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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article3 July 2017Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

"Connecting Youth - Moving Forward": EU - Western Balkans Youth Forum to kick off soon

The "Connecting Youth – Moving Forward" EU - Western Balkans Youth Forum will take place on 11-12 July 2017 in Trieste in the margins of the Western Balkans Summit. The youth forum constitutes a unique platform of exchange and dialogue, bringing...

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The "Connecting Youth – Moving Forward" EU - Western Balkans Youth Forum will take place on 11-12 July 2017 in Trieste in the margins of the Western Balkans Summit. The youth forum constitutes a unique platform of exchange and dialogue, bringing together 130 young people from the Western Balkans and the EU Member States to discuss common challenges and work towards finding joint solutions. It is being organised by the European Commission and the Italian Government, supported by the European Youth Forum and the SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre.

Following an opening plenary session with high-level speakers, the young participants will split into 4 parallel working groups to discuss the following key topics and challenges identified as a priority in the region:

  1. Mobility/ Exchanges;
  2. Inclusion/ Overcoming of Stereotypes;
  3. Entrepreneurship;
  4. Youth Participation.

In addition, the youth forum will also discuss and promote the following horizontal themes relevant to the region: 1) the work of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO), 2) the Young Civil Servants Scheme / Mobility of Young Professionals, 3) Erasmus+ programme, 4) Bridging the gap between youth policy, youth participation and parliamentarians in the region - a Member of the European Parliament and a parliamentarian from the Western Balkans region will engage in a discussion with the young people.

During the youth forum, the participants will have a dialogue with political leaders from the EU and the Western Balkans, including with EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. They will also have the chance to present the main findings of their working group discussions to them.

The youth forum builds on the outcomes of last year's Western Balkans Youth Conference which took place in Paris (04 July 2016) and on the follow-up conference in Ljubljana (September 2016), where the 'Action Plan for Youth Work and Youth Policy' was developed.

Registration for participating in the Trieste event itself is now closed. However, all interested parties are welcome to join the discussion on social media (hashtag #EUWBYouth).

Update: conclusions of the EU-Western Balkans Youth Forum are available here.

Video highlights

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