Meet the Alumni: Interview with Ljiljana Jokić

Ljiljana has a law degree and she is currently studying for a master’s degree at the University of Montenegro at the Faculty of Law. In her professional work she gives special attention to human rights, especially the environmental rights, rights of women, children, Roma, and LGBT community. At the same time, she is actively involved in the area of humanitarian law with special reference to war law and history in the former Yugoslavia. In her free time she goes to the mountains.

1. Look back at the beginning of your political activism. What was your motivation? What was the reason behind your decision to be actively involved in politics?

Some of the decisions we make later are built in our early youth. Or so it is at least in my case. I started following the political situation in my country very early. I think I started following the sessions of the Assembly at the age of 10 or 11. My dad is responsible for that. And my political activism was preceded by student activism and activism in the NGO sector and there is, as well, a constant desire to change many things in my society. The reason I do politics is because I want us all to live better, to be equal.

2. What are the most valuable lessons you have learned through political activism? What skills and knowledge have helped you gain?

The most valuable lesson I have learned is not to give up! If you believe in an idea and you want to see a better society, you have to fight for it. I am happy that through my political activism I met many people from various fields and I learned a lot from them. I learned how important it is to have a team.

3. Share with us one memory, anecdote, or story from your political experience that you value most.

Here is one recent event. On 31 August 2020 for the first time in the history of Montenegro, the longest and only ruling party was defeated and we changed our government in democratic elections. We in the Civil Movement URA are a small team and the people in our team worked hard and gave their best. The night when the final results were announced, I saw the biggest smiles on the faces of my comrades. I haven’t felt as good in a long time as I did when I saw the happiness on their faces.

4. How would you describe your experience with the activities of the Political Youth Network? What does regional cooperation mean to you?

Regional cooperation is very important. Only together we can make this region more prosperous and better for the lives of all people. Through PYN I met many people in political parties and organizations in the Balkans. Those are young people who have the same goal as I, those are my friends, this is a network made up of a team I love. During the activities organized by PYN, apart from the most valuable thing we all got, which are friends, we learned about many different topics and had the opportunity to visit institutions in the Balkans and talk to politicians from this area.

5. Today we are facing global challenges that require a lot of solidarity and responsibility. What is your desired vision of the world after the end of the crisis? What message do you have for young politically active young people in the region?

There are many challenges ahead. It is up to us, the young people, to change this society for the better. Only together and consistently in this fight can we achieve results. I want to tell my friends, young people not to give up on their goals because we have to fight for the idea of a better life for all people! Who if not me, when if not now!