During the winter holidays, Center for Intercultural Dialogue has recharged its batteries, getting ready for addressing old challenges with new forces. On January 28, Matej Manevski attended the meeting with the members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media) and the Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ), in the framework of the „Networking for Youth” initiative. The meeting gathered representatives of the Democratic Citizenship and Participation (DGII), parliamentary members, members of the Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ) and of the European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ) and aimed at exchanging views on the topic „Young people as a key to conflict resolution and peace building in Europe”.
After the introduction made by Ms Anne Brasseur, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and Mr. Paulo Pinheiro, the Chairsperson of CCJ, Matej Manevski shared his thoughts on how the peace building process looks like in Macedonia. He emphasized the need of working on developing mechanisms for different actors in society to provide space for meaningful dialogue among the communities. The major focus should be on young people, who can act as agents of change if given the necessary space for revealing themselves as meaningful actors. By giving the example of the youth center run by CID, Matej brought into everybody´s attention that switching from intergroup communication to interpersonal communication can bring valuable change in the way communities treat each other.
„Although short and formal, the meeting represented a nice stepping stone for starting up a more intense cooperation between policy makers and youth representatives in the peace building process. It encouraged parlamentarians to regard youth as a relevant partner in the peace building process and to open up new opportunities for working together as allies on the topic”, shared Matej.
The Advisory Council on Youth is made up of 30 representatives from youth NGOs and networks who provide opinions and input on all youth sector activities within the Council of Europe. The AC also ensures that young people are involved in other activities of the Council of Europe.