Western Balkans Fund Secretariat organized in Tirana the Grant Awarding Ceremony of the 24 Winning Projects (4 from each WB6 contracting parties) from the WBF Second Call.
In the presence of high officials from WB6 MFA-s, representative from diplomatic missions, civil society organizations, partners and collaborators, the WBF Awarding Ceremony started symbolically the implementation phase of WBF winning Projects of the Second Call, aiming to enhance regional cooperation and people to people contacts in our region by implementing relevant actions and strengthening synergies through mutual efforts.
“We at WBF, believe that in our beautiful region we have many common values that brings us together, that needs to be exposed and shared. Knowing better each other and our neighbors, working together towards the same goals, is the right path for creating and enriching our regional identity and building our joint European future,” said Mr. Gjergj Murra, Executive Director of Western Balkans Fund, on his opening speech.
Mrs. Rejhane Vuniqi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo*, Chair in Office of WBF for 2019, pointed out their strong commitment of WBF in promoting regional cooperation in WB. “As Chairmanship in Office we come here today with a clear message: “We believe that regional cooperation is Western Balkans is possible and we should continue nurturing it”, said Vuniqi.
While Mrs Mimoza Halimi, General Director for Political and Strategic issues at the Albanian Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, underlined the importance of building good neighborly relations in the WB. “The prospective of cultivating good neighborly relations between the WB6 should be an inducement to provide a long-lasting stability and progress in the region as well as to accelerate the EU integration route,” said Halimi.
Speaking on behalf of Slovak V4 Presidency, Mr.Peter Spisiak, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to Tirana, reiterated that they pay particular attention to supporting Western Balkans and keeping regular political dialogue with their partners. Slovakia will continue to provide a strong political support to the activities and projects of the WBF, said Ambassador Spisiak.
The winning projects represent a wider regional drive, since more than 85 organizations from civil society organizations, universities, schools, associations of culture, arts, sports all over the WB6 will cooperate during the implementation phase of the project. Thus, a big number of organizations from the WB will come together for sharing their vision related to regional cooperation activities.
Nearly a year ago the WBF Secretariat in Tirana held the same event with 18 winning projects from the First Call, while this year the Fund is supporting 24 projects from WB6. This is another proof that shows our stakeholders appreciate the WBF as trustworthy organization, created by the region and for the region.
We at WBF will continue working closely with our partners to make reality their vision and ideas, and we are confident that, based on the experience and the dedications of our Grantees, this will be another successful period of implementation of projects, all over our beautiful region, aiming to enhance regional cooperation and people to people links in WB Region.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.