STATEMENT REGARDING THE YOUTH REPRESENTATIVE IN THE MANAGEMENT BOARD OF REGIONAL YOUTH COOPERATION OFFICE
Through this statement the Scout Association of Macedonia would like to express its attitude towards the election process for a youth representative in the Management Board of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office.
The election process for a youth representative in the Мanagement Board of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) once again is responsible for giving false hope and making the young people believe that they can truly be included in the processes regarding youth interests.
At the beginning of June during the Paris Balkans 2016 summit, the prime ministers of the 6 signatory countries of the International Agreement established the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) of the Western Balkans.
The establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office promotes the concepts of friendship, reconciliation and cooperation. The process is inspired by the experience of the Franco – German Youth Office, along with other successful projects of the European Youth Cooperation, which set new relationships and significantly improved co-operation which and significantly increased youth development.
The formation of RYCO, the inclusion of Macedonia in this regional initiative and the opening of opportunities for our members and all youth in our country was welcomed with great enthusiasm and joy.
Further on, the announcement process of creating bodies and transparent selection of youth representative on the board of RYCO gave us hope that finally the youth will be involved and take part in the decision making process of their interest.
The Agency for Youth and Sports is the competent institution, and so was in charge of starting the process and announced an open and constructive process.
Ever since the creation of the working group (in which organizations that meet agreed conditions can apply) a glimmer of doubt toward the transparent process appeared.
Guided by the scouting and democratic values we decided to firmly and completely support the process and take part in it, as one organization (another legitimate option was to take part as 22 different organizations-scout units) and contribute with a member in the working group and a candidate for the board member elections.
The working group was a surprise to many. The formed working group consisted of employees from the Agency of Youth and Sport, employees in line ministries and inoperative organizations (not listed as active in the Central Registry of Republic of Macedonia). All youth organizations reacted upon the creation of the working group, but were denied of more detailed information of the election of participants. After this, the youth organizations demanded access to public information, which was not denied, but didn’t meet the demands and in no way answered the questions raised.
In the name of cooperation and the need to build a bridge of trust between the institutions and the young people, The Scout Association of Macedonia stayed involved in the process and took part in the elections for a youth representative for Management Board of RYCO in the hope that the need for building trust and cooperation is the joint effort of all organizations and institutions.
On the elections (with 3 candidates) our candidate, Goran Gjorgjiev, received 13 votes less than Bojana Naumoska, while the third candidate received 0 votes, meaning that not even the organization which nominated him voted for him. Due to an insufficient number of votes, no representative was chosen that day.
After the failed elections it became clear that the process is not headed in the desired direction, consequently we did not want to participate further in that décor. On the second elections we decided not to participate with a candidate.
Seeing the results from the second elections and the ignoring of legitimate request of youth organizations we can see that the decision we made was the right one and we would like to express a great regret in missing out on:
- The possibility to finally include youth in the decision making processes
- The possibility to build a bridge of trust between the Agency of Youth and Sports, youth organizations and youth in general
In our judgment we have missed a historical opportunity to open a new chapter based on the same values as RYCO (reconciliation, friendship and cooperation).
On this occasion, the Scout Association of Macedonia considers that the Agency should show the courage and with sincere desire and commitment to the principles of transparency and inclusiveness to review the elections and start a new process which will result in electing a new youth representative with which all interested parties will be pleased with, a representative who will represent the youth and their interests in coordination with all relevant stakeholders.
As an organization that exists more than 60 years we always are and will be available to other youth organizations and also institutions in building policies and processes which will in turn create new opportunities for the young people and contribute to youth development.
The Scout Association of Macedonia