What Worries Youth in Enlargement Countries: Human Rights and Youth in the Western Balkans and Turkey vol. 2

The European Union accession process is a long and complex path. It offers opportunities for advancing various areas of policy which relate to human rights and most aspects of a country’s legal and administrative system. However, many of these processes are out of reach for the general public, as they often require an informed understanding of the EU’s mechanisms. In societies governed by the same leaders for decades, young people in particular feel excluded. The complexity of EU institutions only add up to this notion.

If youth from Member States themselves often feel excluded from EU institutions, that is even more the case in accession countries, where young people rarely have the opportunity to travel to Brussels or Strasbourg. Additionally, formal education only teaches very basic theoretical foundations about the EU, if at all.

Civil Rights Defenders trained young activits and leaders to make them aware of these mechanisms, and of how to make use of the possibilities to influence the process and engage constructively with EU and national institutions. For these reasons, they have devised a programme that would encompass both methods of policy-paper writing as well as advocacy activities for youth. In order to achieve this, seven young people from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey have underwent a training in policy paper writing, provided by Adnan Ćerimagić from the European Stability Initiative; and on EU human rights advocacy, provided by Civil Rights Defenders’ Brussels Programme Officer, Tommaso Nodari, with the contribution of CRD’s Advocacy Trainee Lorena Diz Conde. After choosing their topics, and under Mr. Ćerimagić’s mentorship, the youth wrote their policy papers in the course of 6 months.

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