The Western Balkans Youth Forum of the Berlin Process 2.0

10 November 2022

From October 31 to November 3, 2022, Lirika Raça - Project Coordinator at Balkan Green Foundation, participated in The Western Balkans Youth Forum of the Berlin Process with the role of representing youth issues and contributing to the writing of the Berlin Declaration of the Western Balkans Youth Forum. 

The event gathered more than 70 young people from the WB6, representatives of a wide range of actors in charge of youth issues, including umbrella youth organizations of WB6, youth structured at the EU level, institutions, NGOs, young activists, and experts related to the youth topics. The main issues of the forum were democratization and civic education, peace and security, youth, green agenda, energy security as well as social economy and solidarity. 

The event sessions followed in historically important Berlin venues such as Deutscher Bundestag and European House - Berlin and Alte Munze, the old mint where the first Euro coins were made. The panel sessions included important people to the WB6 such as Viola von Cramon - European Parliament’s rapporteur on relations to the Western Balkans, Manuel Sarrazin - Special Envoy for the Western Balkans, Birgit Schmeitzner - European Commission Spokesperson in Germany,  Thomas Kruger - President, Federal Agency for Civic Education, Albert Hani - Secretary General of RYCO, Pranvera Kastrati - RCC, Zdravko Ilic - CEFTA and Benedetta Scuderi - Spokesperson, Federation of  Young European Greens.

“We can be happy and grateful that the Berlin Process finally took over from all the other competing initiatives like the Open Balkan initiative and many others. Finally, we have a government here in Berlin that understands and implements the next steps which are sometimes a little bit overlooked in the region. It looks like small steps, but they really simplify the daily life of people in the region” said Viola Von Cramon. 

“It is our obligation to ensure the better position of youth in WB and to use their motivation to support the integration of the region to the EU” said Mr. Hani.

Further, the youth continued drafting the Berlin Declaration of the Western Balkan Youth Forum which focused on three main areas I. Towards Resilient Democracies Involving Young Voices, II. Enhance Security and Inclusive Peace in Times of War and III. Ensure Sustainable Living for the future of your planet and the declaration was presented to the representatives of the governments and the EU during the Western Balkans Summit. 

The Western Balkans Youth Forum of the Berlin Process 2022 is organized by the Regional Youth Cooperation Office in partnership with Crossborder Factory. The forum is supported by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Regional Cooperation Council's Western Balkan Youth Lab project and a regional funded project by the European Union (EU) Technical Assistance to Civil Society Organisations in the Western Balkans and Turkey (TASCO).