SEEYN was initiated by Danish partners, including FRESTA and Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, intermediating organization from Denmark, in 1999. Instead of starting new organizations in all countries, the program focused on identifying existing youth organizations and giving them common course of action. Representatives from all countries in SEE region had met in Denmark in December 1999 and decided to start working together as a network. From this point on, young people from 11 selected organizations continued to regularly meet and enhance mutual cooperation and understanding.
The purpose of this effort was to unite all young people from the region who wanted to take part in the process of peace and democracy building. South Eastern Europe is a region where lots of intolerance and ethnic prejudice can be found. A youth network was seen as a powerful tool to bring down the borders and achieve broader cooperation at regional level and big opportunity to individual organizations through resource and knowledge exchange.
South East European Youth Network (SEEYN) was born in December 2000, after one year of co-operation between the member organizations and MS. This co-operation took place within the framework of the Danish program "Peace and Stability through Cross-Boundary Civil Society Collaboration", initiated and funded by the Danish Foreign Ministry's secretariat for Peace and Stability, FRESTA.
In 2002 Executive Committee of SEEYN has been established and new members have been accepted. Today SEEYN has 19 members from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro.
Since the organizations first met in December 1999, a wide range of activities has been carried out: Long and medium term volunteers has been exchanged between the organizations; the number of work camps held and young volunteers exchanged with all of Europe has increased dramatically; tailor-made training seminars has been held; and a huge Eco-Tour by bus across the region has linked the youth co-operation of SEEYN and other partners to the big global agendas for sustainable development, Albert Einstein regional initiative for development of legislative on voluntarism in region is continuing…
Looking back at the time of the formation of the SEEYN in 2000, the premises for development of a stable and peaceful civil society have improved in the region – though recently shown still fragile - to an extent where new opportunities are available for, and have been developed, by activities and action taken by the organizations in SEEYN.
Today we have a situation were the member organizations of SEEYN have gained valuable experiences not only from work camps and volunteer exchanges, but indeed from a number of co-operation projects with governmental institutions locally, regionally as well as from civil society collaboration within as well across borders.
SEEYN has developed into a network of organizations devoted to the idea of voluntarism with an increasing number of activities, many of which are focusing environmental issues, which is of natural concern to the young generation.