In three days of intensive discussions, the participants discussed the perspectives for the cooperation of youth organizations in the Western Balkans in order to join forces and to speak with a common voice in regional politics.
Following a first meeting held in Tirana in autumn 2018, the participants constituted themselves as a the “Western Balkan Youth Voice”. This name speaks for itself: as representatives from national youth organizations and national youth councils, the participants can speak up for the interests of youth in national and regional issues. Three central areas stand out in the future work of the Western Balkan Youth Voice: the members identified connectivity and employment, effective youth participation and reconciliation as their priorities for future political action in the region. In its function of a regionally organized structure, the Western Balkan Youth Voice declared itself particularly interested in accompanying the Berlin Process and ensuring the inclusion and effective participation of youth in this process.
The Western Balkan Youth Voice shows that cooperation across borders is possible: young people in the region share the same hopes, concerns and challenges, and so do they share the will to effectively participate in politics to tackle these problems. Despite all discourse and hostilities that may separate the countries on the highest political level, the seminar of the Western Balkan Youth Voice demonstrated that cooperation on concrete problems and challenges can work – under the condition that there is a will for cooperation.