Youth Policy in the Western Balkans, as part of the Innovation Agenda for the Western Balkans

EESC opinion: Youth Policy in the Western Balkans, as part of the Innovation Agenda for the Western Balkans

Key points

  The EESC:

  • Invites Governments of the Western Balkan partners to follow key youth policy documents of the EU and to further invest in evidence-based youth policies addressing youth development challenges. Sufficient and transparent budget allocations for youth policy development are a prerequisite for facilitating positive changes and improving the situation of young people.
  • Is of the view that it is key to involve social partners and CSOs in order to deliver a broader reform to improve social rights and the prospects of young people. It also calls on the social partners of the Western Balkans, at national and sectoral level, to actively involve young people in all their activities, including collective bargaining.
  • Calls for the Youth Guarantee in the Western Balkans to be implemented following the Council recommendations on a reinforced Youth Guarantee, in partnership between Youth Guarantee providers and relevant stakeholders, and for increasing the capacities of the public employment services.
  • Calls for the reinforcing of EU programmes and regional structures, with the aim of reaching more young people in the Western Balkans by providing them with the opportunities for education, mobility, volunteering and employment. The EU should support the Western Balkans in identifying key areas and avenues which could foster changes for citizens of all Western Balkans, especially for young people, as well as to further examine ways to support relevant youth structures in the Western Balkans, allowing for regional youth policy dialogue.
  • Invites the EU to further support the Western Balkans in improving youth participation, taking into account the positive correlation of educational or training mobility with the civic and political engagement of young people.
  • Reiterates the importance of young people for the future of the Western Balkans and therefore the importance of taking concrete measures to turn the region into a place with future prospects and opportunities for young people, enabling them to stay and prosper.