On 9 June 2016, NIMD organized an evening symposium on democratization in the South Caucasus and Ukraine in collaboration with Dutch political youth organizations. The event was moderated by Victoria Koblenko, actress and political scientist, and served as a follow-up to the youth organizations’ participation at the NIMD Youth Forum that took place in Tbilisi, Georgia, in March.
NIMD’s Programme Manager for the Eastern European Neighbourhood, Jurriaan Regouin, discussed NIMD’s mission, goals, and activities in the region. One of our main focuses in the region is the participation of minorities in political life. Thus, we regularly organize regional youth forums, with participants from the South Caucasus, Ukraine, and the Netherlands.
Isa Yusibov, Board Member of the Liberal Youth Network South Caucasus, and Laura Starink, journalist for Dutch newspaper NRC, shared their experiences in the South Caucasus and spoke about the various issues that the region faces. The evening finished with a roundtable discussion with representatives from Dutch political youth organizations (Jonge Democraten, CDJA, DWARS, Jonge Socialisten, PerspectieF).
The main takeaway from the symposium was that the Netherlands should keep investing in democratization of the region. The Dutch political youth organizations also emphasized that the young people in the region feel strengthened by our support, and hope that the Dutch youth will remain involved and show their emotional support.
Overall, the evening provided informative debates, perspectives, and insights, and we are looking forward to making further progress in the South Caucasus region as well as continuing to work with the Dutch political youth organizations.