In front of a few dozen foreign ambassadors, representatives of the British parliament, international youth organisations, representatives of Foreign Office, British diplomatic corps and the cabinet of the Serbian PM, Ana Brnabić, at the embassy of the Republic of Serbia in London, OPENS has organised a reception in order to present the wider community the possibilities for young people in 2019 in Novi Sad, as well as the global and European dimension of this title.
“What a serious country must be devoted to is the future of its young citizens. At the moment when we have a worrying wave of brain drain, it is very important to create an atmosphere and climate in the society which will enable these young successful people to stay in their own country and contribute to its development and democratic potential”, Aleksandra Joksimović, the Ambassador of Serbia in London says.
The idea of presenting ourselves to the embassies and diplomatic corps of European cities is to create the space for networking and partnership with organisations and institutions in London, as well as to inform the wider community about the activities in Novi Sad in 2019. The receptions organised by European Youth Capital Novi Sad with the support of The City of Novi Sad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at youth centres across Europe come at the moment when the Council of Europe announces almost complete decrease of budget for young people in Europe and when tempus programmes are stopped in the Great Britain due to Brexit.
“That makes this opportunity even more important and significant for us. This is the first time that young people are the centre of events and the top of the agenda of such events. We mostly have events at the embassies and receptions organised in honour of different initiatives or celebrations of one country. This time, we move the boundaries and organise receptions and such gatherings to talk about young people, about what young people do in one local community when they have support, what it is that they change in local community and how much understanding and support we can achieve with sustainable financing”, Valentina Antić, OPENS International Cooperation Coordination says.
The receptions have double significance. Our people abroad do understand the context in which Novi Sad is presented and can help with finding the partners for achieving the programs implemented in Novi Sad and the region in the last year. That is not sustainable if you do not think on the long run and since every program is self-sustainable, regardless of donors. According to the Director of Foreign Office Department for Western Balkans, Andrew Page, European Commission can help with that a lot, in sense of the road of Serbia to the European Union in 2025, so the chapters on sustainability and development are significant.
“Even today, on the example such as Brexit, we can see that when young people travel, exchange experiences and when they are connected, especially through projects, such as this, we can make a great achievement. One of the things supported by the Berlin process is economic association of the region, especially six Balkan countries as one mutual destination for the investment. Within the initiative, there are several different pillars dedicated to trade, investments, mobility of young people etc. We in the Great Britain extremely support such a process, we invest a lot of funds, trying to decrease the rate of unemployment of young people in the region, prevent brain drain and our PM, Theresa May, recently launched the program of GBP 10 million which is focused on basic education in the Balkan countries. All of this is important to achieve stability and sustainable projects in the region” Andrew Page adds.
In the next two months, several hundreds of representatives of the diplomatic corps of Europe, representatives of European non-governmental organisations and different governments and local administrations in the cities across Europe will hear about Novi Sad – the city of young people. The idea is to introduce them with the most important projects of The City of Novi Sad and to invite them to visit the City which is the holder of two prestigious European titles.