The Western Balkans Summit 2017 took place on 12 July in Trieste, Italy, gathering Heads of Government of the Western Balkans and their counterparts from 6 EU Member States, together with high representatives of the European Commission. One of the key topics of this year’s summit is regional cooperation and youth. Balkan Regional Platform for Youth Participation and Dialogue was present at the events.
Youth forum on the topic of “Connecting Youth – Moving Forward” as well as Civil Society Forum Trieste were organized in the margins of the summit. The same week, another important event for the region took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina – the 6th Western Balkans Civil Society Forum, organized by the European Economic and Social Committee – EESC. Representatives of ALDA and the LDAs were present at the summit, including the youth forum in Trieste and the civil society forums in Sarajevo and Trieste.
The three events produced important outputs for the topics concerning the Western Balkan countries, including recommendations for the Governments of these countries produced during the Youth Forum in Trieste and a Declaration with recommendations created during the Civil Society forum in Sarajevo. The Western Balkan Summit in Trieste also saw the presentation of policy recommendations to the decision makers which were prepared earlier this year.
ALDA and the LDAs are taking into consideration the recommendations for EU integration of the Balkans into their work. The Balkan Regional Platform for Youth Participation and Dialogue, coordinated by 7 LDAs and ALDA has produced a study on the topic of youth mobility and youth participation, which were some of the key topics of the events in Trieste and Sarajevo. Furthermore, ALDA and the LDAs are implementing other activities in order to promote EU integration, regional cooperation and youth development in the Balkans.