News Archive

20 June 2024 | News

RCC’s EU-funded WBYL launched Youth Policy Lab on Green Agenda

Sarajevo – Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Western Balkans Youth Lab (WBYL) launched Youth Policy Lab on Green Agenda. Upon the successful first two Youth Policy Labs on Youth Unemployment and Mental Health, Green Agenda is chosen to be a priority topic young people of the Western Balkans want to create policies for which are to bring change.

15 December 2023 | News

The Second EU-Western Balkan Youth Forum, hosted by the RCC, ends in Novi Sad

The second edition of the EU Balkan Youth Forum (EUBYF), organised by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) in cooperation and with funding of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, as well as RCC’s EU-funded WB Youth Lab project (WBYL), ended in Novi Sad today. The Forum gathered more than 30 young people from Western Balkans (WB) and European Union ...

11 December 2023 | News

European Union-Western Balkans Cooperation in Focus This Week

RCC to present winners of the Regional Butterfly Innovation Award 2023 in Sofia  The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is to present the winners of the second edition of Regional Butterfly Innovation Award at a ceremony co-organised with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, on 12 December 2023 in Sofia. The Awards will be presented by the RCC Secretary General Majlinda Bregu ...

21 June 2023 | News

Young People from the Region Present Their Own Visions and Plans on How to Improve Youth Mental Health

Belgrade – Thirty young people and policy makers from the entire Western Balkans presented the outcomes and recommendations that have emerged from their diligent efforts to address youth mental health in their economies at the Final Conference on Youth Mental Health, organised by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC)’s EU-funded Western Balkans Youth Lab Project (WBYL), in Belgrade ...

25 May 2023 | News

RCC Board approves organisation’s Annual Report 2022/23, and adopts Financial Report 2022

Sarajevo – The participants of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Board approved the organisation’s Annual Report 2022/23 and adopted the Financial Report 2022 at their 49th meeting held in Sarajevo today. The Annual Report 2022/23 is expected to be endorsed at the RCC Annual Meeting and adopted at the SEECP Ministerial Meeting to take place on 4 and 5 June 2023, respectively, ...

28 April 2023 | News

WBYL supported dialogue between Members of Parliament and civil society from Western Balkans in Brussels

From 25 to 27 April 2023, the Bridging the Gap initiative promoted dialogue between civil society and elected representatives from the region and from the European Union. The event was co-organized by the European Parliament's Mediation and Dialogue Support Unit and the European Commission's Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations together ...

15 March 2023 | News

Bregu: Continued all-inclusive regional cooperation remains key in strengthening economic resilience of Western Balkans

Sarajevo – “External risks arising from the current geopolitical crisis and the rise in commodity prices reinforce the purpose of the Common Regional Market agenda. Continued all-inclusive regional cooperation remains the key towards strengthening economic resilience of the Western Balkans,” said Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), Majlinda Bregu, ...

15 November 2022 | News

WB Youth Lab: Youth working on mental health policies to build the region as an environment of care

Pristina – “Deteriorating mental health among youth during pandemic led to multiplied negative effects in the long run, which was an alarm to act. We have made first steps towards bridging the gap between the mental health needs and the policy solutions. Cooperation, innovative approach, equality and participation on equal basis among youth and policy makers have brought excellent ...

24 June 2022 | News

Bregu: Support of Western Balkan citizens to regional cooperation remains stable at 76%

Brussels – “While many things change, our public and business perceptions surveys remain a truthful source of sentiments across the region. At times, the results surprise us, sometimes they serve as a wake-up call, while on other occasions they confirm that our efforts are not in vain as citizens and businesses feel the benefits of our work. 76% of Western Balkan citizens find ...

14 June 2022 | News

RCC Youth Lab Project hosts the final conference on youth employment in the Western Balkans

Budva/Sarajevo – “Inadequate employment opportunities are one of the biggest problem young people face. One in 3 young persons are unemployed, which means the Western Balkans youth unemployment rate is almost double the EU rate of 17%. According to Balkan Barometer 2022 – 18 out of 100 Western Balkan citizens worry about the brain drain, while 5 year ago that number was ...

18 May 2022 | News

Bregu: With slowed growth & inflation, higher energy & food prices, Western Balkans will have to amp-up regional cooperation

Sarajevo - It is very difficult to sugar-coat the severity of economic effects of the war on the Western Balkans. It is equally difficult to accurately predict the true and longer-term impact, or to identify the opportunities for the region along the way. Our realities today are drastically different, with the war in Ukraine sending shockwaves and exacerbating two trends that were already ...

07 April 2022 | News

WBYL: Giving Western Balkans’ youth an insight into the best EU practices and standards is a base for future regional transformative policies

Ljubljana/Zagreb – “The best way to exchange knowledge and practice and to hear and see first-hand what it makes for successful and strong youth cooperation is to bring youth from the Western Balkans’ National Youth Councils or Youth Umbrella Organisations to the EU to witness work of well-established EU National Youth Councils. Besides expanding cooperation networks, this ...

