Young Friends of the Earth Macedonia organized three-day online event “Balkan Regional Forum” this summer as an open platform for creation of regional recovery plan
Balkan Regional Forum was a three-day online event held on 20th,27th August and 3rd September as an open platform for organizations, individuals, initiatives and institutions from the Balkan countries to jointly discuss and create the Balkan Green and Just Recovery Plan. The Forum included informal learning and participants’ skill-sharing on issues, knowledge and experience exchange as well as gathering visions and concrete steps and actions to implement the vision of the Just recovery plan, as well as creation of the Balkan Green Deal contours.
The forum had 178 registered participants from all the Balkan countries and beyond, including: Montenegro, Albania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Poland and Slovenia, and on average 45 participants who joined each event. All sessions were arranged to be interactive, using interactive methodologies in the presentations online as well as using Zoom Breakout rooms for increasing engagement and providing the space for everyone to be able to contribute.The sessions were conducted using intersectional approach, practices and tools gained from trainings via the Young Friends of the Earth Europe network and beyond.
The visible outcomes of the Forum are:
- A drafted (living) document for Green and Just Recovery for the Balkans, including concrete individual, societal and political steps for implementation of the envisioned future – open for comments and contributions until the end of September after it will be finalised and distributed to everyone involved, as well as published widely.
- A document with the contours of the Balkan Green Deal with inclusive policy recommendations – open for comments and contributions until the end of October.
- Creation of a Balkan Green Deal Coalition that will continue working together on creating a just and green future for the Balkans.
In the procces massive outreach to youth organisations, groups and institutions working with youth, as well as marginalised young people from all over the Balkans was achieved. Throughout this, it was ensured that as many different issues and diverse peoples’ identities are represented as possible. This was pivotal in the process of creating an inclusive Balkan Green Deal, since the second action was to achieve gathering visions and concrete steps and actions to implement the visions. An engaging and accessible narrative was developed by thinking about societal values and public interest as well as a draft document with demands for a socially just and green future, where every participant developed their version of local, national and regional intersectional solutions that work for all.