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Final Conference – Youth Empowerment for Active Participation in the Decision-Making Process PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 November 2019 14:10

On the occasion of the conclusion of the project entitled "Youth Empowerment for Active Participation in the Decision-Making Process", the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia in cooperation with the Embassy of Republic of Bulgaria organized a Final Conference for presenting the results of the six-month research, raising questions on youth participation and discussing the challenges and the barriers that impact the  youth engagement.

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The conference consisted of two sessions: the official opening and panel discussion.

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The keynote speakers at the official opening were Mr. Ismet RAMADANI, President of ATA Macedonia; H.E. Mr. Stevo PENDAROVSKI, President of the Republic of North Macedonia; Dr. Arbr ADEMI, Minister of Education of the Republic of North Macedonia; and Dr. Solomon PASSY, Honorary President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria.

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Mr. Ismet RAMADANI, President of ATA Macedonia, noted that this project is an important example of the joint efforts of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Bulgaria to contribute in the promotion of democracy in both countries, as well as the opportunity to gain experience and understanding of the benefits of Bulgaria's membership. in NATO and the EU, through the success of the Bulgarian example. He sent a message to the Embassies based in North Macedonia to continue their support, as we have no alternative outside NATO and the EU.

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H.E. Mr. Stevo PENDAROVSKI, President of the Republic of North Macedonia, stated in his address that without the creation of mechanisms for youth participation in the decision-making process, as well as without encouraging them to actively participate, we cannot expect progress and prosperity for our country. H.E. Mr.  Pendarovski added that it is our responsibility to provide better conditions and perspectives for young people in the Republic of North Macedonia, stressing that "without their voice being heard, without their quality participation, without successful youth policies, it will be impossible".

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Dr. Arbr ADEMI, Minister of Education of the Republic of North Macedonia, pointed out that young people must be involved in the decisions that concern them and that a continuous focus on their needs is needed. He added that education is one of the factors that mostly influence the capacities of each country.

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Dr. Solomon PASSY, Honorary President of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria, emphasized that when the Republic of North Macedonia is full-fledged NATO member, the EU membership will be a much easier task.

At the panel discussion, the discussion was held by Mr. Ilija DJUGUMANOV, Project Director and Member of the Presidency of ATA Macedonia; H.E. Mr. Angel ANGELOV, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Republic of North Macedonia; Mr. Darko KAEVSKI, Director of the Agency of Youth and Sport; Dr Rizvan SULEJMANI, University Professor; and Ms. Maria JANKULOSKA, Research Coordinator at the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia.

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Mr. Ilija DJUGUMANOV, Project Director and Member of the Presidency of ATA Macedonia, who also moderated the panel session, explained the goals and activities of the project. He sent a message to policymakers and all responsible actors that we need to invest more in civic education, to find more appropriate forms of information sharing, and to create a skills building strategy for future perspectives of the young people.

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H.E. Mr. Angel ANGELOV, Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria in the Republic of North Macedonia, in his speech praised the efforts for contributing to the Euro-Atlantic integration processes and the efforts to integrate young people into these processes.

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Mr. Darko KAEVSKI, Director of the Agency of Youth and Sport, outlined the Agency's efforts to enhance youth policies, the new law on youth that is in the process of being adopted and how it regulates the essential issues of youth participation and inclusion, as well as the importance of youth participation in the overall political processes.

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Dr. Rizvan SULEJMANI, University Professor, said that young people should make efforts and influence decision making because with their engagement the whole society will have greater prosperity and progress.

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Marija JANKULOSKA, Research Coordinator at the Euro - Atlantic Council of Macedonia, presented the results of the research and outlined the recommendations for future policies that would contribute to more opportunities for young people in the decision - making.

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The conference was attended by high-level officials, policy-makers, experts and pundits, representatives from the EU/NATO Embassies in Republic of North Macedonia, civil society, academia and the media, as well as 60 young people with different educational profile.
The event was concluded by questions and discussion led the students and young people.

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The project was directly supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Bulgaria.

After the event, a cocktail supported by Tikves winery was organized.

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The project was aimed to map the problems and challenges for youth participation in North Macedonia, to offer comparative insights with the youth inclusion in Bulgaria (as integrated country in the Euro-Atlantic structures) and to address the main issues through discussions, comparative analysis and recommendations. The project, also, was directed at raising the public awareness of the benefits of state membership in NATO and the EU, through the success of the Bulgarian example.

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