"There is still a high interest of young people to stay in the region. And this is our advantage. They are our greatest asset. They are the engine that drives regional co-operation and EU accession because they see opportunities and do not carry the historical baggage of conflict from previous generations.", said Majlinda Bregu, Secretary General of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) speaking at the panel where she discussed Global and Regional Challenges and Prospects for Recovery and Development at the First Annual Conference of the Ministry of Finance" Economic Recovery and Development, held in Skopje.
"Unemployment, corruption are some of the main challenges we are struggling with, and the economic challenges are ongoing, this is a known fact, but the real question is how can we use the potential of regional economic integration and cooperation? The Common Regional Market is one of the opportunities. I will not think that 6 is greater than 3, but it is imperative that six succeed in implementing CRM and not block each other.
Youth unemployment was 35.1% in the Western Balkans 6 economies in 2020 compared to 16.8% in the EU. Only by recognizing this as a major problem can we begin to find ways to solve it. "The Youth Guarantee Scheme can help in this regard and I congratulate North Macedonia that is a pioneer in its implementation", said Bregu and called for support in the launch of the Regional Coalition on Employment and Skills, which will ensure that companies to develop and maintain the Region's talent group. "This is one of the concrete examples to make progress in regional mobility. This is a tool that will keep our young people in the region, "Bregu added.
Earlier, Secretary General Bregu met with representatives of the Youth Council of North Macedonia to discuss unresolved issues that young people have in mind, and to hear their views on the situation, their concerns but also suggestions on how to things improve, increasing the potential for establishing a regional co-operation. Through its EU-funded Western Balkans Youth Laboratory Project, RCC can and is taking the necessary steps and actions to involve more young people in the decision-making process in our region.