RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša met the high representatives of the Council of Europe (CoE) on 10 – 11 January with whom he discussed the joint cooperation in the future. They agreed that two institutions should work together in the forthcoming period having in mind that RYCO considers CoE as one of the most relevant partners in developing future programs and joint activities in the field of youth work, youth policy and human rights education. They agreed that RYCO and CoE Youth Department should sign a memorandum of understanding in order to enhance their cooperation.
Mr Blanuša met with Director General for Democracy Ms Snežana Marković who said that RYCO can be a valuable partner for CoE and highlighted its importance for the Western Balkans. She expressed readiness of CoE to support RYCO in fulfilling its mission and agreed with RYCO Secretary General that the two organizations should cooperate closely in the filed of youth work and youth policy.
RYCO Secretary General also met with Head of Youth Department Ms Antje Rothemund, Head of Division at the European Youth Foundation Mr Jean-Claude Lazaro and Head of Education and Training Division Mr Rui Gomes. They discussed possible ways of cooperation as well as the exchange of already existing experiences and know-how in the fields of youth work and grant making processes. Moreover, RYCO Secretary General discussed with Ms Rothemund the formal engagement of CoE in the RYCO Advisory Board.
Mr Blanuša met with Head of Division in Education Department Ms Sarah Keating and also with Program Manager for South East Europe at the Education Department, Division for Cooperation and Capacity Building Ms Vesna Atanasova, Team Leader Youth Partnership CoE/EU Ms Marta Medlinska, NHSM Campaign Coordinator Mr Menno Ettema, and, in a separate meeting, with Head of the Youth Policy Division Mr Florian Cescon.
They agreed that the CoE Youth Department has a invaluable experience in programs for youth, as well as in the capacity building activities, which can help RYCO to make its programs better and more efficient. Co-management, combating hate speech, programs for Roma youth in the region, youth mobility and social inclusion as well as other fields of CoE’s work were mentioned as fields of mutual interests. They concluded that the two institutions should start with planning of joint activities in the forthcoming period, and that collaboration should be formalized within the memorandum of understanding, as an expression of good will for the future cooperation of the both sides.