"The Role of Civil Society and Youth in the EU Integration Process" web-seminar series organized by EU Office and Tirana Office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung brought together national youth structures from all over Western Balkans in dialogue with EU stakeholders. Our primary objective was to bring together the youth structures of the six countries of the Western Balkans so that common youth relevant issues can be discussed and key messages could be elevated to a broader European level.
We had the opportunity and pleasure to discuss in depth the EU Accession of Western Balkan countries with Mr. Marco Schwarz, Policy Officer for Democracy, FES EU Office in Brussels, where we elaborated the opportunities and challenges of the new enlargement methodology and Western Balkans perspective. We also discussed the Inclusion of Civil Society in the Enlargement process, as a must, with Ms. Liselotte Isaksson, Head of Sector “Civil Society and Social Inclusion” in the Western Balkans Unit, Directorate-General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission.
We dedicated two sessions to the topic “Shaping the Future of Europe”: one with Maria Freitas, Senior Policy Advisor for democratic participation and responsible for the Millennial Dialogue, FEPS, where we discussed the new generation and their political attitude and interest, followed by Delara Burkhardt MEP, where we had the opportunity to exchange opinions and recommendations and as well learn a lot from an European youth perspective.
Our last session was with guest Jovana Majstorovic, Member of the Board of the European Youth Forum, the largest European youth organization. The focus was on strengthening the capacities of youth organizations from the Western Balkan region, their sustainability and representation in European scale.
The series was a fruitful and productive experience for all involved. It generated a lot of knowledge, new information and exchange from both sides. Approaching EU level from the Western Balkans perspective and moreover by young and active citizens enhanced the value in the direct dialogue with the EU, but also in the regional connectivity.