Tirana, 9-10 March 2017
On March 09-10, 2017, the meeting of the Western Balkans Fund Committee of National Coordinators (WBF CNC) took place at the WBF Secretariat premises, in Tirana.
The meeting, attended by all WBF National Coordinators, was chaired by Dr. Gjergj Murra, Executive Director designate of WBF who welcomed the participants and underlined the importance of the meeting in the framework of the activities aiming to make the Fund fully operational. The meeting was also greeted by the Albanian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mrs. Odeta Barbullushi.
The primary objective of the meeting was the discussion and the approval of the Rules guiding/regulating the WBF structures functioning, respectively: Rules of Procedure of the Secretariat, Rules governing rights and duties of the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director and Rules of Procedure of the Council of Senior Officials of the WBF.
After in depth and long discussions, taking into account comments by all Contracting Parties, the CNC reached consensus on the texts proposed. The endorsement of these Rules, subject of final approval by the Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, represents a substantial step in the process of establishing the Western Balkans Fund.
Clearance of the expenditures for 2016 and approval of the WBF budget for the preparatory phase was another important outcome of the meeting, which legitimates the financial grounding for the interim period. Also, relevant discussions were made regarding the Structure of the WBF Secretariat, its positions, job descriptions, recruitment requirements and procedures etc.
Following the positive developments on the ratification procedures in all Contracting Parties and the progress in the payments of the contributions to the WBF budget, the starting of WBF core activities in the near future seems quite realistic. In this respect, the CNC exchanged views and opinions regarding the official launching of the WBF and also on the preparation for the necessary guideline documents and templates for the preparation of the grant giving activities. In this respect, the NC shared ideas for intensifying the cooperation and partnership with the International Visegrad Fund (IVF), especially for capacity building and transfer of relevant expertise.