Civil Society Forum of the Western Balkans Summit Series
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Source: Regional Youth Cooperation Office

EU Western Balkans Strategy: RYCO to Support Reconciliation and Good Neighbourly Relations


As President of the European Commission Mr Juncker announced in his 2017 State of the Union address, the European Commission adopted on Tuesday the Western Balkans Strategy. It spells out the priorities and areas of joint reinforced cooperation, addressing the specific challenges the Western Balkans face, in particular the need for fundamental reforms and good neighbourly relations.

We are proud to announce that the youth of the region was recognized as important partner in making the region a better place, as well as that RYCO has been recognized as a concrete mechanism for this change.

Within the Strategy, RYCO was acknowledged as a part of the six flagship initiatives – specific actions that the EU will take over the next years to support the transformation efforts of the Western Balkans in areas of mutual interest. We will proudly take part within the initiative to support reconciliation and good neighbourly relations, as stated by the European Commission.

The EU pointed out that the initiative “will include supporting transitional justice, missing persons and increased cooperation in education, culture, youth and sport, and expanding the scope of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office”. Moreover, it is pointed out that in addition to increasing funding under Erasmus +, the European Commission will continue to foster the cultural links with the region.

The recognition that came only six months after RYCO became operational is a great result and achievement of all of us.

We want to thank all of you for your support and sharing our vision that a better region starts with youth.