16 March 2022 | News

Bregu: European perspective important for socio-economic progress, but also for security and stability

Sarajevo/Tirana – “The times we are living in are not glamorous, on the contrary these are dark moments. We are all heartened and deeply saddened by the unjust war Ukrainian people are going through. The economic impact of the war stretches beyond Ukraine's borders. Concern is present in the Western Balkans, as the geopolitical and economic problems make our region sensitive ...

19 February 2022 | News

Youth are the ones whose opinions lead to progress of the region

RCC’s Western Balkans Youth Lab organized Regional Youth Meeting with youth co-chairs in Skopje Skopje - “Western Balkans Youth Lab project is based on the inputs of Western Balkans youth and throughout the Project we have included young people in every step of the process. Now seeing you co-chairing the processes on equal footing with policy-makers shows us that we have focused ...

16 December 2021 | News

Second Informal Donor Coordination Meeting on Western Balkans Youth Agenda held in Sarajevo

Sarajevo – “Youth accounts for 21.27% or more than 20% of our entire population. They are our present and our future and I believe that all of us have to give our best to make sure that they stay in and contribute to this region now and in the years to come,” said Maja Handziska Trendafilova, Head of Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) Programme Department, at the opening ...

10 December 2021 | News

Bregu: By risking the youth potential we are risking the engine of a sustainable regional future

Tirana/Sarajevo – “Statistics tell us that two thirds of young people would be willing to emigrate; that the total education costs of people who leave the region in one year vary from 840 million to 2.46 billion EUR; and that about one fifth are unemployed and nearly a quarter are neither in employment, nor in education or training. But the comprehensive transformation of the ...

09 December 2021 | News

RCC: Western Balkans Youth Lab on Mental Help kicks off in Tirana

Tirana – The Youth Lab on Mental Health, organised by the Regional Cooperation Council’s (RCC) Western Balkans Youth Lab Project (WBYL), has kicked off in Tirana today. 

25 November 2021 | News

Bregu: Being Europeans is not written in DNA but what you believe and fight for

“It’s not breaking news any longer that our youth is leaving the region. One out of 3 youngsters, age 18-24, in the Western Balkans confirms that they are ready to leave their homeland. We should understand the message – their choice of destination shows what’s missing in their own societies. We just need to observe, listen and the most importantly act –give ...

26 October 2021 | News

Youth-Tailored Solutions Require Youth Participation

Sarajevo/Online – “Cooperation, innovative solutions, equality, participation - these are the things we need today more than ever, as we establish an environment in which youth and policy makers sit together to constructively explore the ways in which youth priorities and needs can be met. To that end, let me congratulate the 40 members of the Pool of Experts being with us today ...

15 October 2021 | News

Bregu: European perspective of Western Balkans is the drive that makes the process of cooperation beneficial

Sarajevo – “European perspective of Western Balkans is the drive that makes the process of cooperation beneficial to all in long-term. It is of highest importance that both the region and the EU deliver on the respective commitments – particularly when we take into account that optimism regarding the time of accession has been declining.  More ambitious actions for ...

07 September 2021 | News

Bregu: It is time for youth to be louder and play smarter

Skopje – “I would highly encourage you to leave the region. Yes, go abroad and see other cultures, but come back. Only by learning from others we can make our region better place for all of us and make a change. That is why we do not want to invent algorithm, but to make youth voices being heard. In that regard, I want to compliment you for trying hard to implement policies and ...

06 September 2021 | News

Bregu: RCC to launch regional coalition on jobs and skills to keep youth in the region

Skopje – “There is still high interest of youngsters to stay in the region. And this is our advantage. They are our greatest asset. They are the engine driving regional cooperation and EU accession because they see the opportunities and they do not carry the historic baggage of conflict from previous generations.”, said Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation ...

13 August 2021 | News

Bregu: Cooperation between youth is crucial for the future of the region

Sarajevo - For the 5th time in a row the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is the patron of the 'Heart of Sarajevo' award for the Best Student Film at the 27th Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF), opening today and lasting until 20 August. 

24 June 2021 | News

Bregu: Balkan Barometer reveals human uncertainty and vulnerability are main concerns followed by some goodish news on benefits of regional cooperation

Tirana – “This, seventh in a row, Balkan Barometer shows human uncertainty and vulnerability are the main concerns followed by some goodish news which is the consciousness about the benefits of regional cooperation. For 49% of Western Balkan citizens, unemployment is the biggest problem, as it is for young people as well, while 46% are most worried about the economic situation. ...

22 June 2021 | News

RCC to Present Balkan Barometer 2021 - Public and Business Viewpoints on Situation in our Region

Tirana – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is to present the 2021 edition of Balkan Barometer on Thursday, 24 June 2021, starting at 10:00, in Tirana. This is the 7th edition of annual public and business opinion survey commissioned by the RCC which examines Western Balkan citizens and businesses perceptions and expectations towards a variety of thematic areas, such as the EU integration ...

