Strenghtening the Youth Dialogue for Democracy, ATA Macedonia, Skopje 13 December 2017
The final conference of the research project conducted by the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia entitled “Strengthening of the Youth Dialogue for the promotion of democratic processes in the light of the Euro-Atlantic integrations” took place on 13.12.2017 in Skopje, in the premises of the Members of Parliament Club.
The project goal was to encourage young people to actively participate in building of the democratic processes and thus to contribute to the Euro-Atlantic integrations by developing dialogue, building capacities and networking of youth and youth organizations.
The Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia also marked the 20th anniversary of its establishment.
At the opening of the closing conference, the key speakers were the Prime Minister Mr. Zoran Zaev and the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia Talat Xhaferi, as well as the Vice President of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), Vladan Zivulovic.
Moderator of the opening session was Mr. Ilija Djugumanov, Member of Presidency of ATA Macedonia.
After the opening of the conference, the President of ATA Macedonia, Mr. Ismet Ramadani, pointed out that the chance that is now opening to Macedonia 10 years after the NATO Summit in Bucharest should be utilized. He emphasized the role of young people in these processes as an important contributing segment.
The President of the Assembly, Mr. Talat Xhaferi, emphasized the importance of the dialogue for the youth and the Euro-Atlantic processes as a way of solving the open issues in order to increase the stability of the region and the Euro-Atlantic perspective, noting that: “Behind these positive trends stand only one tool and that is the dialogue. Dialogue on the internal plan, among the political entities, dialogue with the expert public, with the NGO sector, dialogue and openness with the media. ”
In his address, the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev pointed out that the citizens of Macedonia are convinced that the Republic of Macedonia deserves the Euro-Atlantic perspectives. Among other things, he stated: “Over 75 percent of all our citizens want membership in the EU and NATO. The government, with the support of the citizens and our international partners, paves the way for our country towards NATO.”He also added that the Republic of Macedonia will always make a positive contribution to every kind of initiative that will bring wider and better cooperation in the region. He also referred to other indicators of the research that indicate that young people are not sufficiently involved in the Euro-Atlantic integration processes and pointed out that it is now time to change that.
Mr. Vladan Zivulovic, Vice President of ATA, stressed the need for joint cooperation, as well as the prospects that would be opened for FYR Macedonia and the youth after joining NATO and the EU. He also added that: “the reforms implemented by FYR Macedonia over the past ten years constitute the bedrock for its forthcoming Euro-Atlantic integration.”
After the opening speeches, two panel discussions were held. The first panel discussed the domestic and institutional perspective when it comes to the inclusion of youth in democratic processes. Speakers on the first panel were: Mr. Bekim Maksuti, Deputy Minister of Defense of theFYR Macedonia; H.E. Sibyl Suter Tejada, Ambassador, Swiss Embassy Macedonia; Lieutenant Colonel Ivailo Toshirov, NATO Liaison Office in Skopje; and Marija Jankuloska, Research Coordinator, YATA Macedonia. The moderator of the panel was Mr. Viktor Andonov, Secretary General of ATA Macedonia.
The second panel was focused on the regional dimension and the perspectives for regional co-operation. Speakers at the second panel were: Colonel Ljube Dukoski, Vice President of ATA Macedonia; H.E. Bisserka Benisheva, board member of the Atlantic Club of Bulgaria; Mr. Vlade Radulovic, Project Director at the Atlantic Council of Serbia and Dr. Beitush Gashi, Executive Director of the Euro-Atlantic Association of Kosovo.
After the end of the conference, the Euro-Atlantic Council of Macedonia held a reception which was and awarded Certificates of Appreciation for support and contribution in spreading of the Euro-Atlantic values.
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