Balkan Youth Cooperation:
Possibilities and Challenges

Novica Stojanovic, Serbia

The Balkans region has a long history of conflict and division. However, there is also a strong tradition of youth cooperation in the region, which has the potential to play a positive role in building peace and stability.


There are many possibilities for improving youth cooperation in the Balkans. These include:

  • Creating more opportunities for young people to meet and interact across borders. This could be done through educational exchanges, cultural events, sports competitions, and other types of activities.
  • Promoting cross-border exchange programs and initiatives. These programs could provide young people with the opportunity to study, work, or volunteer in other countries in the region.
  • Supporting the development of youth-led organizations and networks. These organizations can play a key role in promoting dialogue and cooperation among young people.
  • Funding research on youth issues in the Balkans. This research can help to identify the challenges facing young people in the region and develop effective solutions.
  • Advocate for policies that benefit young people. This could include policies that promote education, employment, and social inclusion for young people.


There are also a number of challenges to improving youth cooperation in the Balkans. These include:

  • The legacy of conflict and division. The region’s history of conflict has created deep-seated mistrust and animosity between different ethnic groups.
  • Economic hardship. Many young people in the Balkans are unemployed or underemployed. This can make it difficult for them to travel and interact with young people from other countries.
  • Political instability. The region is still struggling to achieve political stability. This can make it difficult to implement programs and initiatives that promote youth cooperation.

Despite the challenges, there is a strong potential for improving youth cooperation in the Balkans. By working together, young people can build a brighter future for themselves and their region.

The Role of the EU

The European Union (EU) is playing a leading role in promoting youth cooperation in the Balkans. The EU has a number of programs and initiatives that support youth exchange, education, and entrepreneurship in the region. These programs have helped to create a more