9.3 Exchanges between young people and policy-makers on global issues
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In the Republic of North Macedonia there is no defined top-level policy, program or initiative that allows young people to exchange views on global issues with policy makers.
There were some efforts coming from National Youth Council of Macedonia to introduce Structural Dialogue as efficient tool dialogue between young people and decision makers, but in Republic of North Macedonia there is still no national working group for Structured Dialogue and there is no based evidence whether and in what extent Macedonian youth use this mechanism.
The Youth Climate Summit in Skopje was a 2021 youth-led initiative supported by UNICEF and funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida), organized in partnership with the Embassy of Italy, as country-host of the UN Youth Climate Summit in Milan, and the Embassy of the United Kingdom, as country-host of the UN Climate change conference in Glasgow. As result from a consultation process conducted by UNICEF, as well the Summit itself, a Youth Climate Declaration was produced, embodying the key messages that young people will be advocating for and serving as the basis for a more elaborate action. The Declaration has been sent to relevant local, national and international institutions, organizations and the media.
Young people with its representatives have been part of the process of Structural Dialog: The mechanism that European Youth Ministers created for consultation, that allows them to stay in a continuous dialogue with young people covering the policies affecting them in particular, and among them, global issues.
Young people from Republic of North Macedonia have taken part of the consultation processes with its own nominated youth representatives at EU Youth Conference Riga, Latvia, (March 2015), EU Youth Conference Luxembourg,(September 2015), Western Balkans Youth Conference Paris (July 2016), EU Youth Conference Košice, Slovakia (October 2016), EU Youth Conference Malta, (March 2017), EU Youth Conference Sofia (April 2018), EU Youth Conference Bucharest (March 2019), and EU Youth Conference Zagreb (March 2020).
During the process of Structured Dialogue among other subjects, the focus was also given to solving global Issues, as a main goal of the process was to ensure that youth policy at European, national and local level is developed with, not for, young people.
Republic of North Macedonia as a program country in Erasmus+ programme, occasionally gives opportunities to young people to participate in Erasmus+ Key Action 3 projects about Structured Dialogue. These seminars are ad-hoc, and usually are organized in partnership between Republic of North Macedonian CSO and CSO’s from abroad.
In 2022, under the framework of the Western Balkans Summit, the Western Balkans Youth Forum took place, with the aim of including young people from the region in the Berlin Process. The Forum gave the opportunity to young people to voice their opinions on the current regional and global political issues, but also to reflect on the role of youth in the Western Balkans and provide specific input for decision-makers who need to include the youth’s perspectives in order to successfully tackle these issues. As a result, the forum drafted a declaration, which was later presented to the WB and EU leaders. The Declaration calls for building resilient democracies, working together towards achieving inclusive peace and security and taking action for the sustainable future of our planet.