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At the Rectorate of the University of Novi Sad, thirty young people, representatives of associations and attendees of Youth Policy Academy from the entire Serbia discussed the crucial fields for the development of each young person with Ana Brnabić, the Prime Minister. The participants of the Dialogue proposed the solutions for the decrease of the unemployment rate, for ensuring worthy conditions for the work of young people, inclusive and housing policy for young people as well as safe spaces and services in local communities.

The participants of the dialogue stated working experience which is necessary for employment, which young people in Serbia usually do not have, is one of the great problems when it comes to employment. They propose the implementation of subjects within formal education where young people could gain experience in the field of the so-called soft skills. The participants of the Dialogue say that our country should pay more attention to social entrepreneurship, too.

Young people must be taken care of by all ministries, and the practice has shown that that is not the case, the participants of the Dialogue say and propose clearly defined mechanism which would monitor the work of all ministries in the segment related to young people. They say that the problem is also not easily approachable psychotherapy services, which are very expensive in Serbia and according to them, it is necessary to pass the Law on Psychotherapy which will bring young people the adequate psychotherapy care. They also require the change of their position at the local level and the establishment of local youth clubs. The President of the Government of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, says that she is aware of the fact that the position of young people can be much better, but that she also knows that the problem of trust of young people in institutions exists not only in Serbia, but the entire world.

“The best this Government has done so far is what has been implemented in agreement with people, and I, in particular, am very open for the cooperation when it comes to the position of young people”, the Prime Minister says. The state has recognised social entrepreneurship, the Prime Minister explains, and the problem with working experience is solved through dual education which has been implemented in our schools. When talking about the fact that young people are leaving the country, she added that she is aware of the problem, but she also thinks there are people who come from abroad to Serbia – “Four of them are working in my cabinet”, Brnabić added.

When it comes to the local position of young people, Brnabić promised the participants of the Dialogue that in the following period, she would visit Niš, Loznica and Sombor and thereby initiate the change of the relationship towards young people and other local self-governments in Serbia.

The research has shown that young people do not trust institutions, as well as that they are not included in decision-making. The data show that 6 out of 10 young people leave Serbia. That is also one of the reasons why National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS) organised the Dialogue of Young People with the Prime Minister, in cooperation with European Youth Capital Novi Sad 2019 (OPENS2019). As they say in KOMS, they hope that this is just the beginning of a good practice of future dialogues with other decision-makers.

“Young people did not talk to the Prime Minister only today, but the Minister of Health, Finance, Youth and Sports, and the Prime Minister did not talk with just around thirty young people but with thousands of them from the entire Serbia”, Samedin Rovčanin, KOMS President Officer in Charge said. The dialogue has shown that young people are ready to be constructive, Rovčanin adds.

“The greatest problem so far is that the major topics are discussed with the groups, but the groups are not in contact”, Rovčanin says and invites, or more precisely challenges the Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabić, to continue the dialogue and communicate more.

The Dialogue of Young People with the Prime Minister was organised by National Youth Council of Serbia (KOMS) in cooperation with European Youth Capital Novi Sad 2019 (OPENS),within the OPENS project called “The Prime Minister Opens Her Door – Young People at the Government”, within the Official Ceremony for the Handover of the Title of European Youth Capital.

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