Institute for European Affairs is focusing on negotiations between Serbia and the EU as well as on strengthening the capacity of all sides involved in the process. Given the complexity and long duration of the process, the Institute brings together a large number of professionals and external experts with whom organises trainings, debates and other forms of capacity development. We want to contribute to enhanced understanding of Serbia-EU relations. The Institute provides multi-perspective trainings in order to enable active participation of professionals and citizens in the decision-making processes. The Institute actively advocates for fundamental reforms within the EU integration process and in cooperation with partners working on strengthening Serbia's capacity to face the challenges of the global world through collective action. The overall objective is active membership of Serbia in Euro-Atlantic framework for the benefit of all citizens.

Narrative Report

On Monday, October 28th 2013, I conducted the Peer to Peer education activity at Victory College in Prishtina. The reason I chose to present at a university is because I wanted to have the chance to discuss and analyze the main themes of the program with the students majoring in International Relations and Diplomacy. This way, I would be able to have a more interesting and interactive discussion.

My Peer to Peer activity was divided in three main parts. The first fifteen minutes of my presentation were about the Youth Reconciliation Ambassadors program. I started by introducing myself and continued by explaining the reason why I applied for this particular program. Participants were provided with all the necessary information on how to apply to become a future Youth Reconciliation Ambassador, who organized it, the costs of the program and who sponsored it. It is important to mention that students showed high interest on getting involved themselves.

I gradually transformed my presentation into a discussion by talking and relating it to the main themes of the program which we analyzed in Belgrade. The topics the presentation was oriented towards were: Europeaness and the Balkans, Ethics and Accountability and Education and Development. Students gladly participated in the debate although I have to admit that they were not as open minded as I expected them to be. I felt a general sense of victimization of one’s self and the need to always blame “the other.” Thus, I strongly believe that initiatives and organizations such as the YRA are of crucial importance in order to foster the understanding and cooperation among the youth of the region.

Nevertheless, the last part of my presentation consisted of a lecture on Bosnia followed by a debate. The initial question I posed to the audience was whether the Dayton Agreement was the best solution for Bosnia or not. Then, I had a very short presentation on the breakup of Yugoslavia, the war in Bosnia and the aftermath of the war. I ended the lecture by opening the debate on the Dayton Agreement’s implications in post-war Bosnia.

Based on the participants’ inputs during the lecture, I strongly believe that we need to have more public speeches and debates on sensitive issues. The countries of the Balkans have a young, smart and energetic population, so we as ambassadors have to work on channeling all this towards fostering cross-cultural relations for a more developed Balkans and a viable part of Europe.

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