Launched in 2021 by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the EU-Balkan Youth Forum is an opportunity for young people from the Western Balkans and EU member states to unite and shape Europe’s future. This vibrant conference serves as a platform for discussions on European integration, offering a unique space for youth to exchange ideas, foster mutual understanding and contribute to the development of a shared perspectives through interactive discussions and debates.

The 2023 edition of the Forum, titled “Western Balkans Futures: How Can You(th) Shape Europe?” is funded by Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and will be organized by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). The goal is to empower young activists by equipping them with the tools and knowledge needed to make a positive impact in their communities and raise awareness about concrete opportunities offered by the European Union (EU). This will be achieved by focusing on three key areas: regional integration, environmental protection, and human capital. Divided in three working groups, participants will explore how the EU and regional cooperation can drive and inform positive changes in these fields, and how youth can benefit from these perspectives and related instruments.

Key objectives:

  • Strengthening the EU attractiveness by familiarizing youth with the EU and regional programs, actions and strategies they can rely upon to shape their ideas and support their communities.
  • Encouraging dialogue among youth from the EU and the WB, allowing them to discuss the role of youth and civil society in the European integration process.
  • Empowering young people with skills and tools needed to impacting their contexts, participate and advocate effectively for European integration.
  • Enhancing mutual learning by sharing experiences that can inform actions for cooperation among youth associations and civil society organizations (CSOs) from the Western Balkans and the EU.
  • Expanding the transnational youth network launched during the first edition of the Forum.

Dates and Venue

13-15 December, in Novi Sad.


Three young activists for each of the 6 Western Balkans economies and two from the EU (Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy and Romania. Working Language is English.

Forum topics and agenda

The discussion will be based on three working groups, all connected to the question “Western Balkans Futures: How Can You(th) Shape Europe?”

Each working group will specifically address the topics, as in the following scheme.

Western Balkans Futures: How Can You(th) Shape Europe?

Group 1

Regional Integration

Why is regional integration relevant for the future of European Integration, and what role do young people play in it? How can we increase the benefits for young people from the EU and the Western Balkans from enhanced regional cooperation?

Group 2


How do we translate EU and regional environmental protection policies into actionable interventions at the local level? What role can young people from the EU and the Western Balkans play in enhancing cooperation to achieve the green goals in Europe?

Group 3

Human Capital Development

Skills for the future: how to empower European youth in a fast-changing labor market? How do we improve the Western Balkans’ integration into existing EU policy schemes?