The new generation of the Young European Ambassadors continues to play a fundamental role in the fight against hate speech in the Western Balkan and the Eastern Partnership regions. In a series of online workshops, more than 50 Young Eurоpean Ambassadors completed the training programme on combating hate speech and developing counter-narratives, organised with the support of the EU and Council of Europe. Throughout these awareness raising activities, the participants learned more about the key concepts of human rights, anti-discrimination and combating hate speech, as well as how to recognise and act against hate speech and how to create counter-narratives to hate speech. In the future the young Ambassadors, who are now empowered with the necessary tools and skills to combat discrimination, will further echo the message for a free and equal society in their local communities.
During the workshops, the group of Young European Ambassadors had the opportunity to raise their knowledge about the work of the Council of Europe when it comes to the protection of human rights and countering discrimination and hate speech. The European Union and Council of Europe through the implementation of the joint programmes: “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” and the “Partnership for Good Governance” have put a particular focus on the fight against hate speech and discrimination. The “Block the Hatred. Share the Love” conducted in the framework of the Horizontal Facility programme, and the earlier “No Hate Speech Movement” campaign implemented by the Council of Europe are some of the good examples shared with the participants in regards to the efforts to raise awareness and develop counter-narratives to combat hate speech.
The programme “Young European Ambassadors” is an initiative of the European Union, to create and develop a network for sharing skills, ideas and promote EU values and opportunities among Youth. In this context their role in supporting the fight against hate speech and developing counter-narratives in line with European values and standards is fundamental in the process of advancing equality and diversity in the Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership regions.
These activities were organised within the framework of the project “Promoting equality and non-discrimination: towards more resilient and inclusive societies” and the action “Promoting equality and combating racism and intolerance in the Western Balkans”, which are part the joint European Union and Council of Europe programmes “Partnership for Good Governance” and “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye”.