EFIL at Europe-Western Balkans Youth Meeting: Connecting Work and Youth Policy

The European Federation for Intercultural Learning, represented by Stefan Ubiparipović (AFS Serbia), participated in the Europe-Balkans Youth Meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia from 25-28 September. The event was organized by SALTO-YOUTH South East Europe Resource Centre, Slovenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with cooperation from Austrian, German and Turkish Erasmus+ offices and support by the European Commission.

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The Meeting gathered more than 55 participants, mainly youth workers and leaders with motivation and experience, as well as decision makers and stakeholders coming from various institutions from the Balkan region. EFIL has also participated in a conference in Paris in July 2016; the event in Ljubljana was the continuation of the discussions there and addressed the thematic key points.

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Important outcomes of the meeting in Ljubljana were: the proposal of the Action Plan for youth work and youth policy and further discussions about the functioning of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) which is supposed to start working during 2017 with headquarters in Tirana, Albania.

The drafted Action Plan is still being commented on and it focuses on the six key topics found essential by the participants and namely: European citizenship, youth participation, social inclusion, youth employment, combating radicalisation and extremism, dealing with the past.

It is very important for EFIL and AFS to remain engaged in the discussion about the South Eastern European region while it can deepen connections with the future RYCO and be a dominant actor and resource for potential high school exchanges. What was very interesting to the decision makers were the high school exchange programmes and short term class exchanges. Therefore, together with the existing thematic areas being discussed, it is safe to say that EFIL and AFS can contribute to the lively discussions and work to deepen the communication and cooperation with the existing important regional actors.

For more information: elisa.briga@afs.org

Photos: ©SALTO YOUTH Resource Centre