Connecting Youth- Western Balkans Youth Conference

PARIS – The European Commision and the Government of the French Republic, supported by the European Youth Forum and SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre, are organizing a Western Balkans Youth Conference. The Connecting Youth conference will take place in Paris, 4 July 2016, in the margin of the Western Balkans Summit. Connecting Youth will bring together 150 young people from the EU and Western Balkans countries, to discuss common challenges and work towards finding joint solutions.

The participants will join forces in 4 parallel groups working on different relevant topics. Youth on the move, education on the move – Education and mobility for young people group will discuss possibilities for students from the Western Balkans, available European exchange programmes, student mobility schemes and ways to maximize their potential in the region. Some of the questions to be debated within this group are: Which are the opportunities for Vocational and Educational Training for the Western Balkans? How can young people be more aware of them? What could be done to promote mobility in Europe even more strongly? The second group Knocking on job market’s doors – Employment and entrepreneurship for young people will talk about the youth unemployment and following the example of EU in order to tackle this problem in Western Balkans. Not just another brick in the wall – Youth engagement and participation will address the issue of active engagement of young people in political and societal life and national/EU policy making. Also, they will consider the prevention of violent radicalization of youth. Finally, fourth group Get up, stand up, speak up! – Youth and the media will discuss the challenges in strengthening free and robust media in the Western Balkans and within the EU. Some of the question this group will cover are: What can be done to further support professional journalism and the training of journalists at the national/EU level? How can young journalists be helped to adhere to and maintain professional and ethical standards?