RYLMP 2024 - Mobility in Tirana concluded successfully

RYLMP 2024 – Mobility in Tirana concluded successfully

RYLMP 2024 - Mobility in Tirana concluded successfully

The recent RYLMP mobility ecxhange in Tirana marked a significant milestone for our latest cohort of policy disruptors. Over two weeks, our fellows engaged in dynamic discussions, insightful visits, and productive meetings, all aimed at fostering regional cooperation, evidence-based advocacy, civic education, and cultural exchange.

At the Parliamentary Institute, the fellows delved into evidence-based decision-making and civic education. They were welcomed by Mrs. Jorida Tabaku, Chairwoman of the National European Integration Council, Mr. Elvin Gjevori, Director of the Parliamentary Institute, and Mrs. Elda Zenelaj, Director of the Technical Secretariat of KKIE. Discussions focused on Albania’s European integration, youth engagement, and the challenges of brain drain, offering valuable insights into the Institute’s support for MPs through research and data collection.

The fellows also visited the OSF local office in Albania, where they met with Mr. Klodian Seferaj, Program Manager. The discussions covered regional cooperation, European integration, migration, and education. Fellows shared their experiences and future plans, gaining a deeper understanding of OSF’s work at both local and regional levels.

At PPNEA, a local environmental organization, the fellows learned about ongoing projects and discussed their research on the green transition knowledge gap among youth in Albania, North Macedonia, and Serbia. This interaction provided valuable insights and a warm welcome from Program Manager Klaudia Koci.

In addition, the Education and Employability team visited the Career Counselling office of Tirana Municipality. They explored the pro bono services offered to young people transitioning to the labor market and compared these services with similar offerings in other countries in the region.

A meeting with the Western Balkan Fund secretariat highlighted the importance of regional cooperation and reconciliation. Fellows discussed various programs, including grants for civil society organizations and mobility programs. They also shared insights on their research topics and received valuable feedback from the WBF team on how to further improve them.

The fellows had the privilege of visiting the Albanian Prime Minister’s Office, where they were welcomed by Dr. Odeta Barbullushi, Advisor and National Coordinator for Regional Cooperation. Discussions centered on regional cooperation’s role in promoting stability and economic growth in Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia. This visit was crucial for gathering data from key stakeholders and institutions.

Our policy-distruptors joined a panel discussion on “Empowering Women in the Western Balkans: Path to Equality and Progress,” organized by the College of Europe, Tirana Campus, and the European Union Delegation in Albania. The event addressed challenges faced by women in the region, with a focus on the education system’s role in driving change. Fellows actively engaged in discussions on gender and knowledge gaps in higher education and women’s representation in decision-making processes.

Fellows engaged with local organizations, including Qendresa Qytetare, to discuss their research on the Higher Education System. They learned about local actions and research applications. Additionally, the Regional Cooperation and EU Integration team met with Faktoje, the first fact-checking media organization in Albania, to discuss tackling disinformation on EU affairs in the region.

At the RYCO Secretariat, fellows discussed regional cooperation and reconciliation actions with Ms. Ensara Reci, Local Program Officer and RYLMP alumna. The meeting provided an opportunity to share past fellows’ experiences and discuss how their research could benefit regional stakeholders.

Fellows revisited the Tirana Branch of the College of Europe, where they were welcomed by mentor Gentian Elezi. They learned about the College’s history, programs, scholarships, and student life. Discussions with Professor Elezi provided valuable recommendations for their research proposals.

It was a great opporunity for our fellows to meet with Ms. Bora Muzhaqi, Minister of State for Youth and Children. Discussions emphasized youth policies, regional cooperation, education, employability, and the dual transition of digital and green initiatives. Fellows shared key elements from their research proposals, contributing to regional advocacy for youth-related issues.

Overall, the RYLMP mobility event in Tirana successfully fostered a collaborative environment for young leaders to engage with key stakeholders, gain valuable insights, and provide recommendations for policymakers. Additionally, it offered a great opportunity for cultural exchange, allowing fellows to explore Tirana and Albania, appreciating both similarities and differences.

The Regional Youth Leadership Mobility Program is a collaborative effort between the Center for Science and Innovation for Development (SCiDEV), Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YHIR) in Serbia, and the Youth Educational Forum (YEF) in North Macedonia. This project is supported by the Open Society Foundations – Western Balkans.


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