The inclusion of young people in macro-regional strategies is one of the main challenges that the strategies try to address. With the objective of increasing the participation of youth in the decision-making processes of the EUSAIR (EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region) and Interreg IPA programmes, the Cooperation Development Institute organised a youth conference “For a meaningful involvement of young people in European cooperation”, in December 2022 in Tirana.

Answers to one of the main questions – on how Interreg and EUSAIR are investing in young people – were provided by Magdalena Rakovec from the Centre for European Perspective. She presented the EUSAIR Communication Academy (co-organised by her institution and EUSAIR) as a good example of the inclusion of young people. While the overall objective of the Academy was to raise awareness of EUSAIR among young generations, and the final outputs were EUSAIR digital campaigns, the Academy also improved the knowledge and communication skills of young participants – contributing to their skill-building in an increasingly important area.

Improving young people’s skills and better digital communication were two fields identified as challenges that EU cooperation should tackle. At the discussion, other youth activities such as the EUSAIR Popri Competition, and developments in the field of the institutionalisation of youth inclusion in EUSAIR were also debated.