Serbia's first national youth council - Krovna Organizacija Mladih Srbije, or KOMS - came into being at a ceremony in Belgrade on 10-13th March. State Secretary for Youth, Ivana Kovačević, welcomed the founding of the nation-wide platform and stated the organisation would be a “relevant partner” in policy-making. Kovačević noted that there had been a huge growth of the youth NGO sector in recent years: “in 2007, only five youth offices existed and at this moment we already have 116 of them”.
The ceremony also saw the election of Vukasin Grozdanovic as the president of the new national youth council. Speaking at the event, European Youth Forum President Peter Matjašič said himself satisfied that the “4 years of hard work” of all the partners had such a positive outcome. He pointed out the “importance and beauty that everybody is working for youth and has the same goal on the local, regional or European level.” He concluded by emphasising the need to strengthen all KOMS member organisations, whilst also re-iterating the ongoing support of the Youth Forum.
In December 2010, the European Youth Forum organised networking days in Serbia in order to foster the creation of a national youth council. In recent years, such networking events have contributed to the development of National Youth Councils in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Poland, Turkey and now Serbia. A proactive approach in assisting the creation of new member organisations is important since each new youth council increases and widens youth involvement and participation, opening up new opportunities for voicing the concerns young people on the national and European level.