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News / Youth from EU and Western Balkans gather to discuss “What is Europe?”
The EU-Balkan “What is Europe?” forum, funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, gathered 88 young people and mentors from each of the 27 EU Member states and the six Western Balkans economies. Participants came together for five days in Rome to discuss common issues, meet with policymakers and mobilise for new initiatives and fresh perspectives on both the EU and Balkan integration.
Following a welcome speech from Nicola Minasi from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Minister for Youth Policies, Fabiana Dadone, five working groups worked for three full days to prepare statements and conclusions on topics related to issues that policymakers face on both the EU and Balkan integration.
The working groups were facilitated also by Young European Ambassadors Teodora Cekić, Suhel Ahmeti and Dona Srdikj Lazarevska. Participants also had the opportunity to hear from Adrienn Kiraly of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), and Elina Hakonen-Medding of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (REGIO) on EU enlargement policy, foreign policy and internal integration. Finally, for the closing day of the conference, the participants had the opportunity to present the results of their three-day work to the European Commisson’s Vice President Dubravka Šuica and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio.
The Forum was organised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in partnership with the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), the Centro Studi Politica Internazionale (Rome) and Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa (Trento), while the representatives of the Young European Ambassadors initiative from DG NEAR supported the youth engagement process.
Source: EU-Balkan Youth Forum
Photo credits: EU-Balkan Youth Forum
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