The 15th National Selection Conference of the European Youth Parliament of Serbia is taking place in Niš from the 13th to the 17th of July 2022.
During the opening ceremony, the participants were addressed by the Head of RAI Secretariat, Ms. Desislava Gotskova, Mr. Nicola Bertolini, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Serbia and Ms. Bojana Scepanovic, State Secretary of the Serbian Ministry of Justice.
“Corruption is working against all EU values and we should work together against it. Serbian legal framework is up to date, which is important for the persons who want to raise attention and denounce cases. We can all only do something if citizens react and engage”, said Mr. Bertolini via the video message to more than 70 high school and university students, EYP members and delegates. He also added that EU is doing the best to support the reaction of citizens in order to create better conditions for development of the country. “EU who put a lot of efforts in fighting corruption would like to see the aspiring and member states to fight corruption at the highest level. This is only possible if the real cases are out in front of the law”, he concluded.
The main focus of the event is to strengthen and encourage the active participation of the youth on a local, national, and international level. The aim to achieve this is through activities that raise awareness among youngsters about the current local and European problems, by improving the knowledge and skills of the participants through training that provided for both those inexperienced and experienced members of the network.
One of the aims of the Conference is also promoting democratic values and providing insight into how EU institutions work. This is accomplished through creating and nurturing relationships between young people from Serbia and European countries. Ultimately, the goal is to strengthen and contribute to international cooperation between youngsters in the fields of activism and society responsibilities.
This year’s National Selection Conference is bringing together more than 120 participants and delegates from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkiye and United Kingdom, dedicated to different kinds of political, social, and economic problems, to discuss burning topics and problems that Europe is facing, from a European perspective and approach. Their goal is to reach a consensus and propose their own solution to discussed problems.
Through this year’s umbrella theme “Embracing diversity”, the participants will have the opportunity to discuss inclusion and accessibility whilst highlighting the importance of diversity. In order to incorporate the umbrella theme in the session itself in the best way possible, for the first time ever, Living Library is organised as a meaningful part of the Conference.
On top of other social, economic, and political subjects, the Conference involves distinct exchanges of opinions on topics regarding human rights, whistleblowers, inclusion and accessibility, diversity, discrimination, and equality.
During the Expert talks, the participants had the opportunity to learn more about the anti-corrpution practices and the importance of the whistleblowing as well as to engage into discussion with anticorruption experts.
One of the experts was a journalist and representative of CSO Pistaljka, Ms. Emili Samcevic who talked about importance of whistleblowing and whistleblower protection in Serbia.
Mr. Mark Worth, RAI Whistleblowing expert gave a profound insight into topic “Are We Ready to Protect Whistleblowers” while Mr. Arman Fazlic, RAI Project Officer gave a presentation about whistleblowing and whistleblower protection in line with the EU Directive. On this occasion, the participants watched RAI’s Social Experiment Video ‘Whistle for the Brave’ that left strong impression on them.
The Conference closes on 17th July, when General Assembly day will be held. The 15th National Selection Conference of the European Youth Parliament of Serbia was organized as part of the project “Breaking the Silence: Improving whistleblowing policies and culture in the Western Balkans and Moldova”, funded by the European Union.