U fokusu rada Instituta za evropske poslove je praćenje pregovora Srbije sa EU i jačanje kapaciteta svih uključenih u procesu. Imajući u vidu složenost i dugotrajnost ovog procesa, Institut okuplja veliki broj stručnih saradnika sa kojima organizuje treninge, debate i druga usavršavanja zato što želimo da svojim radom doprnesemo boljem razumevanju evroatlantskih integracija. Institut radi na organizovanju treninga i pružanju multiperspektivnih informacija kako bismo omogućili aktivno učešće stručne javnosti i građana u procese donošenja odluka. Institut aktivno zagovara i zalaže se za temeljne reforme u okviru pegovaračkog procesa i u saradnji sa partnerima jačamo kapacitete Srbije da se suoči sa izazovima u globalnom svetu kroz zajedničko delovanje, koje za krajnji cilj ima aktivno članstvo Srbije u evroatlantskim okvirima za dobrobit svih građana.

My Contribution to the Regional Reconciliation

I would like to start this essay by introducing myself. I come from a beautiful small town called Gjilan. Currently I am working on my master thesis in Economics. I have always wanted to travel the world and when I discovered that I had the opportunity to study abroad I knew I had to apply. I was very lucky to gain a scholarship as an exchange student to study at University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.

Living away from home, has impacted me in ways that will stick with me for life. Experiencing a different culture, lifestyle and a different language has changed my perception of life. I have become more independent and confident in myself and the choices I make.

Being part of such an international class has influenced me to see the differences in the way I take steps in developing myself in both academic and personal aspects. This was my first international experience, but has not been an obstacle for me to try to adapt to the new life and new people that surrounded me. Besides my engagement in classes, I have found every day new and exciting things to do on the campus to keep myself involved. Considering that I was studying in English language, my classes were mixed with the presence of people which came from different countries and backgrounds. I did also start a Slovenian language course which I did enjoy a lot and it kind of relaxed me after having those busy classes.

When I saw the official calling for the fifth generation of Youth Reconciliation Ambassadors, I decided to apply. This was my first time in Belgrade, so I was really excited to go there, explore the city and also meet different people from Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia. I called a friend on the phone that was also accepted in this programme and we decided to travel from North Mitrovica to Belgrade. Since we were there too early we sat down in a coffee shop to drink something and wait for the bus to arrive. The coffee shop is owned by a Serbian, so I was pleasantly surprised by a warm welcome. The Kosovar passport is not recognized by Serbia, you need to take with yourself an ID to pass the border.

During the programme we had great speakers, great presentations and great lectures. I think that programmes like this should be organized in every town in former Yugoslavia, so young people can better understand the past and move on in living forward. I am glad that I had the opportunity to be part of the fifth generation and discuss the topics that touch each of our lives. I am very happy that I met people who are working on similar issues or are educated in that field. I think that it is very important to share experiences, discuss and complement each other. There are still people who don’t know the facts nor do they want to know them, nor do they want to talk about any of these things.

I have to admit that destroying stereotypes is a full-time job! But, it is through programmes like this one and through contacts that you make that make it possible for you to build new bridges. Bridges that connect young generations regardless of what they hear at home, at school or elsewhere.

The most important lesson that I learned is that we all should do more to eliminate stereotypes and prejudices by opening the mind to diversity and discuss the issues that are not so present in our day-to-day communication.

Yours sincerely,

Riana Veseli

Youth Reconciliation Ambassador

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