Employment and education constitute a major challenge for Kosovo’s youth. More than half of the young people in the country (54%) do not work in their profession, and more than two of five (44%) are over-educated for their current job. Likewise, every forth young person is neither in training, education or employment.
The most important concerns of the Kosovar youth are corruption (81%), increasing poverty in society (74%) and social injustice (68%). In addition to that, only 10% of the young Kosovars feel that their interests are “well” represented in national politics. As a result, only 13% of the youngsters consider themselves as interested in politics in general. They mistrust the political parties, the president or the national government. About half of the Kosovar youth wants to leave the country, even though this number was significantly higher in 2012 (70%).
Meanwhile their family represents a crucial anchor of stability in young people’s life. Family is omnipresent in almost all areas of young people’s life, including free time and decision-making.
In addition to the presentation of the most outstanding results, varied guests from different fields were joining the panel in order to interpret and discuss the outcomes of the youth study. Oltion Rrumbullaku, (author of the youth study) claimed that the influence of the family should be considered as problematic. He proposed to the youngsters to find their own preferred way of living. Linda Gusia (sociologist) stated that the family as an institution is in charge to give the young Kosovars the security they need, since the political institutions aren’t functional enough to provide that. She believed that to be a reason for the political apathy of the youngsters.
From the point of view of Agnesa Qerimi (Kosovo Youth Council) the contradictory results of the research and the low commitment and activism of the youngsters aren’t surprising. She blamed the education system of Kosovo to be unsupportive for all kind of talents and interests. Feim Hoxha (director of youth department at MCYS) agreed to the dissatisfaction of the young Kosovars with their education system and assured to take in account the outcomes of the youth study in the planning of the new strategy of the ministry regarding the youth. Frank Hantke (Director of FES in Kosovo) encouraged the youth of Kosovo to commit themselves for a better future and to be pursue an independent life. In addition to that he addressed the government to improve the educational system and not only to support academic careers but also investing in profession schools, so that the economy of Kosovo can benefit from it.
The participants of the presentation as well considered the youth study and its outcomes as very valuable and perceive it as a good reference point for further debates on the most important topics of the Kosovar youth. During the discussion the young participants confirmed their disappointment towards the political situation in the country and their dissatisfaction regarding the education. The high percentage of the optimism in consideration the future of the youth can be interpreted as an optimism which is grounded in the idea of a better future in foreign countries. They justify the decreasing number of youngsters who want to emigrate (2012: 70% and 2018: 50%) to the fact that most of Kosovo’s youth has already emigrated.
Nevertheless, the panelists and the discussants agreed that many young Kosovars have much potential and professionality which should be encouraged. It is the duty of the politics to support these youngsters. Moreover, the young discussants insisted to stop blaming the youth for not being active but to create the right general conditions to enable the youth to be committed. The youngsters should not be handled as objects but as subjects of youth politics. Solutions should be found together with the young Kosovars.