18 October 2022
Balkans Group organised the Annual Conference “Youth in Politics: Opportunities and Challenges”, with participants from the Alumni Network’s youngsters. The panelists at this conference were the Norwegian Ambassador Mr. Jens Erik Grøndahl, representatives of political parties Mrs. Fitore Pacolli (LVV), Mrs. Shqipe Mjekiqi (LDK), Mrs. Vlora Çitaku (PDK) and Mrs. Albana Bytyqi (AAK).
Ambassador Grondahl spoke about the importance of cross-party cooperation, expressing his gratitude for the presence of all parties, which shows the representation of different parties.
“Youth engagement should be seen in many dimensions, not only through traditional engagement. Change does not happen by staying on the sidelines; however, young people must be involved at the central and local level” stated Mrs. Fitore Pacolli.
According to Mrs. Vlora Çitaku, youngsters should learn from older generations how not to behave when building a state.
Ms. Shqipe Mjekiqi, on the other hand, said that the representation of young people in her party is not satisfactory and that a way should be found for them to be represented so that their engagement should not only be limited in election campaigns, but also in participating in policy-making and decision-making.
Furthermore, two interns who are currently holding internship positions in the Parliamentary Groups of LVV and LDK spoke about their experiences, given by the Balkans Group, through the signed MoUs with the political parties. According to them, this 6-month internship opportunity has shaped their political development.
Discussions were mostly focused on the reason behind the fleeing of youngsters, where according to youngsters themselves, one of the main reasons for fleeing is not necessarily the lack of a job, however, it includes the distrust in the justice system, poor medicine, and neglected education.
After the conference, Balkans Group also organised three different soft skills trainings, which included topics such as Communication & Networking, Public Speaking, and Project Management.
The “Youth in Politics” component is part of the multi-pillar project “Elevate peace & state-building agenda and advancing European agenda”. 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.