RAI Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO)

TIRANA – The Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative (RAI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) on May 9th, 2022, at the RYCO Head Office in Tirana, Albania, as both parties strive to strengthen the spirit of regional cooperation as two regional institutions that will commit to supporting youth cooperation, non-formal education, youth empowerment and youth participation in fight and prevention of corruption in the region.

RYCO is an independently functioning institutional mechanism, founded by the Western Balkans 6 participants (WB 6): Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, aiming to promote the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation between the youth in the region through youth exchange programs.

At the signing ceremony, the Head of RAI Secretariat, Ms. Desislava Gotskova said that this memorandum is the first step of many initiatives RYCO and RAI will undertake together. “We are open to working with youth organizations and now with the signing of this MoU with RYCO, we can cooperate together by coordinating different projects over a common interest,” added Ms. Gotskova.

The Secretary General of RYCO, Mr. Albert Hani said he was glad for this cooperation being established with RAI as he looks forward to starting discussing concrete steps together and jointly identifying and creating opportunities to develop and implement joint actions, projects, and programs targeting youth. “We are looking for new initiatives that offer long-term solutions, such as project ideas that will bring about long-lasting changes in the societies involved. RYCO is an active regional mechanism with a mandate to listen to the concerns of youth and create policies that approach such issues,” said Mr. Hani.

RAI Secretariat’s Chief Program and Communications Officer, Ms. Jasna Panjeta underlined the importance of working with RYCO for the RAI Secretariat. “The cooperation with RYCO provides us with a more structured access to a vulnerable population that is exposed to corruption and a belief that there is little they can do to get engaged in advocacy or lobbying” added Ms. Panjeta.



* 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.