16 June 2021 | News

Bregu: 2020 was difficult, but a real progress and achievements have been made for development of our region

Antalya – “Last year, ruled by the pandemic has definitely showcased the extent of our interconnectivity and interdependency and demonstrated that in cooperating, we boost our strengths and resilience. It is clear that regional socio-economic integration is crucial for regional development. There is no doubt about the fact that cooperation brings mutual benefit to its participants. ...

31 May 2021 | News

Bregu: With regional youth unemployment rate at 35.1% the need to act is clear, as youth is our most precious asset

Sarajevo/Online – “Youth and jobs has not been a good combination in the Western Balkans for some time. The average regional youth unemployment rate in 2020 was 35.1%, which is more than double the European Union (EU) rate of 16.9%.  Some of it can be blamed on the COVID 19 pandemic that stopped job creation, but changing the situation with youth unemployment requires eliminating ...

19 April 2021 | News

Bregu: 93% of young people in the Western Balkans believe public administrations should involve young people in decision-making

Sarajevo, Tirana – “According to Balkan Barometer 2021, 93% of young people in the Western Balkans age 18-24 believe that public administrations should strengthen mechanisms for consulting and involving young people in decision-making. This clearly shows the path for all our further actions in which youth, policy makers and donors will sit together to discuss in constructive way ...

14 December 2020 | News

Bregu: Instead of creating policies FOR youth we believe in co-creating policies WITH youth

Sarajevo/Tirana/Brussels - “Youth makes 21% of Western Balkans population. If we know that youth unemployment in the Western Balkans is over 35%; that it takes around 2 years for a young person to land the job after the school; that 25% of youth are not in employment, education and training; or that 71% of our youth are thinking to leave the region and find jobs abroad – than ...

20 August 2020 | News

Heart of Sarajevo for the Best Student Film 2020 goes to Zeynep Dilan Süren for “The Great Istanbul Depression”

Sarajevo – The Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is delighted to confirm that the young director Ms Zeynep Dilan Süren from Turkey with the movie “The Great Istanbul Depression” won the Heart of Sarajevo for the Best Student Film, an award Powered by RCC since the inception of this competition category in 2017, at the official ceremony at 26th edition Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF), ...

16 August 2020 | News

Miscevic: We need to focus on helping resolving issues young people are facing in order to keep them in our region

Sarajevo – “I am happy the RCC put youth and resolving issues they are facing, especially related to their career developments, and jobs in focus, with our EU-funded Youth Lab project that was launched beginning this year, but also through a series other activities, including our support for students, young filmmakers, from the region, through the Sarajevo Film Festival for 4 years in ...

03 July 2020 | News

Youth Unemployment in the Western Balkans: Youth is Crucial in Designing of Employment Policies

RCC’s Western Balkans Youth Lab and Employment and Social Affairs Platform Projects organized webinar tackling policymaking and youth unemployment in the region Sarajevo – “Numerous stories of unemployed young people across the region who want the leave in pursuit of a job and better life are loud and yet also seem silent.  That is why the Western Balkan Youth Lab (WBYT) project ...

25 June 2020 | News

Bregu: It is up to the region to retain commitment to cooperation and bring forth tangible progress to citizens

Tirana/Sarajevo/Prishtina – The two meetings have been held today within the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) - the meeting of the SEECP Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the RCC Annual Meeting, which RCC co-organised with the outgoing Kosovo SEECP Chairmanship-in-Office (CiO).

24 June 2020 | News

Bregu: Cooperation is the only blueprint that holds the promise of ‘Stronger Together’

Sarajevo – “The regional cooperation continues to grow in prominence with an overwhelming majority of citizens supportive of its role in improving the political, economic and security situation in their home economies - 77%, and 65% of them believes that what brings WB citizens together is more important than what separates us. The quick spread of COVID -19 was a grim reminder ...

19 May 2020 | News

RCC presents its new “Western Balkans Youth Lab” Project: It’s time to change– young people should take the lead

Sarajevo – The Western Balkans not rarely offers shocking facts about youth. From brain drain to labour migration, from mismatch of diplomas with labour market, prejudices or steep unemployment figures. We have decided to act by example. About 20% of all employees in the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) are young people, and only in the past two months 5 of them have joined us.

14 May 2020 | News

Bregu: Pandemic created a common awareness that at least for now humankind takes precedence over politics and disputes

Sarajevo – “For all its aggressiveness, the COVID-19 crisis also offers glimmers of hope. It has connected Western Balkans even more, this time in a fight against an invisible enemy. It has persuaded us that cooperation should be resilient. It has created a common awareness that at least for now humankind takes precedence over politics and disputes, while borders are considered ...