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 2018, was organised in cooperation with the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica and with financial support from the International Visegrad Fund, NATO – Public Diplomacy Division, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, the city of Banská Bystrica, the Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region and the Rotary Club Banská Bystrica.
VYF 2018 consisted of three phases. The first phase consisted of a historically first cycle of four side events organized in each capital city of the Visegrad Group, focused on commemorating Visegrad cooperation in light of its 25-year anniversary, current topics and issues resonating within the region, and future challenges. The first phase then continued with an online e-learning process for participants of the final conference in Banská Bystrica. This form of interactive preparation helped them deepen their knowledge about the topics discussed during the conference. The participants also had the opportunity to discuss current issues and topics regarding V4 cooperation and the Visegrad Group in general via a closed online group on Facebook.
The final VYF 2018 conference represented the second phase of the project. The three-day long event consisted of a panel discussion, workshops and a North Atlantic Council Summit simulation. Moreover, the formal programme was enriched with informal and cultural activities, like a cultural evening in the Museum of the Slovak National Uprising, dinner at a traditional Slovak restaurant and the event’s official welcoming reception.
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 growing each year, with new participants taking part in the Visegrad Youth Forum project. During the previous seven editions of the Visegrad Youth Forum project, more than 250 young people from Central Europe have taken part in this project.