PeaceNexus Foundation

Regional Youth Cooperation Office

December 21, 2017

Directly deriving from the “Berlin Process”, a diplomatic initiative launched to foster collaboration among the “Western Balkans Six” (WB6) and promote their European integration, the Regional Youth Cooperation Office(RYCO) is an independently functioning institutional mechanism for youth cooperation supported by the Governments of the WB6: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Serbia. RYCO promotes the spirit of reconciliation and cooperation between youth in the region and encourages regional youth policy that opens new opportunities for participation, education and innovation. RYCO is funded by the WB6 and it is supported by the EU and other bilateral donors. The organisation is governed by a board that consists of six governmental and six civil society youth representatives.

PeaceNexus’ Western Balkans team has been supporting RYCO since the establishment of its secretariat in July 2017. Namely, PeaceNexus has been assisting RYCO with its organisational set-up through facilitating team retreats and providing advice on RYCO’s first grant call, which was successfully launched in October 2017. The variety and quality of the proposals showed that RYCO had managed to reach and connect a diverse and relevant range of stakeholders and initiatives with the purpose of facilitating youth exchange, mobility, cooperation and reconciliation across the region. In February 2018, RYCO has been acknowledged as a key flagship initiative in the European Commission’s Western Balkans Strategy.

PeaceNexus is planning to support RYCO in 2018 in further development of its organisational systems and operations, including by assisting the RYCO team in reflecting on and further improving its grant-making practice.

“PeaceNexus’ support and constructive facilitation allowed us to better understand the processes in which we were involved, to improve the coordination and the quality of our work, in an environment of enormous pressure to deliver results in short time, as a result of the huge expectations of a number of stakeholders. As Secretary General and leader of RYCO’s multicultural and decentralised team, I have personally greatly benefited from PeaceNexus’ coaching and advisory role”.

Đuro Blanuša, Secretary General of RYCO

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.