For the purpose of socializing between the young people of the Western Balkans, FES (Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung) has organized a 5 day camp, in Durrës, Albania with the subject on “Social Democracy”.
Participants of this camp were the young people from the 6 countries of the Western Balkans, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia.
Through their presentations all of the representatives showed where they live, telling about the challenges the young people face and how the situation could change in their respective countries.
Topics that were mostly discussed during the training with the young people of these countries were, the role of young people in improving the problematic situations in their countries, unemployment, capture of media from the state, corruption, EU integration, lack of justice.
The main discussion was over “Social Democracy “as ideology and its policies in the Western Balkan countries.
There were also several tables in which national costumes were displayed, as well as food specific to these countries, which was a very good experience for all the participants.
But the most special thing for all the participants of this camp was the socialization between them and exchange of experiences by getting to know closely the culture, social, economic and political life of these countries. It was interesting that all the youth, regardless of where they came from, shared the same concerns or problems in their respective countries.
Despite the fact that they were from different countries they asked for the same rights.
In relation to the term of the ‘Social Democracy‘, the participants had different opinions.
Grejsi Bixhi from Albania sees the social democracy as: an ideology that supports economy, politics and social matters such as justice, freedom, equality and solidarity.
Jetmir Fazliu from Macedonia thinks that: social democracy is a social and economic policy, He said that they are closely related with the trade unions and organized labor force. Social Democracy’s intention is for the society to have dynamics, not just for social cooperation, but also dynamics for an economic system that will create welfare for citizens.
Ljiljana Jokic from Montenegro, thinks that there are many different definitions for the concept of social democracy, but she thinks that for her this term includes the same words, like the slogan of the French Revolution, “Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood“.
Edi Bushati from Kosovo thinks that Social Democracy is a socialist system achieved through democratic means. According to him, this is a political, social and economic ideology that supports economic and social intervention of the state in the area of business, in order to promote social justice.
Aleksandar Pavic from Serbia understands it in the same way, saying that social democracy is the introduction of the democratic system of decision-making, justice and social equality.
Participants also spoke about their expectations from this training and if these expectations were met.
Edi Bushati from Kosovo said that his expectations were to have a sound discussion between the participants from the Western Balkan countries, networking, socializing, knowing of cultures and elaborating on the concepts of the social democracy. “With full sincerity, I can say that my expectations were met” said Edi.
The same opinion was shared also by Grejsi Bixhi from Albania, who said: “I wanted to socialize in this camp with the youth coming from other countries, sharing of experiences in relation to similar situations from our respective countries. About my expectations, my answer is “YES”.
Aleksandar Pavic from Serbia says: “My expectations were to learn something, hear the opinions of the people from this region, about their life, exchange opinions and get to know each other. Sincerely, I changed my angle on how I see some things, starting from an initiative, learning about some new things about the politics in the region, how to manage concrete situations and how to encourage people. But for me the greatest thing is to meet with new people. I think that in this camp there were our future political and social leaders of the region”.
Jetmir Fazliu from Macedonia also says that his expectations were met and according to his preferences, because: “the topic which I wanted to be discussed the most was the youth and unemployment. We discussed extensively on this and we all concluded that in the countries of the Western Balkans there is unemployment, extreme politicizing of the state administration, lack of transparency, etc.”
Lejla from Montenegro says that her expectations were met. “I am very happy with FES which is a super-organization and the ‘healthy’ youth. I think that the camp achieved its purpose through quality lectures and the socializing of the youth by creating a network of healthy youth that are working for the progress of their countries and I am sure that they will continue their work in this fashion.
A general conclusion could be that the youth of the 6 Western Balkan countries considered this 5 day camp to be very important for them and for the improvement of the lives of youth in their respective countries.
Some participants expressed their wish for this camp to continue also in other countries with the same participants and get to know each other more and the cultures of these countries.
A good opportunity for the improvement of the relations between the new generations was the socializing between the youth, in order for the minimization of the barriers that exist, so that future generations don’t have any hostilities, but to be friends with each other, by ending all legal and ethical procedures that have remained from the past in these countries.
Author: Albanë Talla