1st Europe Western Balkans Youth Meeting: "Connecting Youth Work and Youth Policy" 2016

Development of an Action Plan for Youth Work and Youth Policy to promote the European integration of the Western Balkans


A European perspective and the gradual integration into the European Union have been key elements of the political and economic development in all European Union candidate and potential candidate countries for over a decade. In recent years, however, the economic crisis in Europe has led to decreased support for European enlargement in EU member states, while in the countries of the Western Balkan region scepticism of Europe has been growing. In the Balkans, peaceful co-existence and tolerance between different ethnic groups as well as acceptance of the existing borders have remained fragile. Moreover, against the background of relative economic stagnation, the refugee situation in Europe has triggered increasing national extremism, right-wing populism and democratic instability in the EU as well as the Balkan region.

As a response, the "Berlin Process", which started with the Berlin conference of 2014, has set out to foster stability and security through stronger links with and support for the Western Balkan region. In the youth field, the process is framed by the "Positive Agenda for the Youth of the Western Balkans", initiated by Slovenia at the Brdo Summit of 2015 and reconfirmed by the Vienna Summit in 2015. The Western Balkans Youth Conference "Connecting Youth" in Paris on 4th July 2016, which preceded the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Western Balkans and some EU Member states on the same day, concluded with recommendations for youth field.

Europe-Western Balkans Youth Meeting: “Connecting Youth Work and Youth Policy”

The meeting was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 25 to 29 September 2016 and represented a direct follow up of the »Connecting Youth« Conference (Paris, 4th July 2016). It contributed to the Positive Agenda for Youth by focusing on the input and support that youth work can give to the development of youth policy, in particular in the Western Balkans region.

The meeting was organised by MOVIT, Slovenian National Agency for Erasmus+, youth field, and SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre, in partnership with the Austrian, German and Turkish National Agencies for Erasmus+, youth field, in close communication with the European Commission and with the support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia.

55 participants – mainly youth workers and youth leaders with relevant motivation and experience, as well as policy makers and stakeholders from other relevant organisations, institutions, coming from 15 Erasmus+ Programme countries and Partner countries in the Western Balkan region – met in Ljubljana to further discuss the topics addressed in Paris and to propose a concrete Action Plan for youth work and youth policy.

Action Plan for youth work and youth policy

Full report of the Europe-Western Balkans Youth Meeting

Check the Facebook page of SALTO SEE for videos of participants presenting good practices and live-streamed sessions and photos!


The following downloads are available:

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