EUROPEAN YOUTH CAPITAL NOVI SAD IN WARSAW: CURE FOR BRAIN DRAIN
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The idea of presentation to embassies and diplomatic corps is to create the space for networking and partnership with organisations and institutions in Warsaw, as well as to inform the wider community about youth activities in Novi Sad in 2019. Therefore, in front a few dozens of foreign ambassadors, representatives of the Polish government, international youth organisations, representatives of European Youth Parliament, as well as lectors and students of several Polish cities, OPENS organised the reception in order to present the wider community the opportunities for young people in 2019 in Novi Sad, as well as global and European dimension of this title.
“Even though this is a developed country which is already in the European Union, Poland has the problem of many young people leaving the country. That is the problem in almost every country, especially in Eastern Europe. Therefore, the solving of that issue of young people by activating the youth to participate in social activities is one of the key matters we need. Therefore I think that Novi Sad being declared the European Youth Capital is very important because that enables a new support to all young people and youth organisations in Novi Sad, but also Serbia”, Nikola Zurovac, the Ambassador of Serbia in Warsaw explains.
At the moment of entering the European Union, Poland had almost half its population. It is estimated that only in the Great Britain, there are around two million Polish people, which is almost the number of citizens of the capital of Poland. The “brain drain” is a problem with which Europe faces for decades, but it is yet to be seen how the problem will be solved.
“Large migration of young people is happening not only in Serbia, in our region but in all of Europe. There are no mechanisms of retaining young people in the cities in which they grow up or educate. Unless we bring the care of young people to local level, provide them support on local level – which is exactly what we do through OPENS programmes in Novi Sad – we can lose young people in smaller cities”, Valentina Antić, OPENS International Cooperation Coordinator says.
The receptions organised this month by OPENS in youth centres around Europe have double significance. Our people abroad understand the context in which Novi Sad is presented and can help with finding the partner for the implementation of programmes which are implemented in Novi Sad and the region in the last year. All of that is unsustainable if you do not think in the long run, as each program is self-sustainable regardless of donors.
“Financial funds must be behind every project, always. Therefore, it is very important to be at the level where decision-makers are convinced how important the benefits of such projects are. But the idea of supporting young people is not questionable. So, everything that is invested in young people, especially active young people who participate in the society cannot be questioned, and all invested money will be returned 100 times”, Tomislav Vidošević, the Ambassador of Croatia in Poland says.
The next presentation of Novi Sad – the city of young people will be at the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Berlin, with the support of the representatives of the City of Novi Sad, but also, the Ministry of Youth and Sport, Darko Stanić and Snežana Klašnja. The idea is to introduce the diplomatic corps of Berlin, businessmen and international organisations with the most important projects of Novi Sad, and to invite them to visit the City which is holder of two prestigious European titles.