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“WBF, a success story already”

13 September 2021

Western Balkans Fund is already a functional and successful regional entity. 

This is what the Deputy Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Albania, Ms. Megi Fino, said during the reception, which marked the 4th anniversary of the Fund.

“While nobody could envisage its swift development into a success story in the begging, today, this is the reality. The presence here is a vivid testimony of that”, she added.

Full Speech of Ms. Megi Fino, Deputy Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of Albania, at the Western Balkans Fund 4th anniversary reception

Dear Mister Executive Director

Your excellences

Distinguished participants

It is my pleasure and privilege to be here today and celebrate with you the Western Balkans Fund’s 4th anniversary. It gives me great honor, being here and representing the hosting country.

The Western Balkans Fund started in September 2017 and in a very brief time was transformed into a functional and successful regional entity.

While in the begging nobody could envisage its swift development into a success story, today this is the reality. The presence here is a vivid testimony of that.

The Western Balkans Fund has been growing day by day, forging regional cooperation, cultural, educational, people to people links and sustainable development sectors, whilst administering limited funds and overall conducting in a transparent manner.

I would like to point out, the Western Balkans Fund is based on the successful model of the International Visegrad Fund, and thanks to the much-appreciated support of the V4 countries, the Fund started to meet its objectives since the first call for regional projects.

A special acknowledgment goes to the EU, Switzerland, Japan, and so on for their assistance and cooperation to make Western Balkans Fund an important regional actor.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Despite the challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Western Balkans Fund has demonstrated continuous commitment and devotion. We applaud the fact that Western Balkans Fund managed to support 23 regional projects during the pandemic year of 2020. Meanwhile, Albania had in total 150 high-quality proposals and projects implemented within the three calls.

We also fully endorse, the strategic and organizational development plan 2020-2024 and we believe that this plan will advance the regional partnership and will distinguish the Fund further.

Albania remains committed to elevating the Western Balkans Fund into a key and influential mechanism in building good neighborly relations and mutual trust across the region. Thank you.