Contributing to reconciliation in the region
Youth exchange, good-neighbourly relations and reconciliation in the region: these are the aims supported by RYCO, the new Regional Youth Cooperation Office of the Western Balkans. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia signed the Agreement on the Establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office in Paris in the summer of 2016; it is now taking up work and will support a wide range of projects for young people in the Western Balkans in the future.
At the Federal Foreign Office, Secretary General Đuro Blanuša and his team informed Minister of State Michael Roth about the key areas of their work. More than 400 project applications were submitted in response to the first call for proposals – a great success. The first contracts are to be signed at the end of January.
Support from the Franco-German Youth Office
From the very start, RYCO has been assisted by the Franco-German Youth Office (FGYO). Markus Ingenlath, General Secretary of the FGYO, stated that the new organisation would continue to receive active support.
Minister of State Roth said: “Germany attaches particular importance to regional cooperation and therefore established what is known as the Berlin process. I have intensively supported RYCO from the outset. It is one of the most tangible results of our commitment in the Western Balkans. I am pleased that RYCO’s first projects will be funded at the beginning of 2018. Only with the help of the young generation can the Western Balkans have the prospect of EU membership. In order to achieve this, we need further reconciliation and better exchange in the region. The Regional Youth Cooperation Office can make a valuable contribution in this regard.”