12 December 2018 – To mark the launch of the ‘Youth in Politics’ component of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs funded project, Balkans Group together with the Norwegian Embassy organised a meeting which convened 35 youth representatives from political parties across different municipalities. The youth forum leaders from Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), Self Determination Movement (VV), Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK), Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK), NISMA, Social-Democrat Party (PSD), New Kosovo Alliance (AKR) and Alternativa were invited by the Norwegian Ambassador at his residency where they had the chance to learn more about the project’s planned youth activities and milestones needed to achieve to progress their political future.
His Excellency Per Strand Sjaastad, Ambassador of Norway to the Republic of Kosovo, in his opening remarks said “if we look into the future, in 2035, many of you will be leaders”. In addition, he advised the youth representatives that “it is important for you to envision the future now”.
The Ambassador went on to map out 5 visions that are essential in ensuring inclusive governance in Kosovo and the region in the next decades.
“Maturity in politics, benefits of ideology, consensus, inclusion and accountability”, as argued by him, “are aspects we should all foresee in Kosovo by 2035”.
Naim Rashiti, Executive Director of Balkans Policy Research Group, during his opening statement, maintained that “it is crucial to channel investments towards youth political development, especially those who want to be part of socio-political processes that seek to transform Kosovo”.
In addition, Mr. Rashiti reaffirmed the Balkans Group commitment to “political party capacity building, in particular, the empowerment of youth members”.
Following the opening remarks, the Ambassador took time to meet with each forum individually. This was a great opportunity to learn more about their specific concerns and reaffirm the Balkans Group and the Norwegian Embassy’s commitment to youth political development.
Youth representatives also had a chance to meet with individuals from other political subjects, where, they could engage with each other and discuss collective attitudes to youth participatory obstacles.
As noted by one youth representative present, “it is crucial to overcome the political polarization instilled by party elites in order to foster better understanding amongst each other”. Another youth representative insisted that, “we can’t dismiss politics when thinking about our future and education, after all, politics impacts almost all spheres of our daily lives”.
The youth component is part of Balkans Group’s two year project ‘Advancing Kosovo’s Institutions, Democratisation & Regional Cooperation’ funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The youth-centred activities aim to provide youth political representatives with a robust tool-kit to tackle contemporary participatory obstacles.
Building on the success of past activities, BPRG is continuously working towards encouraging more effective engagement of youth in politics. The current activities foreseen within this project will contribute to creating a more inclusive framework for youth political representatives and provide support to develop professional expertise in the political sphere. Through close cooperation with youth forums and the political parties, BPRG’s youth component seeks to design a comprehensive training programme that enables youth representatives to build on their political expertise.
Media Release links:
KLAN KOSOVA – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmaIqI9pROI&feature=youtu.be&t=1043 (min 17:21)
RTK – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r79lwuzkT0A
EKONOMIA ONLINE – https://bit.ly/2GeHVfU