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Balkan youth speaks up about digital issues: Lessons for the Conference on the Future of Europe. EPC Discussion Paper May 2021.

Stratulat, Corina and Butcher, Paul (2021) Balkan youth speaks up about digital issues: Lessons for the Conference on the Future of Europe. EPC Discussion Paper May 2021. [Policy Paper]

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    The Balkan countries have the know-how to contribute substance and methods as part of the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE). “Make Future Together: EU and the Western Balkans from the Youth Perspective” is one recent experiment in participatory democracy that speaks of the potential of the Balkan countries to add value to the CoFoE. Its methods and results offer the EU best practices and lessons learned, as the project implemented a standardised method in a region-wide exercise. In this sense, it demonstrated that the Balkans can operate as a microcosm or testing ground for EU initiatives: a model applied successfully in all the countries of the region, which share little in the way of political structures, can be scaled up to a Union of 27 member states. The project also provides insights into a subject that is crucial for the EU: the impact of the internet and social media on young people’s lives and their socio-political engagement. The input of the young people who joined these consultations suggests not only that the Balkan countries share many of the same views and priorities as the EU. The region can also handle – and, indeed, wants to speak up on – contemporary issues of concern. From this perspective, this project helps to underscore that the EU should allow the Balkan aspiring member states to join the Conference process, even if only on a consultative basis. By welcoming the Balkans aboard the CoFoE train, the EU would help build a future of solid and beneficial partnerships. And, like all great powers, it would demonstrate that it does not only preach, but can also learn from other countries.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-South-Eastern Europe (Balkans)
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > economic and financial affairs > digital economy
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > European Policy Centre > Discussion Paper
    Depositing User: Daniel Pennell
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2021 14:04
    Number of Pages: 12
    Last Modified: 13 Dec 2021 14:04

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