The Third Regional Youth Forum took place in Novi Sad, Serbia last weekend (29 June – 1 July). The event gathered around 200 young opinionated leaders, between 18 and 35 years old, with a proven record of making an impact in their communities and offered them a place for knowledge sharing and dialogue through networking and a series of panel discussions. A delegation of the Bled Strategic Forum and Young Bled Strategic Forum attended the event as an introduction into a long-term cooperation between the institutions.
The participants at the opening ceremony were greeted by RYCO Secretary General Mr Đuro Blanuša who said that the Forum is looking for the answer to the question how to bring more Europe in the region and how to make a region more present in Europe. He underlined that the Forum’s participants are the future ambassadors of change and those who will create the future that we all want to see. During the opening ceremony, the participants were greeted by Serbian Prime Minister Ms Ana Brnabić who said that the youth of the region should put a pressure on the leaders and make them politically smarter and more active as this will bring “big things” for the region.
The Forum was attended by the mayors of Novi Sad and Tirana, Mr Miloš Vučević and Mr Erion Veliaj. The Mayor of Tirana said that the EU has done a lot for the region because it enabled movement, cooperation and made possible that Serbians and Albanians are today at the same event discussing a bright future. He argued that we need more Europe in the region because of this fact.
The Regional Youth Forum is organized by the European Movement in Serbia – Local Branch Novi Sad, the European Fund for the Balkans, the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, and in partnership with the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) – ORF Promotion of EU Integration. Indispensable support was provided by the Provincial Government of Vojvodina, the City of Novi Sad and the Regional Cooperation Council.
The Forum’s conclusions will be presented at the upcoming London Summit in London within the Berlin Process, at the 8th edition of the Belgrade Security Forum, and the 2018 Young Bled Strategic Forum.