Slovenian MEP and member of the Social Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament, Tanja Fajon, has warned that youth in the Western Balkans are in despair due to a lack of job opportunities in the region.

“Brain drain is a reality, along with their vulnerability to radicalization and moral discouragement,” Fajon told a conference organised by S&D in Durres, Albania, on June 9.

“And what are the possible solutions for brighter future for the Western Balkans youngsters? I strongly believe that the future of the Western Balkans is social democracy, rule of law and economic and social progress. The future of the Western Balkans countries in the EU is LEFT, but it is also left to the young people. Change is possible only if young overtake the lead in bringing societal changes and fighting well-established, deeply rooted tradition of strong male politicians, who sometimes behave like they own not only their political party, but also the whole political process in a country. Unfair and dangerous, this also prevents a future which the young deserve – better conditions and tangible perspective.”

According to Fajon, this is the reason S&D want to lead the fight of the youngsters in the Western Balkans.

S&D’s conference was aimed at bringing together young people from the region, both those actively involved in politics as well as those working in civil sector. The conference was chaired by Albania’s President-elect Ilir Meta and Economy Minister Milva Ekonomi.