6 June 2014


The Advisory Council on Youth of the Council of Europe expresses its deep concern regarding the catastrophic situation in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia, caused by the worst floods ever recorded in the area in recent history. Thousands of people in the region have been displaced, numerous lives lost, and unfortunately infrastructure no longer exists in many of the flooded regions. The rebuilding process, which will take years, will resume once the water starts to withdraw.

During the state of emergency, young people were the first ones to react and show great solidarity – not only with people of their own country but with the people of the whole affected region. Individuals, activists of youth organisations and youth councils, and young people acted together with local and national authorities and mobilised all their energies to support those in utmost need.

Many countries and organisations already started to support the affected areas in terms of supplying urgently needed goods like food, water and other necessities.

In this respect the Advisory Council on Youth calls upon:

- the European Youth Foundation to consider the possibility of giving priority to funding the following activities:

1. youth-led activities emphasizing that non-Balkan youth NGOs collaborate with youth NGOs in the Balkans;

2. pilot activities on youth’s capacity building in addressing such catastrophes in the future;

3. activities connecting these three nations in an international dialogue.

- local, national authorities to try to preserve the right of young people in those areas in the field of education;

- National youth councils and international, national and local youth organisations around Europe to support Balkan youth in their joint efforts to reduce the consequences of the catastrophic floods while holding their conferences/activities in the region.

People in the Balkans need our solidarity today and in this time of great tragedy it is up to us to prove that solidarity is not just an empty word in Europe. Governments and youth NGOs around Europe have the responsibility to act, bearing in mind that the people of the Balkans will need our support after the state of emergency ends.

We thank the organisations that have already mobilised and call upon youth organisations throughout Europe to spread the word and help in mobilising urgent support to the affected areas.