Visegrad Youth Forum is a unique project with a long-standing tradition. The aim of this event is to create a platform for mutual networking, innovative education and increase in the interest level of young adults regarding current events and the future of the Visegrad Group. The project consists of a number of phases, the culmination of which is a 3-day conference in Banská Bystrica, in the heart of Slovakia, which is the only V4 country to share its border with the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary.
The main goal of the conference is the active expert discussion about current issues facing the Visegrad Group, as well as critical alliances affecting the region. The annual goal of the Euro-Atlantic Center is to increase the quality of the event which we are achieving with additions of new elements every year.
The conference is attended by political experts, state representatives, as well as representatives of the academic, 3rd sector and private spheres, who answer the students’ questions during panel discussion while also participating in workshops and simulations. By way of this project, the Euro-Atlantic Center attempts to create a specific platform for supporting an open and informal discussion between young generations. This creates space for the exchange of ideas, information and experience, which will strongly support the idea of Visegrad cooperation both within and outside of this community.
For more information please visit our website vyf.eac.sk
Visegrad Youth Forum is organized with support from International Visegrad Fund.
Until the start of VYF 2017
For the fifth time, the Visegrad Youth Forum (VYF) returned to the “Heart of Slovakia”, Banská Bystrica. VYF 2016 took take place from December 7 until December 8, 2016. Young academics and experts from the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Ukraine met in the heart of the Visegrad region to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Visegrad Group. This year´s edition of the Forum was held under the auspices of Miroslav Lajčák, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.
The main program of VYF 2016 consisted of panel discussions and workshops. Aside from the official program, the opening reception and a cultural program provided the participants with an opportunity to get to know each other and to network. Two panel discussions took place during the course of this year’s Visegrad Youth Forum, the topics being The V4 – 25th anniversary: Successes and perspective of future collaboration and Warsaw aftermath: Challenges for Central Europe. Both panel discussions were followed by workshops, which were meant to prepare the participants for the highlight of the program – a unique opportunity to take part in a simulation of a NATO – Ukraine summit, where the participants were put into roles of real policy makers. The simulation took place in the so-called CEKR (short for Crisis Management Center) at the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations of the Matej Bel University.
Both panel discussions were followed by workshops, which were to prepare the participants of VYF 2016 for the NATO – Ukraine summit simulation. During the course of the simulation, the participants agreed on a final communiqué, which is addressed to representatives of V4 countries to inform them of the opinions of the young academics from the Visegrad region and aims to serve as recommendation material.
4th year of Visegrad Youth Forum took place from 2nd to 4th December 2015 in the heart of Europe – in the city of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, under the auspices of Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.
Uniqueness of this year´s forum was in engagement of participants from Ukraine – potential future member of the EU. Young leaders from these 5 countries had the opportunity to present their view on cooperation among V4 and Ukraine and also to familiarize with the current problems and challenges of the EU member states in the central Europe.
First phase of the Forum started approximately one month before the conference when participants from V4 countries and Ukraine actively prepared themselves via online e – learning. This form of interaction helped them to prepare for the conference by studying related materials and familiarising with the topics of the event. Participants also discussed current issues and topics regarding V4 cooperation. In addition, via online group they had a chance to communicate and get to know each other even before the conference started.
Three-day-long conference consisted of the opening reception, three panel discussions, several workshops and a simulation of Foreign Affairs Council. Moreover, formal program was enriched with informal activities, such as cultural evening or guided tour in the museum.
Two workshops which took place during the second day of the forum were aimed at developing of the interaction and mutual understanding among participants who were divided into 4 workshop groups. The chair of each workshop set the topic and participants had to actively engage in discussion and negotiate about possible solution. The topics of the workshops were related to the panel discussions. First workshop dealt with the topic of Eastern Partnership and the second round of the workshops was focused on Migration crisis in Central Europe. Participants had to come up with ideas how to tackle these problem and challenges.
After the formal program participants went to the guided tour in the Museum of Slovak National Uprising in Banská Bystrica where they could get acquainted with the brief part of the history of the Slovak Republic. In the evening they also participated in cultural evening which aimed to present slovak food, culture and traditions.
The conference culminated with the simulation of Foreign Affairs Council which took place in the Center of Excellence – Crisis Management Center at the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations, Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. The facilities provided the participants ideal conditions for simulating of negotiations of the EU leaders. The topic of the simulation was Attitude towards Ukraine. Each participant was assigned to represent one of the 28 countries of the EU. Representant of Ukraine was in the position of observer. Their task was to defend the position of the respective state even if they disagreed. The aim was to point out the differences among countries and to find solution to the situation. Participants had to make concession and negotiate in order to reach the deal on the issue.
The 3rd consecutive year of the Visegrad Youth Forum has again found its home on the premises of the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations of the Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica. This international event, which lasted 3 days, from 27th to 29th November, brought together young academics and professionals from across Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.
The Visegrad Youth Forum has once again created a platform for worthwhile discussion on various issues currently facing the Visegrad region. The conference consisted of 3 panel discussions, which focused on the current and future partnership of V4 countries, cyber security and digitalization, as well as energy security. Contrary to previous years of this conference, VYF 2014 also brought participants together in the form of a simulation of a meeting of V4 country leaders. Students had the opportunity to not only hear about and discuss current issues as part of panel discussions and workshops, but were also able to try their hand in crisis situation resolution. To better understand the issues facing their neighbors, participants were not able to represent their mother countries. The three most active of them received a valuable prize in the form of an internship at the Globsec 2015 conference. The output of the simulation is a declaration, which will be sent to the current leaders of all V4 countries.
The event was organized under the auspices of the mayor of Banska Bystrica, as well as the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Peter Javorcik. Mr Javorcik, along with Dutch ambassador H.E. Richard Van Rijssen and Tomáš Strážay (from SFPA) presented their ideas on Visegrad cooperation in the first panel of the conference.
Aside from the opening reception hosted in the city hall of Banska Bystrica, and the various panels, workshops and simulation, participants of the event had the opportunity to get acquainted with Slovak traditions and culture by way of a cultural evening at a local chalet.