Europeanisation meets democracy from below: The Western Balkans on the search for new European and democratic Momentum (WB2EU)

In our 5th Ideas go public Lab we will discuss inequality in the Western Balkans & the situation of young people in the labour market & education.


19 September 2022

Venue: Roma Education Fund, Majke Jevrosime 51/II floor, 11000 Belgrade

11.00–11.30: Registration


According to the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index, Serbia is at the bottom of Europe and 84th on the list of 154 countries in the world. One of the causes of high inequality in Serbia is the high percentage of people who have very low work intensity. A similar state of affairs effects the entire Western Balkans region, as Albania is ranked 80th, North Macedonia 103rd, and there is no data for others. The share of these persons aged up to 60 years old in Serbia (21.2%) is much higher than the European average (10.5%) and individual EU countries. The economic insecurity is followed by a lack of social measures and respect for basic human rights for the most vulnerable groups in the Western Balkans region, such as Roma, women 45+, people with disabilities, and the LGBTI+ community.

  • Can European Integration foster more solidarity within society in Western Balkans region?
  • What are the mechanisms for the governments to take a more active role in tackling inequality?
  • How can CSOs contribute?


Brankica Janković, Commissioner for Protection of Equality of Republic of Serbia

Sofija Todorović, Programme Director, Youth Initiative for Human Rights

Sarina Bakić, Professor and researcher at the Department of Sociology, University of Sarajevo’s Faculty of Political Science, WB2EU Network

Moderator: Sonja Licht, President, Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society

13.00–15.00: Lunch break
Location: Grmeč Restaurant, Makedonska 32, Belgrade


In the Republic of Serbia, an institutional, legislative, and strategic framework aimed at young people has been developed. The position of young people, however, is often assessed as unsatisfactory, primarily due to the position of young people in the labour market but also the quality of the education system, which is the case throughout the whole WB6 region. Regarding the views of youth on the Republic of Serbia entering the EU in 2021, a historic low of 39% of young people supported Serbia joining the EU, 33% were against it, while 28% did not know.

According to the research, more than half of young people are not interested in being informed about socio-political events, while their interest in being actively involved in socio-political events is even less. The slow process and often the status quo in EU integration led to a loss of trust among youth towards the process itself, which can cause a spill-over effect in the entire WB region.

  • What are the key mechanisms to involve youth in the decision-making process?
  • Is there a need for a change and additions to the Law on Youth for its better efficiency?
  • How to raise youth interest in socio-political events and their active participation?

Introductory remarks:

Summarising the “young influencers” conclusions from the WB2EU Summer School at Cres

Mirjana Đorđević, Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society, WB2EU Summer School participant


Andrea Mićanović, Youth Representative of RYCO Governing Board, Regional Youth Cooperation Office

Angela Angjelovska, Vice President, National Youth Council of North Macedonia Governing Board

Milica Borjanić, Project Manager, National Youth Council of Serbia

Moderator: Nikola Burazer, Executive Editor, European Western Balkans

20.00: Joint dinner of the WB2EU Network
Location: Tri šešira, Skadarska, Belgrade

In cooperation with:


Picture gallery 5th Ideas go public LabDay 1: TACKLING INEQUALITY – A STEP TOWARDS SOLIDARITY (Public debate, 19 September, Roma Education Fund)

Panel from left to right: Sonja Licht (moderator), Sofija Todorović, Brankica Janković, Sarina Bakić

Credits: © WB2EU / Photos: Susan Milford-Faber
WB2EU / Photos: BFPE


Picture gallery 5th Ideas go public Lab – Day 1: MAINSTREAMING YOUTH VISION – AVOIDING YOUTHWASHING (Public debate, 19 September, Roma Education Fund)

Panel from left to right: Mirjana Đorđević, Nikola Burazer (moderator), Milica Borjanić

Zoom from left to right: Andrea Mićanović, Angela Angjelovska

© WB2EU / Photos: Susan Milford-Faber
WB2EU / Photos: BFPE


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