Prishtina 6 December 2019
As a conclusion to the first cohort of the youth in politics education programme, Balkans Group organised a study visit to two key public institutions that are directly engaged in the policy-making cycle in Kosovo. The local study visit was designed to provide youth participants with a better understanding of the policy process by engaging closely with the work of public institutions. Youth participants had a unique opportunity to meet with civil servants who are directly engaged in the policy-making process.
The local study visits allowed students to engage in direct discussions with two key public institutions: The Office for Good Governance (OGG) in the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo and the National Audit Office (NAO).
At the OGG, Director Habit Hajredini introduced students to the mandate of the office, as well as provided personal insights from his decades-long experience working as a civil servant in the Kosovo government. In addition, Mr. Hajredini outlined key steps that lie ahead of Kosovo’s good governance reforms, and the policy-cycle that underpin them. Participants then had the opportunity to pose a variety of questions to the Director related to his every-day work. The questions led to a fruitful discussion on the conceptualization of government strategies and their effects on decision-making.
The second visit- at the NAO- allowed youth participants to gain better insights into an often-unclear process to the general public: the auditing of public institutions. The General Auditor Mr. Besnik Osmani and his team, prepared an in-depth presentation on the role of the NAO as well as how the auditing process of a public institution functions. In addition, the General Auditor examined the relationship between the NAO and the oversight provided by the Kosovo Assembly. After the presentation, youth participants were able to ask additional questions on the General Auditor’s personal experiences heading the institution and the daily challenges it faces in fulfilling its mandate.
To conclude the day, Balkans Group planned an in-formal reception with His Exellency Mr. Jens Erik Grøndahl, Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Norway to the Republic of Kosovo. The meeting with the Ambassador was met with great excitement by the youth participants who were eager to share their personal experiences from their political engagement. The in-formal reception was both a unique opportunity for youth participants to debate with an Ambassador, but also an opportunity for the Ambassador to learn more about Kosovo youth perceptions on politics.
The “Youth in Politics” component is part of the multi-pillar project “Advancing Kosovo’s Institutions, Democratisation, and Regional Cooperation”. Balkan Group’s youth in politics education programme seeks to offer young individuals and members of political parties throughout Kosovo a chance to develop a practical toolkit to help them overcome some of the most critical hurdles to their progressing career. The project is funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Pristina.