The Conference “Erasmus+ opening the doors” happened as a part of the three-year project that is being implemented by the Environment Engineering Group, within the program “Novi Sad -European Youth Capital for 2019”. It gathered up to 50 representatives of youth organizations from six Balkan countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo (According to UN Resolution 1244), Macedonia and Serbia) and decision makers in European Union that have certain impact on youth programs. The aim of the Conference was to establish structuring dialogue, networking and synergistic influence on improving the position and opportunities of the youth in Balkan countries.
After the opening inputs and presentations from Mr. Igor Jezdimirović (Environment Engineering Group), Ms. Sonja Mitter (SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre) and Mr. Srđan Mitrović (Tempus Foundation), participants attended one of the three panels dedicated to discussions about the Erasmus+ Programme’s key actions:
1. Key action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals
2. Key action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices
3. Key action 3: Support for policy reform
As a joint work, participants of the Conference formulated their recommendations according to the decision maker/organization they are addressing.
KEY ACTION 1- LEARNING MOBILITY OF INDIVIDUALS
1. Promotion of the Program
Recommendations for National agencies, contact points and organizations
to use youth friendly language and approach and to consider new presentation approac
to involve role models in promotion of the program in formal and non-formal settings where young people are
to create opportunities for introducing the Program by former users, EVS participants, youth exchanges participants, etc. (Peer to peer presentation)
to divide program promotion targeting youth workers concerning their experience. It should be made:
to offer more information to the ones already involved in work with youth and
to motivate the ones that were at EVS, participating in some trainings, exchanges, etc.
to cooperate with all institutions working with youth- youth offices, schools, hubs etc. on informing and motivating youth workers to get involved in the Program.
2. Project proposals preparation
Recommedations for National agencies and contact points:
to give to the youth organizations more support on basic level (information, procedures…).
to make basic trainings for preparation of application for organization and continue with support of experienced youth workers and organizations.
the supporting network to be more available
Recommendation for the EACEA:
Applying procedure to be less complex.
3. Quality of project implementation
Recommendation for youth organizations:
to ensure the involvement of direct and indirect beneficiaries in project preparation. Preparation activities for participants of youth exchanges to have more components- language learning, intercultural competences, etc.
KEY ACTION 2: COOPERATION FOR INNOVATION AND THE EXCHANGE OF GOOD PRACTICIES
Capacity building in the field of youth – Western Balkans (WB)
Recommendations for EACEA:
to continue the practice of CBY WB projects in the same form– with EACEA coordinating and monitoring the process of application, selection, implementation and reporting of the CBY WB projects.
Recommendations for the EACEA:
to simplify application forms documentation: instead of having different documents (word for project description, pdf for project application, excel for budget) all needed for one project, we recommend to try to develop all those in one pdf document or any similar.
to ensure functional online reporting with respect to each project’s deadlines.
Recommendations for SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre and the EACEA:
to consider new approach in promoting increased participation of public bodies in capacity building projects in the field of youth
Recommendations for SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre
to develop and implement some (innovative) activities of promotion of the Programme and the Western Balkans Window towards the public institutions, bodies and respective governments
to increase and diversify the promotion activities on the funding available for capacity building projects in the field of youth.
Strategic partnerships in the field of youth
Recommendations for European Commission / EACEA
to reconsider the rule where “the organisations from Partner Countries can be involved in a Strategic Partnership, as partners (not as applicants), if their participation brings an essential added value to the project”.
KEY ACTION 3: SUPPORT FOR POLICY REFORM- PROCESS
Recommendations for the European Commission
to provide more support and opportunities to the informal groups of young people, especially regarding involvement in KA3 projects, but also for the programme in general;
to explore possibilities and provide opportunity for partner countries to be involved in KA3 projects as direct beneficiaries;
to actively stimulate Programme Countries to extend their cooperation with Partner Countries (beyond the added value)
to support (and initiate) the process of establishing the National Agencies for Erasmus+ in Western Balkan Countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania).
to implement the evaluation and monitoring of projects in Partner Countries, with special focus on quality of the project implementation.
Recommendations for the National Agencies (in this case the Serbian NA, Tempus Foundation)
to actively promote possibilities to reflect and exchange ideas (through trainings, exchanges, meetings);
to stimulate (establishing and) improvement of relations between youth NGOs and the government;
to advocate among other NAs for higher level of involvement of youth organizations coming from Partner countries into KA1 and KA2 projects;
to organize more training courses on HOW TO write, develop and report on E+ programme (this was also listed as a recommendation to the national contact points)
to increase the budget for KA3 projects.
Recommendations for SALTO South East Europe Resource Centre
to be more involved into promotion of the Erasmus+ through direct involvement and through organizing events;
to increase financial support for contact points in partner countries;
to involve more Governmental institutions into activities and meetings;
to improve visibility of the contact points in partner countries.
Recommendations for the Governments
to get actively involved in structured dialogue with youth;
to increase cross-sectoral cooperation on youth policy;
to establish budget lines that will be dedicated for the co-funding of the Erasmus+ and other youth programs;
to establish budget lines for young people mobility actions;
to adopt the Law on Youth which predicts establishment of the Erasmus+ National Agency;
to support the process of establishing National agencies in Partner countries;
to use existing mechanisms (to implement law/strategies) in order to involve youth in decision making process by involving them in governmental work bodies.
Recommendations for youth NGOs
to motivate and stimulate other NGOs to get a ESC accreditation;
to make additional efforts to involve young people from vulnerable groups into their activities;
to advocate louder for young people’s involvement in decision making processes