POSITION OF NYCM REGARDING THE UPCOMING REFERENDUM

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The National Youth Council of Macedonia (NYCM) is a representative body for youth organizations in Macedonia. NYCM unites 47 organizations, 19 youth organizations, 19 organizations for youth, 1 union and 8 wings of political in order to promote and advocate for the rights of the Macedonian youth.

The membership of the NYCM is diverse, bringing together organizations working at national and regional level, rural and urban areas, student organizations, branches of international organizations and other types of organizations. In the process of achieving their goals, NYCM represents the interests of young people in Macedonia regardless of their socio-economic status, gender, race, ethnic and cultural background, political and religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other form of difference.

NYCM/FYROM has been representing and advocating for European values since its creating which was supported by the European Youth Forum. As such, the council was created following the values and similar models of participation within the EU and has since promoted those values in its activities. We have tailored our activities towards promoting the rule of law and democracy, youth participation at every level of decision-making, equal opportunities for all young people, freedom of movement, human rights and human dignity and freedom.

In light of the upcoming referendum on the name dispute between Macedonia/FYROM and Greece, NYCM/FYROM would like to express its support for the mechanism used to consult citizens on such an important national issue. We do believe that young people in Macedonia should have a say on such an important topic that will influence their lives and futures as a target group which has most at stake. As such we would like to call upon all young people to let their voice be heard and go out the 30th of September to cast their vote.

In order to facilitate an easier voting experience for young people, many of whom would vote for the first time in their life, we would like to call upon the government to to restrict any electoral manipulations as have been done in the past. In that line we would like to call for a fair, democratic and informative process before the voting date in order to allow young citizens to make their own choice in their own capacity. The government cannot expect that every young person is well equipped to understand the official bilateral contract made with Greece and thus we call upon simplified executive informative and unbiased summaries as a way to allow young people to make an informed choice.

In the run up to the referendum, we condemn every hate speech and fake news produced by those wishing to influence the final outcome. We find this very unconstructive, biased and triggering and we would invite everyone from refraining on it.

Irregardless of the result of the referendum, NYCM/FYROM will continue advocating for pro-European values, utilising european networks to further advance young people’s rights in the country, to enable channels for meaningful youth participation, to reduce unemployment and provide unbiased source of information for young people.

NYCM/FYROM will neither support nor oppose a desired result of the referendum. We strongly believe in the democratic will of citizens, and consequently advocate for fair, informed, unbiased and uncorrupt election process.

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