RYCO’s first press release

Belgrade, 18.02.2016

Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) More Regional – More European

The Working Group for establishment of RYCO has been created on the basis of the Joint Declaration on the establishment of RYCO signed by Western Balkans 6 Prime Ministers during the Western Balkans Summit in Vienna on August 27th, 2015.

Aim of RYCO

The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) of the Western Balkans is a wide scale regional initiative aiming to become an international organization with the mission to promote the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation between youth in the region of the Western Balkans.

This regional owned structure is based especially on the needs of young people from the region and it is very unique and innovative in its nature and offer. It is one of the few, if not the only one structure in the recent history of region, that in one level provides tools and platform for cooperation for youths from the region and in another level fosters the importance of the European integration of the region.  

The initiative for establishment of RYCO is based on close cooperation and partnership between Governments and Civil Society. RYCO will create the conditions and support activities that promote reconciliation, mobility, diversity, democratic values, participation, active citizenship and intercultural learning, with the spirit of the European integration process of the region in mind. 

The members of the working group

The Working Group consists of one representative of Youth Ministries / National Youth Agency / Directorate for Youth and one representative of the civil society for each WB6 Participant (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia).  The Working Group is mandated to develop concrete proposals for the mission, structure, activities and financing of RYCO and prepare the necessary steps for its establishment. 

The road to RYCO

The concrete proposals for the establishment of RYCO will be finalized by March 1st 2016, and will then be transmitted to the WB6 governments for its institutionalization. The Belgrade meeting (February 16th – 20th) is the last meeting in the set of four working meetings and comes after previous three meetings that took place in Berlin (November 2015), Tirana (December 2015) and Sarajevo (January 2016). 

The working meetings are facilitated by a team of the Franco-German Youth Office. The Robert Bosch Foundation, the Balkan Trust for Democracy and the ERSTE Foundation 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.