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High-level expert meeting in Sofia on youth as drivers of change

Young people are innovators and should be actively promoted as drivers of change and as a pillar for building a peaceful society and strengthening democratic governance.

This was the main theme of and message conveyed at the High-level expert meeting on Youth organised in Sofia on 11 October, by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Bulgaria in the framework of the Bulgarian CEI Presidency.

The event titled “Youth as a Pillar for Building Resilient and Peaceful Societies” was opened by Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Petar Buchkov, Deputy Foreign Minister Velislava Petrova and CEI Deputy General Secretary Zsuzsanna Kiraly.

Kiraly underlined that youth was one of the most important topics we should get involved in.

Investing in youth is a priority of the CEI, thus a common vision shared by all CEI Member States. Youth and youth associations are key players for pursuing our mission and priorities, namely European integration and sustainable development, she said.

Delegations composed of high-ranking experts from the ministries or agencies responsible for youth and representatives of the national youth council or international non-governmental youth organisations of the CEI Member States (the latter between ages 15 and 29) had the chance to exchange views and good practices on how to better involve youth as key players in peacebuilding, as well as motivate them to take concrete action at local level or across national borders.

Discussions also touched upon social inclusion with a view of making young people active participants in confronting the barriers that prevent various disadvantaged groups from fully participating in political, economic, and social life. To this end, the Forum brought about a list of proposed solutions which are collected in a final document.

In this framework, Kiraly announced that a permanent communication channel ( had been created to give young people in CEI Member States the chance to submit their ideas and suggestions on activities of their interest.

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