1.8 Cross-border cooperation
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Cooperation with European countries
RYCO (Regional Youth Cooperation Office): During the Western Balkans Summit in Vienna, the 27.8.2015, the Prime Ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have signed a “Joint Declaration on the establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office of the Western Balkans”, in which they declare that they have agreed to “create the Regional Youth Cooperation Office of the Western Balkans, as a regionally-owned structure that leads and coordinates youth cooperation in our region”, aiming “to promote the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation between the youth in our region”.
The Agreement on establishment of RYCO was signed by the WB 6 Prime Ministers on WB Summit held in Paris, on 4 July 2016. The Head Office is in Tirana with local branches in all the capitals across the region (Podgorica, Sarajevo, Skopje, Pristina, Belgrade). The local branch office of RYCO in North Macedonia was opened in Skopje on August 31, 2018
The Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO - rycowesternbalkans.org) is an independently functioning institutional mechanism for sustainable regional cooperation among young people, established by regional governments to promote reconciliation, mobility, participation, active citizenship and intercultural learning, in an European spirit and within the European integration process of the region. North Macedonia is represented with 2 representatives (1 from Agency of Youth and Sport and 1 from youth civil society organization).
European Youth Forum: North Macedonia is represented in the European Youth Forum by the National Youth Council of Macedonia (NYCM) which is a full member. As official member NYCM is invited to delegate participants on the YFJ events.
In 2018, Greece and North Macedonia, under the auspices of the United Nations, signed the Prespa Agreement, resolving a long-standing dispute between the two countries. Apart from resolving the terminological differences, the agreement also covers areas of cooperation between the two countries in order to establish a strategic partnership between them. In the ‘Action Plan on the Intensification and Enrichment of Cooperation Between the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of North Macedonia, as Provided for in the Prespa Agreement’ it’s noted, that the parties (referring to the Governments of North Macedonia and Greece) shall support all forms of youth cooperation in order to tighten the
bonds and foster relations between young people in both countries, and to this effect, both Parties will invest efforts to establish a “Greece – North Macedonia Youth Office” as a body/platform that will work on improving ties between young people in both countries, strengthen their mutual understanding and
promote, encourage and facilitate meetings and exchanges between young people. This initiative was launched by the youth sector from both North Macedonia (by Youth Alliance - Krushevo) and Greece, through the ‘Cooperation for a Common Future’ initiative.
Governmental institutions in North Macedonia responsible for national youth policies such as the Agency of Youth and Sport, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the Ministry of Education, the Employment Service Agency cooperate with international organizations in North Macedonia such as OSCE, UNDP, USAID, as well as with the delegation of the European Union in North Macedonia, Swiss Embassy and the Embassies of United Kingdom, France and Germany. These partners support the government in the implementation of various youth policies, for example OSCE supports the establishment of Local Youth Councils, Swiss Embassy and USAID support the government by funding the outreach activities of youth organizations in the Pilot phase of the Youth Guarantee.
Council of Europe
The Republic of North Macedonia has its representative in the European Steering Committee for Intergovernmental Cooperation in the Field Youth (CDEJ). The person comes from the Agency of Youth and Sport.
North Macedonia also has its own representative in the Advisory Youth Council (CoE) who is coming from the youth CSO Center for Intercultural Dialogue.
https://rm.coe.int/2016-2017-ac-members-contactlist-with-photo-responsibilites-august-17/1680751877 (Accessed October 30 2018)