Description of the project:
The Visegrad Youth Forum (VYF) is one of the flagship projects of the Euro-Atlantic Center, an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental student organization specializing in the field of international relations and security policy. The project’s latest edition, VYF 2017, was organised with the support of the International Visegrad Fund, NATO – Public Diplomacy Division, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, the City of Banská Bystrica, and the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations at the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica.
VYF 2017 consisted of three phases. The first phase started approximately one month before the conference, when participants from V4 countries and Baltic states actively prepared themselves for the project via online e-learning. This form of interaction helped them to prepare for the conference by studying conference-related material and familiarising with the topics of the event. The participants also discussed current issues and topics regarding V4 cooperation and the Visegrad Group in general. In addition, thanks to an online group on social media, they had the chance to communicate and get to know each other prior to the conference.
The VYF 2017 final conference was the second phase of the project. The three-day long event consisted of a panel discussion, workshops, an excursion and a simulation of a NATO and Russia summit. Moreover, the formal programme was enriched with informal and cultural activities, like the event’s official welcoming reception and a cultural evening in a tradition Slovak restaurant.
The final phase of the project consists of establishing a stable and long-lasting V4+ community consisting of young leaders from the Visegrad region and neighbouring countries. This community serves as a platform for further communication and cooperation, and is expanding every year with new participants taking part in the Visegrad Youth Forum project. During the six years of the Visegrad Youth Forum, more than 200 young people from Central Europe have taken part in this project.