Sustainable development in the Western Balkans: Is youth on board?

Policy Recommendations

  1. Responding to the demands of the market the relevant institutions throughout the region should develop fast-track programmes advancing the needed skills from youth and enabling further professional development.
  2. Regional development initiatives must be specifically designed to target youth in need and guarantee that their views and interests are equally represented.
  3. National institutions should ensure youth participation when designing policies.

Digital Europeanisation in North Macedonia: slowly moving forward

Policy Recommendations

  1. Explain the benefits of digitalisation and the digital access to public services to citizens, in particular to the older generations.
  2. Convince reluctant institutions of the benefits of being a part of the digital system and offering digital services.
  3. Establish an Agency for Digitalisation and Registers and an institution tasked with cyber-security in the public administration.

Youth Cooperation in the Serbian-Hungarian Context

Policy Recommendations

  1. Regional organisations should collect information on existing youth projects (e.g. the Regional Youth Cooperation Office and the Youth Initiative for Human Rights) and relevant funding possibilities to better disseminate the available information to a broader audience within the EU and across the Western Balkan region. These organisations should also act as contact points for interested audiences.
  2. Fostering reconciliation, dismantling old animosities, and establishing trust by providing exchange possibilities, needs to be further promoted. The ERASMUS Programme should fully include all Western Balkan countries, hence changing the status to programme countries for all.
  3. The focus of the Interreg-IPA Cross-border Cooperation Programme Hungary-Serbia should move to areas that are of main importance for fulfilling the technical requirements for the EU accession process, such as the rule of law, and providing information on the main logic of democratic processes.

Demographic decline of Croatia: What is to be done?

Policy Recommendations

  1. Assess the demographic challenge in a multi-stakeholder perspective and design policies that reflect political, economic and social complexity of the issue. Earlier policy solutions should be analysed critically and fairly.
  2. Strengthen the rule of law. Strong democratic institutions with entrenched rule of law and legal certainty positively impact investments and economic development which, in return, incentivise people to remain, those who left to return, and new ones to come. Designing policies aimed at increasing birth rates without tackling broader negative political and economic trends, in particular corruption, will not reverse demographic decline.
  3. Reflect on positive aspects of people’s mobility and on best practices elsewhere.
  4. Show positive examples of immigration in Croatia and successful stories of integration. Discuss challenges of integration both for the local population and immigrants. Deconstruct fear.

Listening to the people: How the Green Agenda Action Plan can do better for the Western Balkans

Policy Recommendations

  1. To reach desired objectives, the European Union should more closely involve and consult environmental civil society organisations from the Western Balkans and the local population, on all matters related to the Green Agenda, which includes timely and transparent sharing of information in line with the Aarhus Convention.
  2. The European Union should extend the Green Agenda Action Plan to delineate clear responsibilities of all relevant actors in the region, set clear time-frames and targets as well as precise rights and responsibilities of civil society organisations in the consultation process.
  3. It should impose stricter control over governmental action of the Western Balkans to reach the objectives of the Green Agenda and establish a sound monitoring system that will also include the civil society organisations and extend monitoring financing in line with coordinated and participatory bottom-up financing schemes.

The Vulnerability of Women in the Labour Market in Serbia

Policy Recommendations

  1. Including a gender perspective in employment policies.
  2. Introducing comprehensive programmes and measures to support the employment of vulnerable categories of women as well as empowering women by improving the career guidance system and developing mentoring programmes.
  3. Improving the system of employment protection and preventing discrimination.