03 April 2018 The Balkans Group organised the conference “Promoting and Empowering Youth in Politics” gathering over 90 young members of LDK, LVV, PDK, AAK, NISMA, and AKR to discuss their role and challenges in their respective political parties. In the first panel, moderated by Leonora Kryeziu, the panelists – Valdete Bajrami (NISMA), Uran Ismaili (PDK), Arban Abrashi (LDK), Valdrin Lluka (AKR) and Gent Begolli (AAK) spoke about their personal journeys in politics, highlighting their motivation for taking an active role in Kosovo’s political life. Glauk Konjufca (LVV) canceled his participation due to the last minute schedule of the Assembly session.
Valdete Bajrami expressed her dissatisfaction with the opportunities given to women and youth in social and political life. She asked the youth to take an active role, reminding them of the protests of 1964, 1981 and 1991 that were led by young people and had a substantial impact on Kosovo’s recent history.
Gent Begolli also highlighted the limited participation of youth in decision making and asked for more action. Uran Ismaili called the youth to not allow themselves become servants of their political parties, but rather strong agents with a substantial impact. Valdrin Lluka reminded the participants that youth are often neglected and their contribution not treasured but they should not allow this to be discouraging. Arban Abrashi also emphasised the prejudices and stereotypes attached youth, yet he urged young people to invest in their education and be persistent in their beliefs. Panelists made a strong emphasis on the importance of education, professional development and persistence as key elements supporting the empowerment of young people within their political parties.
In the second panel moderated by Krenar Gashi, representatives and heads of youth forums/structures, Shpresa Rama (PDK), Fisnik Osmani (LDK), Florent Smajlaj (AAK), Albert Maxhuni (NISMA), Sami Boroci (AKR) and Tinka Kurti (LVV) reflected on the best ways to empower the groups they represent. They also discussed with the young conference participants about the challenges they face within their political parties and opportunities that they themselves should develop.
The project is supported by the Embassy of Canada and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway. BPRG is grateful to H.E. Daniel Maksymiuk and Mr. Stein-Ivar Lothe Eide for their valuable contribution as key-note speakers and support to young people in Kosovo.