Priorities of youth in North Macedonia and Albania – the topic of a study visit between the Parliamentary Youth Clubs of both countries
In September 2022, representatives from the parliamentary Club for Youth Affairs and Policies of the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia visited their colleagues from the parliamentary Youth Club of the Albanian parliament. The study visit was an opportunity for the MPs from the North Macedonia Club, that has been working since 2018, to share their experiences with their colleagues from the Albanian Parliament, established at the beginning of 2022. Issues such as the impact of the emigration, standard of life and participation were the main topics the MPs discussed as major concerns of young people in the Western Balkans. The MPs attending the visit were: Monika Zajkova who is the Chair of the Club, and MPs Safije Sadiki Shaini, Marija Petrushevska, Jovan Jauleski and Muhamed Kadriov who are members of the Club.
The study visit involved a joint session of the parliamentarians in the Albanian parliament, meetings with the Chair of the Youth Club Andia Ulliri, Ministers of State Elisa Spiropali and Bora Muzhaqi. MPs also met the Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj and representatives of the Tirana Youth Capital team, as the city is the European Youth Capital for 2022 and discussed the municipal strategy and vision for young people.
MPs also met with regional organizations based in Tirana and spoke about the programmes with the representatives of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office and the Western Balkans Fund. MPs also discussed their perspectives on both countries and the young people with British Ambassador Alastair King-Smith, Deputy head of mission of British Embassy Tirana Mia Marzouk, Ambassador of North Macedonia to Albania Danco Markovski.
The Western Balkans region has many youth challenges in common, and only through institutions and parliaments that share positive experiences, can the current needs be understood and further involve youth representatives as equal parts in their work towards improving the youth standard and position in the societies.
The model of parliamentary youth clubs provides young MPs with an opportunity to build cross party dialogue on unifying topics, and to provide attention and visibility to youth priorities in the parliaments. Their approaches and cooperation are also ways for involvement of young people in the policies that concern them.
The study visit was conducted by WFD with the support of the British Government through the Western Balkans Democracy Initiative.