Monday, 07 October 2019 13:12

The Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia (ATA Macedonia) in the realization of its function, which implies promotion of the Euro-Atlantic idea and values in our society, has launched a new project which is being implemented in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

Opening  1

The project entitled "Youth Empowerment for Active Participation in Decision-Making Process" consists of several phases and aims to contribute in building youth capacity and future leaders and policy makers in support of democratic values, good governance and the involvement of the wider society in decision-making processes in the country.

As part of the project, in the period from 1st to 3rd of October 2019, ATA Macedonia organized a three-day working/study visit in the Republic of Bulgaria where young people aged 18-30 participated (following a call issued by ATA Macedonia) and where they had several study visits to state and non-state institutions including: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria, Cabinet of the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria.

Opening 2

The opening of the event featured the opening speeches by Mr. Ivan Naydenov, Permanent State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and Mr. Ismet Ramadani, President of ATA Macedonia. The moderator of the opening event was Mr. Ilija Djugumanov, member of the Presidency of ATA Macedonia and Project Director, who provided a brief overview of the project objectives and the need for such initiative for both countries in the specific social and political context.

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Mr. Ivan Naydenov, Permanent State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, outlined the problems and challenges for the young people in Bulgaria, the importance of youth initiatives and the cooperation between the two countries to overcome these challenges.

Mr. Ismet Ramadani, President of ATA Macedonia, pointed to the historic political agreement on friendship and good neighborly relations between the Republic of Northern Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria as a step forward in fostering our relations, but also as a basis for future mutual cooperation between the two countries. He also encouraged the young participants to become more involved and to actively participate in the political processes and policies in our country.

Opening 3

The opening of the event was in the form of roundtable where participants of the event also discussed about the current issues related to youth participation including existing policies and mechanisms, limiting factors and modes to overcome them, the issue of tokenism, and the need for greater youth activity in every aspect of the functioning of the society.


During the first day of the visit of Bulgaria, the participants visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria where they met with the diplomatic team and the Directors for NATO, International Relations and Southeast Europe, as well as the representatives of the Ministry's Diplomatic Institute. During the meeting, the discussion was focused on how young the young people can be integrated into the decision-making process and how to ensure greater youth engagement through the active use of digital technology.


Participants of the study visit were 15 young people aged 18-30, students and young professionals, as well as young people with experience in youth policy making. In addition, the working visit was also attended by representatives of ATA Macedonia and Mr. Ismet Ramadani, the President of ATA Macedonia.