The Federation of Young European Greens (FYEG) met in August 2003 in Jahorina, Bosnia and Hercegovina, for its yearly summercamp. The aim was to work on reconciliation, peace and development in the Balkans. There were 90 young people, brought together from 30 countries to discuss, exchange ideas and experiences and plan projects.
FYEG concludes that the present situation in the Balkans and especially in ex-Yugoslavian countries is sadly far from ideal. Many problems, such as the lack of democracy, environmental issues, human rights violations and a barely begun reconciliation process cannot be solved by temporary measures. Without a green vision conflicts in the future remain possible.
Green vision on the Balkans
Out of the discussion and the workshops a clear vision emerged of how the Balkans can evolve into a stable region where people don’t have to be afraid. In order to achieve a true democracy, all individuals should have their human rights guaranteed and should be treated equally on all levels of society. Among other things, quality of life requires free movement, a healthy environment and a secular and non-discriminitory educational system. Urgent problems that need to be dealt with include nationalistic tendencies, environmental issues, the return of refugees, genderinequality and bringing war criminals to justice. The causes of all of these problems should be dealt with so that, for the benefit of the Balkan people, the Balkans become a full and integral part of the International Community.
How to achieve this
First of all, the different state regions and countries should resume their co-operation. This state reconciliation has to be facilitated by the International Community. The International Community and the Balkan states share the responsibility for an effective allocation of financial resources, in order to efficiently and substantially improve the quality of life of every person. A substantial part of these financial resources should be spent on eliminating the negative effects of the war and improving the day to day environment of the people. For instance, a complete civilian disarmament, including clearing all landmines and other military relics of war. Special attention should go to helping traumatised people, especially children, to alleviate the psychological effects of the war, ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Together with immediately dealing with these urgent problems, both the Balkan people and the International Community have the responsibility to keep peace. The Balkans should never again be alienated from Europe. Parallel with this political work, the awareness of youngsters should be raised by intercultural exchanges, co-operation, spreading information through the free media and education. The local judical system should work together with the International Court Tribunal for former-Yugoslavia to bring war criminals and war profiteers to justice.
The Federation of Young European Greens FYEG supports international exchanges to further the reconciliation procress in the Balkans. Through its Eastern European “Co-operation and Development Network” (CDN), FYEG tries to be a stimulating factor in the sustainable development of the Balkans by informing through its audience of members abroad and putting the issue on the political agenda of all European countries. FYEG believes that such a development can take place in the Balkans in order to achieve a society in which the quality of life of everybody is secured. The Federation of Young European Greens calls on everyone to co-operate in order to realize these goals.