RAI promotes the importance and role of whistleblowers among youth in Prizren

The Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) Secreatariat in partnership with the European Youth Parliament (EYP) Kosovo promoted the importance and protection of whistleblowers in line with the 2019 EU Directive in Prizren, Kosovo*, as part of the Prizren 2022: Annual Conference of the EYP Kosovo* Initiative.

Prizren 2022 is being organized from August 1 to August 5 with the aim to create a unique forum for young Europeans from Kosovo* and all of Europe, where they can experience an inspiring environment for cultural understanding and civil awareness. The format of the event followed the classic EYP events’ format, with officials leading the organisational and educational processes that will be offered to the participants and delegates.

The opening ceremony held on August 2, included opening remarks delivered by Anti-Corruption Agency’s (ACA) Director Mr. Yll Buleshkaj and RAI’s Senior Anti-corruption Advisor Ms. Aneta Arnaudovska. ACA Director pointed out the importance of whistleblowers in holding government institutions and the private sector accountable for its actions. He called the youth to be active participants in building a democratic society by supporting whistlebowers and whistleblowing.
RAI’s Ms. Arnaudovska stressed out the importance of education and public awareness programs that empower future generations to resist and prevent corruption. “It is important to ensure that youth learn not merely what is the right thing to do, but also how to get the right thing done and that they can help foster ethical environments in other contexts”, said Arnaudovska.

During the Expert talks that followed the opening remarks, the participants had the opportunity to learn more about the anti-corrupution practices and the importance of the whistleblowing as well as to engage into discussion with anticorruption experts, including RAI’s Ms. Aneta Arnaudovska and Anti-Corruption Expert/Project Manager Ms. Elmerina Ahmetaj Hrelja, as well as Kosovo* Law Institute’s Program Manager and Coordinator of the Free Legal Aid Center Ms. Arrita Rezniqi. On this occasion, the participants watched RAI’s Social Experiment Video ‘Whistle for the Brave’ that left strong impression on them.

On August 3, participants will to work together in their groups/committees and discuss the assigned topics. JURI I committee will have a debate on the adoption of the 2019 EU Whistleblowing Directive, and prepare for the final day’s General Assembly when they will present their proposals and debate together to make them even better and adopt the resolutions.

Prizren 2022 gathered 95 participants, including 60 delegates, majorly high school and university students from Kosovo*, Albania and other european countries. The Forum closes on August 5, when General Assembly day will be held. The Annual Conference 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.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.