Representatives of youth organizations from the six Western Balkan countries met for their 3rd meeting from May 30th to June 2nd in Skopje. Together with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, the youth representatives work on a joint initiative to voice youth’s concerns and demands throughout the region together. After having constituted the “Western Balkan Youth Voice” in Belgrade in March this year, the participants now focused on the structure and the implementation of WBYV’ goals. The participants highlighted the topics of professional education, unemployment and the labor market. In Skopje, the participants exchanged their ideas on how to raise political awareness and a culture of engagement among young people in the region. This includes mobilizing the support from youth through social networks but also contacting institutions demanding for change in the fields of education and the labor market and to discuss the raised topics with politicians through hearings on different political levels. The field of professional education hereby is from importance for young people: They work for the recognition of non-formal learning and online learning and aim at making universities more open to new fields of study. In this process of changing professional education, the participants want young people to have a say in the decision-making process.
Western Balkan Youth Voice is an example of working together on common challenges youth face in all six Western Balkan countries. Western Balkan Youth Voice shows that youth has the will and the ambition to cooperate on those issues and to work together for a better situation in the region.