The Western Balkans Fund (WBF) is an international organization located in Tirana, Albania, founded by the governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo *, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Its establishement, as an all-inclusive and regionally owned initiative, is considered as a clear sign of a new cooperation spirit taking roots in the Balkans.
The Agreement for the creation of WBF was signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of WB6, on November 2015. The Fund has become operational on October 1, 2017, after the conclusion of the ratification procedures by all parliaments of its constitutive members.
WBF is financed by the six Contracting Parties in equal quotas. The First appointed WBF Executive Director, elected by the WBF Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs is Mr. Gjergj Murra, a career diplomat from Albania. Its Secretariat is in Tirana and it is composed by experts coming from all over WB Region.
WBF aims to promote cooperation and the common values between citizens, civil society and people to people contacts, by providing funding for small and medium projects, in the following key areas:
- Sustainable economic development;
- Education exchange and cooperation;
- Cultural cooperation
Youth, cross-border cooperation, Europian integration and gender, are overarching issues, covering all WBF areas of cooperation.
*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