3 MILLION EUR AWARDED FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF 33 PROJECTS
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to invest funds in the development and security of six Western Balkan countries, with special emphasis on stronger impact of civil society in areas of security and stability as well as good governance. SMART Balkans especially encourages regional cooperation and focuses on important topics in the sector through regional projects, conferences, study visits, online talks and networking with diaspora. Since 2022, SMART Balkans project is implemented, through which funding is provided for civil society organizations, media, and informal groups. Within this four-year-long project, 450 grants will be awarded in total amount of 14,5 million EUR.
Even though project offers support through seven types of grants, adopted for different aspects of civil society work, it is important to mention that SMART Balkans awards Core grants as well. Core grant is type of support that each organization in Western Balkan region dreams about, since it presents core support to organization, directed towards results in community and strengthening internal structures of organization in order for it to be relevant and strong voice of target groups, due to which it is established in the first place. “– said Dajana Cvjetković, Project Manager.
Beginning of 2023 was marked with contract signing for 33 grants, out of which 9 Regional grants have been awarded in total amount of 1,692,000 EUR and 24 Core grants in total amount of 1,234,000 EUR. 365 applications were received through public call, of which 234 were for Core grants and 122 for Regional grants. This clearly presents need and will of organizations to act more strategically, in line with mission and results-oriented focus, but also to have institutional strengthening, much needed in time when degradation and shrinking of space for civil society in all 6 countries is presented.
List of organizations that were awarded with grants is available on web page www.smartbalkansproject.org.
Public calls for new grants in all 6 countries are currently open, for organizations that work on national level, local organizations, media and creative groups. Support for more than 110 projects are planned, in total amount of 2,8 million EUR. Deadline for submission of project proposals via Grants Management Platform is February 15, 2023.
„Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through SMART Balkans project, offered us trust, as local consortium, not only in terms of project and financial managements, but also in terms of methodology implementation for strengthening capacities and role of civil society organizations and award of Core grants as the most challenging process in grant scheme. With this approach, donor showed its dedication to indeed work systematically, brave, and essentially on civil society development, that is necessary for stable, peaceful and sustainable region. On the other side, we as a consortium are honored that donor has recognized our values: transparency, local ownership, professionalism, and integrity, that we will incorporate in each project segment. “ said Cvjetković.
SMART Balkans – Civil Society for Shared Society in the Western Balkans is a four-year regional project that in region of Western Balkans is implemented by consortium, led by Centar za promociju civilnog društva (CPCD) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, with partners Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) from Albania and Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) from North Macedonia. Project objective is strengthening participative democracies and Euro-Atlantic integrations in Western Balkans through empowerment of civil society organizations and networks, for stronger and more active role in creation of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. Project is funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with more than 17 million EUR.
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