The International forum “Youth Cooperation beyond borders”, co-organised and hosted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Republic of Azerbaijan together with the Ministry’s Youth Foundation and the three SALTO Resource Centres working with the neighbouring regions of the Youth in Action programme – SALTO EECA, EuroMed and SEE – and the National Agencies of France, Poland and Slovenia was held in Baku, Azerbaijan (28-30 October 2012). Marco Boaria, ALDA resource and development Unit Coordinator represented the Association at the forum.
The forum aimed at exploring the impact of the Programme in the frame of the cooperation with the neighbouring regions. It also aimed at developing recognition of the importance of the international youth cooperation in the field of non-formal education between Programme and Neighbouring Partner Countries.
During the forum, needs and achievements identified by research carried out by the regional SALTO Resource Centres on the impact of the Youth in Action programme on were presented and discussed.
The three-day programme included presentation of the outcomes of impact studies carried out by SALTO as well as various discussion groups and workshops focusing on cross-cutting topics of relevance or with a geographical focus (such as impact of the Youth in Action programme on local communities, policy developments, development of the youth sector, recognition of non-formal learning etc.).
ALDA plays a relevant role – together with its Local Democracy Agencies, its members and partners established in the neighbouring regions – in promoting youth cooperation between Member States and the ENPI countries. ALDA mainly acts as multiplier in this field through empowering, on one hand, youth civil society and, on the other, connecting numerous and different stakeholders to promote partnership and cooperation. The participation of ALDA at the forum also goes in this direction and has contributed to strengthened relations and cooperation with key institutions and organisations working in the field of youth at the European level.
The visit to Azerbaijan also represented the opportunity to meet some of the ALDA members of Azerbaijan and have some institutional contacts. In particular, a meeting with the Italian Ambassador, Mr Mario Baldi, was held in order to promote future cooperation in the country, taking into consideration the strong presence of Italian members in ALDA network.