Description of the project:
The Visegrad Youth Forum (VYF) is the flagship project of the Euro-Atlantic Center, an independent, non-partisan, non-governmental student organization specializing in the field of international relations and security policy. The VYF 2020 is organised by financial support from the NATO- Public Diplomacy Division, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, and the City of Banská Bystrica.
The VYF 2020 will be focused on most current issues within the Visegrad Group such as the response of the V4 states to COVID-19 pandemic and the potential of the V4+ format in the future mostly concerning the upcoming 30th anniversary of the creation of the Visegrad Group. The first part of the project is the E-learning phase, consisting of voluntary online tests which will be shared with the participants on a weekly basis via event’s official facebook page. The aim of these tests is to deepen their knowledge of the topics concerning the current agenda of the V4, EU and NATO, the position of the Visegrad countries within the Alliance and its perspective within the Euro-Atlantic structures, which will be discussed at the final conference. The 9th edition of the VYF will be enriched by the side event organized in cooperation with our new partner organization – Austrian Institute for Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) following this year’s unique V4+ format of the project.
The main phase of the VYF is represented by the final three-day conference consisting of a panel discussion, workshops and a simulation providing participants with an opportunity for objective dialogue with attending experts from both governmental and non-governmental sector. This year’s panel discussion attended by 5 experts from all respective V4 states and Austria is titled V4 after 2020: Will the COVID-19 pandemic spell the end of the V4+ format? After panel discussion, program continues with workshops where the participants will be given the opportunity to discuss their opinions and propositions about current issues and future prospects of the potential enlargement of the V4 mainly focused on its presence and further development within NATO framework. The conference will culminate with the NATO summit simulation which will tackle the topic of strengthening the European security and defence structures regarding its position within the Alliance. Every participant, set in the role of the state representative of the NATO member state will be tasked to negotiate their demands in order to achieve a consensus, which will be satisfactory for all involved parties by tackling the issue of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the Euro-Atlantic defence structure. The simulation provides participants a unique opportunity to improve their critical thinking, and diplomatic potential by testing their decision-making ability and putting them in various model situations.
The Euro-Atlantic Center adapted Visegrad Youth Forum 2020 to current COVID-19 epidemiological measures therefore all parts of project will be held in online format via ZOOM Video Communications.