Why a digital Civic Center?

Successful democracies depend on the active participation of informed citizens. Civic education aims to empower citizens to fulfill this role. Trends reveal that citizens participation in the democratic process in the Western Balkans is declining, therefore it is imperative that young citizens in the region are provided with the opportunity to fully understand the democratic principles and participate effectively in the democratic process.

Democracy is not only a form of government but also needs to be experienced and debated in the daily lives of citizens. Civic education is an important element of democracy that increases qualifications for political commitment, the assumption of political tasks and offers orientation and information. Democracy thrives on the participation of informed citizens and there is no more important task than the development of an informed, effective, and responsible citizenship. They are sustained by citizens who have the requisite knowledge, skills, and dispositions.
When there is an absent reasoned commitment on the part of citizens to the fundamental values and principles of democracy, a free and open society cannot succeed.

The Digital Civic Center will offer a neutral safe place that brings people together and where they can have an open discussion with different actors, guests and stakeholders. It will be the pillar of constructive political debate with the aim to identify political manipulations, increase critical thinking where citizens can create their own opinions based on democratic values, and principles and good governance.

Being an effective and responsible citizen requires knowledge of the democratic principles and the ability and willingness to be an informed participant in the process. It also requires the development of certain civic attitude of citizenship that increases the individual capacity to participate. In this case, civic education is an important and effective tool that facilitates the participation of citizens in the democratic process and development processes.

It ensures that individuals have the knowledge and skills they need to form independent opinions and make informed decisions. There can be no truly democratic society without the citizens' active, responsible participation. Citizens are and remain the heart of democracy!

Who are we?

The group "One Way Ticket No More" consists of young citizens from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, and Serbia who have been working in a regular weekly online working group on concrete socio-political issues related to the development of the Western Balkans countries since 2020.
The project is implemented by the crossborder factory and the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) with financial support from the German Federal Foreign Office. The project in itself will contribute in strengthening democracy, the rule of law, diversity and peaceful dialogue in the societies of the Western Balkans. Also improving information about the European idea and the accession perspectives of the Western Balkan countries to the European Union by also strengthening cross-border dialogue especially among young people.

Our Vision

The Digital Civic Center is a platform that will provide civic education - dialogue and information on socio-political issues - and pedagogical support to citizens and existing educational institutions of the societies of the Western Balkans further training on educational policy issues of the youth and adult civic education, a structural dialogue with political decision-makers as well as concrete related training measures for its members.
With the aim to strengthen a critical, pluralistic, democratic and peaceful dialogue especially for young citizens from the region, by offering an attractive range of educational seminars and events, the program content will cover topics such as: regional cooperation, strengthening democracy and the participation of young citizens in political decision-making processes, the rule of law, democratic values, dealing with history, human rights and strengthening the European integration process of the Western Balkans.
The Western Balkans should participate and contribute to the future of Europe. Its citizen's involvement through information sharing and active participation is essential to build a shared sense of belonging across the region and for them to contemplate their future in the same light as the future of the EU. The Civic Center will reflect the region's diverse identities, deal with its history, and contribute to shaping its future development. It will be a place of shared resources and a regional platform for free democratic expression accessible to all. With the aim to manifest the region's political reflection, advance good governance, and demonstrate the power of truly public space.
The project’s permanent working group of civil society representatives (WB6 and EU) long term plan is to develop and realize one or more "real" physical civic centers, presenting a regional European offer of civic education with a corresponding adequate technical and spatial infrastructure.
The Digital Civic Center of the Western Balkans is part of the overall project “one way ticket no more”, which is supported supported and funded by crossborder factory in cooperation with the regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO) with financial support of the German Foreign Office and since 2022 also by the The Western Balkan Forum Beyond. The results of this project are particularly the result of civil society engagement of a group of young professionals from the Western Balkans, offering their insights and knowledge demonstrating a great commitment in working towards regional cooperation. Their advocacy work consists also for the establishment of places of political youth and adult civic education.