On youth political participation and youth policies with parliamentarians and civil society representatives from the Western Balkans

CDF representatives at the 4th “Bridging the Gap” in Tirana 

As part of the European Parliament’s “Young Political Leaders Programme for the Western Balkans“, the 4th Bridging the Gap on youth political participation and youth policies, which brings together young Members of Parliament and representatives of youth civil society organizations from the Western Balkans, was held in Tirana.

The event was held on 23-24 February 2024 in the Parliament of the Republic of Albania in Tirana, organized by the European Parliament, the European Commission (DG Near) and the Regional Cooperation Council.

The 4th Bringing the gap aimed to discuss common issues related to the European integration process of the Western Balkans, the role of youth in the EU enlargement process, disinformation as a challenge for EU integration and democracy, as well as regional cooperation, green agenda and digital transition.

During the two-day event, four parallel policy labs were organized on the mentioned topics, after which recommendations and conclusions on proposed solutions were issued.

On behalf of the Centre for Democracy Foundation, project coordinators Mina Rolović-Jočić and Dajana Ostojić participated at the meeting and shared their experiences from the “Regional Youth Dialogue for Europe – RYDE” project, implements by CDF in cooperation with partner civil society organizations from the Western Balkans and funded by the European Union.

The Young Political Leaders Programme, led by the European Parliament’s Democracy Support and Election Coordination Group (DEG), aims to foster dialogue and connect future political leaders from non-EU countries, as well as connect them with their colleagues from the European Parliament, in order to develop a climate of trust that will contribute to the building of sustainable peace, the reconciliation process and the promotion of the EU enlargement.

The opening remarks were given by Ms. Lindita Nikolla, President of the Parliament of Albania. At the panel “Bridging the gap between youth and politics” the following speakers discussed: Ms. Erisa Xhixho, member of the Albanian Parliament and Chair of Youth Parliamentary Club, Mr. Milan Brglez, Member of the European Parliament, Mr. Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Member of the European Parliament and DEG Lead MEP for “Young Political Leaders Programme”, H.E. Mr. Silvio Gonzato, Ambassador of the European Union to Albania, and Mr. Ognjen Marković, Team Leader of the Western Balkans Youth Lab project from the Regional Council for Cooperation.

Center for Democracy Foundation