The project “Youth involvement in a constructive dialogue: Communist Past in Contemporary Western Balkan” (YOU-WB) kicked off on 03rd February 2021. The kickoff meeting was organized online on Zoom Platform by Center for Comparative and International Studies (CCIS) as a project leader with the participation of all project partners: Mediterranean Center; SCiDEV; Patrimoine sans Frontières: PERIPLI and CCM. Each project partner was represented by two staff, each introducing their organization, their profile, and role in the project.

Ms. Juljana Sokoli, Executive Director of CCIS, welcomed all the participants and highlighted the relevance of YOU-WB project by pointing out there can be no reconciliation and peace without historical memory. She emphasised that the project will deepen the work in education and raising awareness of the younger generation, opening a debate through an analysis of the causes and consequences of dictatorial regimes, honoring victims, and above all, transparency in crimes committed against humanity by communist and other dictatorial regimes.

Prof. Nevila Xhindi, Project Advisor, facilitated the discussion by presenting the project aim, objectives, activities, financial arrangements and by particularly focusing on the project approach towards COVID-19. Partners also presented their views on how to arrange project activities so as to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19, especially in terms of travel. In addition, the thematic content of each workshop was also discussed, and partners had opportunities to suggest their own perspectives on how it would be best to organize workshops in Italy, France, and North Macedonia.

Finally, the communication and visibility plan was presented by Dr. Blerjana Bino, Co-Founder of SCiDEV, project partner in charge of communication of project activities and results. She drew the attention of participants regarding the importance of communication and visibility not simply as an obligation to Europe for Citizen Programme, but also as a means to reach target groups, raise awareness, expand the network of collaborators and engage stakeholders. The project will use several templates for communication and visibility developed with the communication and visibility plan. The project logo was also presented during the meeting and the guidelines for use of the EU emblem and other graphics of Europe for Citizen program.

All project partners confirmed their enthusiasm and commitment to this project. Social media posts communicated the kickoff meeting to wider audiences.

The project is funded by the European Union in the framework of Europe for Citizens, European Remembrance strand and led by Center for Comparative and International Studies.