The WeB4YES (Western Balkan Civil Society Organisations for Youth Employment Support) project has been supported under the framework of the Civil Society Facility and Media Programme 2016 – 2017 Consolidating Regional Thematic Networks of Civil Society Organisations by the European Commission. WeB4YES Project will last for 36 months starting from January 2018.
This Project represents a regional-scale initiative designed to deliver innovative cross-sectoral approaches and provide young unemployed citizens of the Western Balkan region opportunities for employability enhancement and employment. The Project is designed to address the existing challenges of insufficient cooperation among the civil society actors and public authorities in Western Balkan in the policy processes and decision-making toward the reform process regarding youth unemployment.
Where are the employment and entrepreneurship policies at the moment?
Youth unemployment in Western Balkan (WB) 6 is pressing, with youth unemployment rates that are among the highest in the world. They vary from 28.9% in Albania, 34.9% in Serbia and 35.9% in Montenegro, to 48.2% in FYR Macedonia, 52.4% in Kosovo* and 54.3% in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Therefore, it is vital to address this issue through cooperation and dialogue with all stakeholders. Through the cooperation of public authorities, CSOs, and private sector, the region will make substantial improvements in the policy cycle development so as to widen access to CSOs in the creation, implementation, and monitoring of public policies, in participatory and transparent manner.
What will the WeB4YES consortium do to change this?
- Facilitate the establishment of a structured dialogue on WB level between key stakeholders from the region on employment policies.
- Contribute to the development of regional and national policy initiatives on active labor market measures for youth, youth employability boosting, entrepreneurial learning and an enabling environment for youth entrepreneurship.
- Exchange know-how in pursuing feasible policies and practices for youth employment.
- Enable CSOs to influence the agenda-setting on youth employment policy.
- Improve the capacities of WB CSOs for advocacy of innovative policy measures in youth employment and entrepreneurship.
- Support grass root initiatives in WB region to further engage in the development of local services for young unemployed citizens through a sub-granting regional scheme.
- Offer a comprehensive regional e-service platform for employment and labor mobility with the aim to enhance regional mobility in the WB.
Where do we want to be?
The WB region needs open, collaborative and effective employment and entrepreneurship policies aimed at enabling higher employment rate among young people. This will have a long-term effect on the movement of people in the region, allowing for increased work mobility and thus enable people and market connectivity in the region in line with the European integration processes.
The project aims to empower civil society actors to make a substantial contribution to addressing many of the employment and entrepreneurship issues through their advocacy and oversight activities at a national, regional and local level, and thus put greater focus on the needs of young citizens in policy-making.
The project coordinator is Belgrade Open School and the partners on the project are: Beyond Barriers Association (Tirana, Albania), Association for Democratic Prosperity – ZID (Podgorica, Montenegro), Institute for Youth Development KULT (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), NGO Lens (Pristina, Kosovo), National Youth Council of Macedonia (Skopje, North Macedonia) and Olof Palme International Center (Stockholm, Sweden).
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.