Commissioner for Protection of Equality Brankica Jankovic opened a conference on participation of youth in decision making „Respect Us, We are Here…“, which was organized in Novi Sad in cooperation of Commissioner and European Youth Capital OPENS 2019.

Stressing the importance of greater participation of young people in decision making related to their lives, Commissioner emphasized that young have demonstrated their power to significantly contribute to development of a democratic society, despite wide-spread stereotype on their indifference. Well-developed network and various opportunities for participation and dialogue are important for creating positive changes in a society that is significant for our future, said Commissioner Jankovic. She also invited girls and boys to join the Youth Panel – discrimination busters.

Commissioner presented results of the questionnaire that was sent to all units of local self-government about participation of youth in public authority bodies, which reveal that participation of people younger than 30 is minimal. Young people make 5% of delegates in municipality/city boards, 1.8% of municipality/city presidents and mayors, 1% of deputies, 5.3% of members of municipality/city boards, 6.6% members in local community councils, 4.6% of municipality/city assembly secretaries, while there are none of them at the position of president of municipality/city assembly. With these data in mind, and with participation of youth, Commissioner announced a recommendation of measures aimed to improve the equality of youth at the local level for the following year.

Vukasin Grozdanovic, OPENS coordinator, announced extension of cooperation with Commissioner for Protection of Equality aimed to establish offices and programs for youth across Serbia in order to have greater engagement of young. He also presented the most important youth programs, out of more than 1000, which were implemented during 2019. Conference participants, consisted mostly of youth and representatives of local self-governments, had the opportunity to learn about Unicef youth platform U-Report, while Ognjen Cveticanin, member of Novi Sad city spot and youth board also addressed participants.

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