In the European Year of Youth, 2022, from May 12 to 14, the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (YIHR) will organize its 6th regional Youth Summit, this time in Podgorica, Montenegro.

Podgorica Youth Summit (PGYS) is envisioned as a regional gathering of young people and experts that aims to examine the challenges posed to the current EU path of the countries in the region, the health of democracy and lessons learned from the past while rethinking the dominant practices for building just and inclusive societies.

The idea behind the PGYS is to enhance inter-generational dialogue by bringing together youth and academia, politicians, practitioners, artists and civil society representatives enabling a space where knowledge will be boosted and solutions to both old and new problems will be offered.

For more than 18 years, YIHR regional network has been reminding the regional actors that the future belongs to young people, by equipping young people with fact-based knowledge and empowering active citizenship. With the rise of autocratic political leaders, populism and far-right ideas that are strengthening the harmful nationalistic perspectives accross the region, the need to empower and support young voices of change has to be treated as a priority. Thus, this year’s motto of the PGYS is “Don’t stay silent”.

By acknowledging the on-going threats posed to peace, carefully tailored panels and engaging idea labs will give space to young professionals and aspiring activists to exchange views and to tackle some of the most important topics for the future of Europe and the region.

This year’s Summit will encourage professionals and decision-makers to make commitments in support of the European future of the Western Balkan countries while promoting human rights, democratic values, and societal, especially youth, participation in pluralistic democracies.

Since the 1st Youth Summit, organized in Belgrade in 2009, with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) YIHR organized Youth Summits in Prishtina (2012), Sarajevo (2015), Zagreb (2017), and Skopje (2019).

The previous four Youth Summits offered engaging and interesting insight into democratic processes and peace activism, prompting discussions and debates from various perspectives. 

This year, we decided to keep the conversation going, but also to invite young people everywhere to get out there and walk the talk – which is why the Summit will offer engaging, interactive workshops that will allow participants to put all they have learned into practice.

Great Speakers

Get the chance to listen to and learn from some of the most prominent youth leaders and activists from the Western Balkans region and beyond

Have Fun

Above all, we want your experience at Skopje Youth Summit to be a fun and memorable one – and we promise to offer content that can make that happen!


Connect with over 200 like-minded young politicians, human rights professionals and civil society representatives


This is more than just a panel-type conference – join us in interactive and engaging workshops where you will be given the chance to apply learned knowledge in the field of human rights protection and democratic participation

Who is PGYS for?

Podgorica Youth Summit is for young people who are unafraid to challenge the status quo, who are passionate about building peaceful, democratic societies across the world and who are curious to learn and exchange knowledge with others.

The Summit will gather 200 people from the Western Balkans region and beyond, including political and NGO activists, media practitioners, artists, and academics.

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Main topics within PGYS

The Summit will explore various aspects of activism and different creative ways to mobilize communities in order to enable democratic processes. In an engaging and interactive way, it will teach participants about the democratic changes that took place in North Macedonia, and offer parallels to similar processes across the globe. Throughout SKYS, participants will be able to gain insight into different forms of political participation, outside of the realm of high-level politics, but also within the context of online and offline campaigns, peacebuilding through sports and art as a medium of spreading peace.

The topic of the status of Western Balkans countries within EU integration processes will be one of the central issues explored at the Summit, and how the various positives and negatives on the EU accession path affect societies in the region. 

Within the overarching theme of the capacity of youth to overcome great challenges and build bridges in divided communities, one of the central panels will explore how young people who were affected by the wars in ex-Yugoslavia managed to rebuild their lives and ignite dialogue and reconciliation with their life stories and work.PG


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