In the framework of the Berlin Process (BP) Summit that took place in Vienna in August 2015, the governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia officially agreed1 upon the initiative of the Prime Ministers of Serbia and Albania, to establish a Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) of the Western Balkans. They were supported from the German-French Youth Office in setting it up. With the aim to “promote the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation between the youth in the region” through exchange, RYCO Office was officially established on December 8, 2016 in Tirana.
The Policy Brief “Let’s know Regional Youth Cooperation Office” is supported by the Albanian Agency for Support of Civil Society and aims to be a helpful tool for youth organizations, youngsters and other interested parties, who wish to be better informed on the most tangible outcome of the Berlin Process on youth cooperation, i.e. RYCO. Up to now, RYCO is most innovative contribution to youth cooperation in the Western Balkan region.
The Policy Brief aims to provide an insight to the context and process of RYCO establishment. An historical overview on the youth positive agenda and on the first Albanian-Serbian youth exchanges will also be shortly analysed. The Brief is enriched with the personal views of 10 young participants of regional exchange activities that took place in the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding on Youth between the Republic of Serbia and Republic of Albania. These interviews provide an interesting point of view on youth cooperation from the youngster’s perspective.
The final section provides update on where RYCO stands now and what it will support. Two interviews, with the Albanian National Youth Service and with the Special Commissioner of the Franco – German Youth Office for South – Eastern Europe, enrich this Policy Brief and provide valuable considerations about what RYCO should achieve.