerous noteworthy and distinctive events, they will also have the possibility to listen to prominent guests and speakers. The 1st edition of the Regional Youth Leadership Forum in 2015, gathered over 220 young leaders, with over 30 different educational and empowering youth programmes, and more than 70 eminent and distinguished speakers.
Current international as well as regional affairs will be at the foreground of the Forum, most prominently issues such as the consequences the “Brexit” campaign holds for the future of the EU and the increasingly relevant question of European federalism; the widespread rise of the political far-right across Europe; the growing tensions between the United States and Russia over resolving the civil war in Syria; the aftermath of the Arab Spring; the struggle for influence over the Western Balkans region; and how the result of the US presidential elections will impact future US policies.
The importance of young people connecting and networking in the Western Balkans region was formalized at the Summit in Paris in July this year as part of the Berlin Process. At the Summit the heads of state and government of the WB6 countries combined their efforts and signed the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) of the Western Balkans, under the auspices of the EU member states. The Berlin Process is an intergovernmental cooperation initiative aimed at revitalizing the multilateral ties between the Western Balkans and selected EU member states, and at improving regional cooperation in the Western Balkans on the issues of infrastructural and economic development.
The principle aim of the Regional Youth Leadership Forum is to create a hub for brainstorming knowledge and ideas in order to create a better and lasting peaceful society in the Western Balkans by gathering young people and having their say in matters that most concern them, all while having those matters heard by the representatives of Governments, members of the diplomatic corps, local and provincial government officials, civil society workers and the media. Young leaders who will tomorrow be decision makers in their own countries are given an opportunity to present their opinion and lay the foundations for future politics of the region.
The 1st edition of the Regional Youth Leadership Forum in 2015, gathered over 220 young leaders, with over 30 different educational and empowering youth programmes, and more than 70 eminent and distinguished speakers. Having been a remarkable success, the organisers of the Forum have the will and determination to make this year’s edition an even better and valuable experience for its participants.