Promoting regional cooperation is a key component of the EU’s policy towards the Western Balkans. The Western Balkans Fund, an international organisation, owned by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the region, shares the same goal and values. If you want to learn more about the Western Balkans Fund, please visit the official webpage, www.westernbalkansfund.org
Since July 2021, the EU and WBF have joined forces in funding together for the next 30 months a Regional Grant Scheme tailor-made to benefit the civil society and grassroots organisations in the region. The financial support to regional stakeholders is provided through the project “Support to the promotion of the Civil Society regional actions in the Western Balkans”, (cn2021/424-879), part of the IPA – Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance package.
Purpose of the grant
The grant will contribute to the following results:
Small CSOs in the Western Balkans participate in regional cooperation projects on social, cultural, scientific, and economic topics, including with a gender dimension.
IPA beneficiaries stay engaged in the promotion of regional cooperation, enhancing good neighbourly relations and reconciliation processes in the Western Balkans Region.
SO1: Improve effectiveness and accountability of civil society to act as independent actors, including on issues relevant to participatory democracy, gender equality, disability inclusiveness, youth engagement, good neighbourly relations, green and digital agenda, and Roma empowerment.
SO2: More effective and better communicated contribution from CSOs to regional
development, social, cultural and economic issues & processes;
SO3: Broader & stronger partnership between CSOs and other key stakeholders in the WB region.
Target Groups and Final Beneficiaries
WBF’s engagement with Civil Society includes all non-state and non-profit making organisations, nonpartisan and non-violent, through which people organise to pursue shared objectives and ideals, whether political, cultural, educational, social or economic. WBF within this action aims to cooperate with civil society actors from the Western Balkans region operating from the local level, grassroots to regional levels, comprising both urban and rural organisations, including membership-based, cause-based and service-oriented CSOs. Through this action, WBF will better prepare CSOs and grass-root organisations to promote regional cooperation with the focus on enhancing people-to-people links. WBF has identified its primary target groups as follows:
- Civil Society Organizations, associations, foundations, non-for-profit organisations, regional networks;
- Local and regional public entities or associations of local and regional public entities.
- Business associations such as: business cluster, agriculture association, chamber of commerce, tourism association, etc.;
- Media associations such as: organisations working with media, journalism and freedom of expression;
- Educational institutions such as university, school, institute, library, research centre, academy of science/music/art, etc.
- Institutions of culture or sports such as museum, art gallery, theatre, library, or association of cultural institutions, sport association, etc.
Western Balkans Fund is already a ground-breaking mechanism that promotes cooperation on large scale. Since our establishment in 2017, we have supported 99 projects, creating a network of over 4.000 stakeholders and more than 10.000 direct beneficiaries. Since 2021, together with the European Union co-funding our Grant Scheme, we aim to increase the support to a new, unprecedented level.