On April 10 took place in Brussels the event 'EU Enlargement and the Western Balkans', organized by the Centre for European Perspective and its partners. The event gathered think tank representatives, youth and civil society organizations from the Western Balkans who discussed their challenges, ideas and prospects with EU representatives, policy makers and experts. Western Balkans Youth Cooperation Platform was invited to present its bottom-up approach and its activities in the region.
The first part of the event consisted in a dynamic dialogue between the civil society and youth representatives and the stakeholder's representatives. Four main topics, i.e. democratization, social affairs, participation and reconciliation, were addressed and each discussion started with an overview of the topic, the most important aspects, the examples of good practices and incentives and ended with policy recommendations. These discussions and recommendations were afterwards presented in the second part through a public discussion at the European Commission in Brussels, where Mr Molnar Balazs, Deputy State Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Hungary; Mr Peter Grk, National Coordinator for the Western Balkans, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia; Ms Marlene Bartes, European Commission - Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture; and Mr Albert Sese Ballart, European Commission - Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture and Ms Tanja Fajon, Member of European Parliament from Slovenia, responded to the presentations and engaged in a energetic and interactive dialogue with young civil society representatives.
Dafina Peci, President of National Youth Congress from Albania, one of the Platform partners, presented the objectives of the Platform and underlined the importance of regional cooperation among civil society organizations and youngsters and the need for support towards bottom-up initiatives which foster connectivity through youth empowerment.
The outcomes of the two-day event will be published and distributed as policy recommendations.