The third meeting of the working group for the establishment of RYCO has taken the establishment of RYCO to the next level. The productive outcome of the working group’s effort was honored by the Bosnian Ministry of Civil Affairs, which invited the working group members and the ambassadors of the region, as well as the ambassadors of Germany, France, Turkey, Slovenia and the UNDP and OSCE mission to Bosnia to the closing event into the parliament of BiH. At the same time the working group received decisive political support by their heads of state: The chief of cabinets of the prime ministers or their political advisory of the Western Balkans 6 met in Sarajevo as well to conduct the decision on the future seat of RYCO.
Aiming to set the most suitable legal frame for RYCO
After meetings in Berlin and Tirana has Sarajevo meant the detailled work on the four documents, which will provide the basical frame of RYCO: the legal statute, the mission, the activities and the budget. It has not been easy for the working group to come up with precise paragraphs for the legal statute of RYCO that reflect the structures of the different civil societies on the one hand and will be in line with the law of the countries on the other hand, e.g. the law in some of the countries only knows NGOs as civil society while others include informal groups and individuals as well. Equally challenging was the question of the best way to formulate the criteria projects, beneficiaries and participants have to fullfil in order to receive funding from RYCO. While RYCO should be open to different actors from civil society that seek exchange in the region, the funds should also not be endangered for misuse. The external expert Tihomir Popovic, supported the working group in this regard with his expertise while Frank Morawietz, Nicolas Moll and Bujar Lumar took care of the orgainzational back-up and continously moderated the group discussions.
This meeting from the 25th-30th of January was not only used for in-depth discussions, but also to reach out to potential partners, donors and beneficiaries. Tuesday evening was therefore the first time that the working group presented itself as a whole to the interested public; they had the chance to present their process to NGOs and youth of BiH at the Franco-German friendship days in the museum of literature. This event was followed by a meeting with Natsha Petrovic from the Balkan Trust for Democracy and Sonja Mitter from the SALTO Youth center on the next evening. After meeting civil society and potential partners, Friday completed this with a meeting with the ambassadors.
From Sarajevo to Belgrade
The next and final meeting will take place in Belgrade from the 16th to the 20th of February. During the remaing time until then, the state representatives of the working group will consult their relevant ministries, while the civil society representatives will aim at open dialog with related NGOs to give them a say in the establishment of RYCO. The meeting in Belgrade shall then see the final draft proposal for the establishment of RYCO, to hand it over to their respective governments.
The Robert Bosch Foundation and the Balkan Trust for Democracy have supported this initiative in different phases, while the Franco-German Youth Office is continuously supporting the process, with a moderation team and its technical assistance.