Center Science and Innovation for Development has implemented the project “Youth involvement in a constructive dialogue: Communist Past in Contemporary Western Balkans” (YOU-WB), funded by the European Union in the framework of Europe for Citizens, European Remembrance strand, and led by Center for Comparative and International Studies.

The transition from communism to post-communism in countries like Albania and North Macedonia has been determined and strongly influenced not only by the collapse of ideologies and by the changes in the international political scene after 1989, but also by the profound changes that affected the customs, lifestyles, and collective mentality in EU. The impunity of the crimes of the communist regime continues to be a serious wound for these societies even 30 years after the fall of the dictatorship and yet it has not established a substantial division from the communist past. In that regard, there can be no reconciliation and peace without historical memory. The project suggests deepening 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.

The project aim: Foster national and transnational youth activist’s dialogue about the reflection of past communist regimes in contemporary Western Balkan (WB) and EU.


  1. Workshop1. Rules, norms, rights, practices, and customs during the communist regime: youth reflection
  2. Workshop2. National Identities and Collective Memory in an Enlarged Europe
  3. Workshop3. Political Culture in Post-Communist Italy
  4. Workshop4. The effect of rapid social changes during the post-communist transition and people’s  perceptions in Macedonia and Albania
  5. Tirana Conference: Post-Communism and Democracy in WB

Project outcomes:

  1. Creating space for dialogue and reflection through remembrance of European values
  2. Youth have a better understanding of civic participation in post-communist Western Balkans
  3. Reflection on the past encourages youth discussion for the contemporary WB countries.

Countries involved:

  1. Albania
  2. North Macedonia
  3. France
  4. Italy

This project is funded by the European Union in the framework of the Europe for Citizens Programme, European Remembrance.

CCIS, in partnership with Mediterranean Center; SCiDEV; Patrimoine sans Frontières: PERIPLI, and CCM implemented the project over the period of 15 months (March 2021 – June 2022), targeting youth in 4 programs’ eligible countries Albania, France, Italy, North Macedonia.

The project-specific thematic workshops organized in each of the project partner countries, with participation from youth, will focus on the rules, norms, rights, practices, and customs of people during the communist regime; national Identities and Collective Memory in an Enlarged Europe; Political Culture in Post-Communist Italy; the effect of rapid social changes during the post-communist transition and people’s perceptions in North Macedonia and Albania, and it will conclude with an international conference in Tirana with extended participation about Post-Communism and Democracy in enlarged Europe.

The final project output is the publication of a collection of papers as the result of the four workshops organized in the framework of the project:

  • 1st Workshop, Tirana, 09-11 April 2021
  • 2nd Workshop, Skopje, 18- 20 June 2021
  • 3rd Workshop, Rome, 01-03 October 2021
  • 4th Workshop, Paris, 01-03 April 2022

Youth involvement in a constructive dialogue:  Communist Past in Contemporary Western Balkan