“Here we come! – Conference on talent management and youth perspectives in the Western Balkans” took place on June 19 in Brussels where Sabina Carli of CEP presented our endeavors in the field of youth development, entrepreneurship, non-formal education recognition and Western Balkans perspective in the EU.

The conference, organised by the Antall József Knowledge Centre in cooperation with the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, discussed the current challenges of young generations and the future of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Western Balkans.

Youth unemployment is one of the main drivers of emigration of young people all over the Balkans. The mass exodus of youth from the Southeast European neighbourhood is a severe consequence of sectoral problems, strongly related to unemployment, higher education systems, as well as to the job market conditions. In addition, these countries are also facing brain drain. In this complex situation, the role and importance of social responsibility and entrepreneurship are becoming more and more significant.

The speakers addressed very specific questions in the presence of Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, responsible for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

In a round table discussion, six young speakers from the Balkans set the scene while presenting current perspectives and challenges. Afterwards, a workshop took place, where the hosts and the participants exchanged their views on the possibilities of knowledge transfer, innovation, and entrepreneurship. In the afternoon, experts from the Western Balkans and Members of the European Parliament provided answers to the questions in the course of two panel discussions.

During the second panel discussion, representatives of NGOs and think tanks active in the region talked about the current challenges and best practices of youth policy in Southern Europe.