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The Impact of the Berlin Process in the Youth Field - Taking stock and looking ahead

Four years have passed since the beginning of the Berlin process in 2014. What has been its impact in the field of youth? Where do we see a need for further action? How can we contribute to moving further ahead? 

 

We want to take a particular look at fields where youth work can play an important role:

  • YOUTH PARTICIPATION AND ENGAGEMENT
  • CIVIC/CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION (with a European dimension) and
  • SOCIAL INCLUSION

and explore:

  • What kinds of initiatives and projects have been implemented in the past years?
  • What can be done, and what can we do to enhance their visibility and impact?
  • What are key messages to inform the next summit of the Berlin process in London, but also other political processes, such as the new flagship initiatives of the European Commission for an enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans?

The SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre in partnership with the German, Macedonian and Slovenian National Agencies and its Contact Point in Montenegro, ADP-Zid, is organising a project to look into these questions through:

1. A mapping exercise, combined with desk-research, to take stock of successful projects that have been implemented in the past years in the field of youth

We are looking for projects involving countries in the Western Balkans that have been implemented at national, regional, European or international level since 2014, which

  • Focus on the theme of youth participation and engagement, civic/citizenship education or social inclusion
  • Can inspire others!
  • Have been successful in the sense that they have had some impact and have made a change to the environment in which they took place – e.g. on the organisations involved, the local community, policy-developments etc.

We invite you to share information about your project HERE by 20 April 2018.

2. “Second Europe- Western Balkans Youth Meeting: The Berlin process – a new impetus for youth work?,”23 – 25 May 2018, Podgorica

Programme of the meeting

30 youth work practitioners from Erasmus+ Programme countries and Partner Countries in the Western Balkans will be invited to further explore the impact of recent initiatives and developments in the youth field,  on the basis of the findings of the mapping exercise, and formulate suggestions and recommendations aiming to stimulate further developments in the Western Balkans and the European integration of the region.

The objectives of the Meeting are to:

  • Collect information about youth work and youth policy-related initiatives and projects that have been undertaken to take stock of and make more visible what has happened in the youth work and youth policy field in the past years;
  • Assess the outcomes of implemented projects and initiatives, share inspiring practices, and look into how to further promote and enhance their impact;
  • Explore the added value of European partnerships and projects in this context;
  • Define some key messages addressed to policy makers, practitioners and programmes (in particular Erasmus+) to inform the London summit and the youth event of the Berlin process in 2018 as well as other relevant ongoing or upcoming meetings and processes.

The Meeting will last for two full working days, starting with lunch on Wednesday, 23rd May and ending with lunch on Friday, 25th May.

The programme will be facilitated by two experienced facilitators, Ajša Hadzibegović and Andreas Karsten.

More detailed information is in the Call for participants, which is open until 20th April!

POLITICAL CONTEXT

The »Berlin process«, initiated in 2014 in Berlin, aims to step up the process of European integration of the Western Balkan region. The youth events accompanying the annual summits of heads of state and government in Paris, 2016, and Trieste, 2017, concluded with recommendations for further developments the youth field; in addition, an Action Plan for youth work and youth policy was defined at the first Europe-Western Balkans Youth Meeting in Ljubljana in 2016.

Increasing support for regional cooperation between the countries of the Western Balkan region aiming to support reconciliation was one important recommendation, and the establishment of the Regional Youth Coordination Office for the Western Balkans (RYCO) today represents the most visible result of the Berlin process in the field of youth. At the same time, over 2.500 European cooperation projects involving over 15.000 participants from the Western Balkans and a variety of countries across Europe have been implemented in the field of youth with the support of the Erasmus+ programme since 2014 supporting the exchange of practices, the building of competences and capacities, intercultural understanding and long-lasting partnerships.

The next summit of heads of state and government within the Berlin process is scheduled to take place in London on 9 – 10 July 2018; another youth event is foreseen to be held in the autumn. The European integration process of the Western Balkan region has received an additional impetus with the announcement by the European Commission, on 6 February 2018, of “A credible enlargement perspective for and enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans”. Two flagship initiatives include enhanced support for European and regional cooperation with specific reference to the role of Erasmus+ and RYCO in stepping up the process of reconciliation and the social and economic development of the region.

Further important developments in the youth field at European level, which can be expected to have an influence on possibilities for cooperation with and developments in the region include the development of a new EU youth strategy as well as a new generation of European youth programmes following the end of the current Erasmus+ programme in 2020.

Contact for further questions: Sonja Mitter Škulj, SALTO SEE,

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