Youth Challenges and Opportunities in the Western Balkans

This brief focuses on the key priorities of the Western Balkans countries (WB6) toward the EU accession and their youth issues. Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia are all candidates for EU membership, while Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are potential candidates. Persistently high levels of youth unemployment are seen as a direct consequence of the region's difficult economic context, but equally so of its outdated educational systems that failed to deliver to the needs of the labor market. Deeply entrenched regional stereotypes, a lack of awareness of other cultures, demographic changes and a youth 'brain drain' are some of the pieces that make up this complex regional puzzle. Raising awareness about these challenges and the need for timely solutions is therefore crucial. The establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office in 2016 is a tangible development in this respect, seen as a positive step towards promoting dialogue, involving young people in joint activities and changing the regional narrative.

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Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo




Velina Lilyanova