From May 16 to 19, the representative of KOMS, Programme Coordinator, Anja Jokić, took part in a study visit to Brussels, Belgium, under the name Fostering Youth Connectivity in the Western Balkans and towards the European Union as part of the Connecting Youth platform. This study visit was attended by representatives of umbrella bodies and youth organizations from the Western Balkans.
During the four days, the participants attended organized meetings and visited institutions and organizations based in Brussels. On that occasion, they visited the headquarters of the European Commission, the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR), Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (DG EMPL), Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) , as well as one of the three seats of the European Parliament (EP), the European External Action Service (EEAS), European Youth Forum (YFJ), European and Economic and Social Committee (EESC)..
With the representatives of the institutions, the participants discussed various topics such as youth guarantees, the Economic and Investment Plan, active youth participation, cooperation between the Western Balkans and the EU, as well as the role of youth and umbrella bodies in the integration process.
In addition to the formal meetings, the study visit participants met with the Chairman of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation and MEP Marcus Ferber to discuss young people’s perspectives onthe enlargement perspective. In order to strengthen the inclusiveness of EU policies toward the WB6 region, they also met with the EU Youth Coordinator of the European Commission, Ms. Biliana Sirakova. On that occasion, they discussed how the youth sector in the Western Balkans seeks to improve dialogue with institutions and how co-operation with the Commission’s DG’s can be improved.
The study visit was very important not only for KOMS, but also for the youth sector as it provided insight into the functioning of European institutions and organizations, which further enables the improvement of youth policy in Serbia so that it is in line with existing public policies and practices in the EU.
The study visit was organized within the Connecting Youth platform of which KOMS is a part, and which is coordinated by the Institute for Development and Cooperation (CDI) with the support of the Hanns-Seidel Foundation.