The WBF is excited to expand its ranks with a new, highly skilled and motivated employee committed to helping us build new bridges of cooperation in the Western Balkans.
After studies in Serbia, Poland, Netherlands, Germany and Austria and an important experience dealing with European projects and public administration, Uros Citakovic joins the Western Balkans Fund as our new Monitoring and Evaluating Officer.
Mr Citakovic will split his working hours equally between the Secretariat and the WBF-EU project “Support to the promotion of Civil Society regional actions in the Western Balkans”.
“As a young expert experienced in regional and cross-border cooperation with solid knowledge of the EU development history and the needs of regional societies, I have decided to take an active role in the WBF activities because mission, vision, and potentials for development are fascinating”, underlines Uros.
Mr Citakovic full introductory message:
Hello! I am Uroš Čitaković, a new member of WBF staff from the Republic of Serbia. As a young expert, I was engaged in domestic and regional projects of local economic development and good governance as well as management of regional development through the EU funds. Working in one of the largest public-private associations of businesses, local governments, and civil society organizations in Serbia allowed me to get insights into regional diversity and ideas of building a common future.
I have deepened my knowledge and understanding of the European Union goals and values during my studies in Poland (Institute of International Relations in Warsaw) and the Netherlands (Vrije University in Amsterdam). In the Policy and Public Administration Department at the University of Konstanz in Germany, I have developed comprehension of democratization processes in post-conflict societies which helped me in understanding the regional dynamics and ecosystem as well as elucidated room for improvement. I am alumni of the European Forum Alpbach in Austria where I gained a certificate in European Union law. Japan Tobacco International and the Embassy of Japan in Serbia awarded me a Sakura scholarship for a scientific paper “Cultural diplomacy of Japan and its practical implications”. I have completed a professional internship in the Ministry of foreign affairs of the Republic of Serbia (Office for Cooperation with the Diaspora and Serbs in the Region) at the very end of my bachelor studies.
My previous professional experience is related to Interreg IPA CBC and IPA-IPA CBC. I have actively participated in developing and establishing cross-border cooperation by enhancing competitiveness and developing the business environment by enforcing the growth capabilities and employment and innovation potentials of local SMEs, local CSOs, LSGs, and universities in the program area (Serbia – Croatia, and Serbia – North Macedonia). By implementing projects financed by the program Civil Society Facilitation I have gained crucial experience in developing monitoring tools to strengthen citizens and empower local CSOs in reform processes and the rule of law by improving the implementation of data protection and eGovernment in LSGs in the Republic of Serbia. Developed monitoring tool ensured greater transparency, openness, and accountability of public administration. I have developed passion for multidisciplinary through Future Studies at Belgrade Open School, School of Diplomatic practices of European Movement in Serbia where I was one of the founding member of Youth Forum and programs of Science Center Petnica (molecular biology, physics as well as psychology and archaeology).
The Western Balkans fund is a unique regional cooperation mechanism with an inclusive approach toward supporting stakeholders in exchange for experiences, knowledge, and examples of best practices. By promoting cooperation and strengthening of networks between CSOs, organizations, cultural and scientific institutions, and LSGs, the WBF provides a clear instrument for creating a favorable environment for the integration of WB6 societies into the EU and the Region. As a young expert experienced in regional and cross-border cooperation with solid knowledge of the EU development history and the needs of regional societies I have decided to take an active role in the WBF activities because mission, vision, and potentials for development are fascinating. As one philosopher said, all of us are deeply integrated and determined by culture as a genuine product of human civilization. Bearing in mind this thesis all positive changes in the Balkan will happen by helping cultural and educational cooperation, I truly believe in that! In 2021 I was appointed to Young European Ambassador and I am personally elated to be in Tirana – Youth Capital 2022 helping to promote cross-border cooperation, European integration, and gender equality as a staff of the WBF.