May 30, 2024
WHO WE ARE

Western Balkans Fund - Supporting Common Projects

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.

*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.
 

                                                 Our Timeline

November 2015

Agreement of WBF establishment Signed

March 2016

Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Western Balkans

September 2017

WBF becomes operational

September 2017

Partnership Agreement with the International Visegrad Fund

November 2017

First Call for Proposals launched

April 2018

Host Country Agreement Signed

November 2018

Second Call for Proposals

April 2019

Third WBF-WB Ministers of Foreign Affairs Conference

July 2019

WBF at Berlin Process activities in Poznan

November 2019

3 Call for Proposals

February 2020

Western Balkans Civil Society Summit

Organised by the Western Balkans Fund with the support of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

December 2020

Strategic Development Plan 2020-24 Approved

March 2021

Regional Report and Conference on the impact of Covid-19 on Civil Society Organisations

Organised by the Western Balkans Fund, with the support of Government of Japan and International Visegrad Fund

June 2021

Switzerland becomes WBF partner

July 2021

European Union becomes WBF partner, co-funding 4-5 CfP

November 2021

4th Call for Proposals is launched

Co-funded by the European Union, IPA - Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance

March 2022

FIRE Conference

The largest 2022 event targeting hate speech and intolerance. Organised by WBF, with the help of Japan Government and IVF

May 2022

5th Call for Proposals

Co-funded by the European Union, IPA - Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance

October 2022

Unstoppable 2023

WBF, Japan and IVF agree to hold next February the largest Regional Event on Women and Leadership

February 2023

Unstoppable International Conference

Unstoppable Regional Conference become the one of the largest Conferences of the year in the WB, dealing with issues of women and leadership

March 2023

WBF Move Grants 1st Call for Proposals

The First Call for Proposals of WBF newest grant-giving mechanism attracted 424 applications

June 2023

WBF Move Grants 2nd Call for Proposals

The Second Call for Proposals of the Move Grants, open only to individuals (for the first time), attracted 113 applications and awarded 34 grants

Eligible Beneficiaries

  • Civil Society
  • Organizations
  • Associations
  • Foundations
  • Non-for profit
  • Regional networks
  • Local and regional public entities
  • Associations of local and regional public entities
  • Business associations
  • Business cluster
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Tourism Association
  • University
  • School
  • Library
  • Research
  • Centre
  • Academy of science/music/art
  • Museum
  • Art Gallery
  • Theatre
  • Sport
  • Association
  • Other

The Western Balkans Fund’s mission is to promote reconciliation, develop closer cooperation, and strengthen ties between the Western Balkans Contracting Parties.

Mission

The Western Balkans Fund’s mission is to promote reconciliation, foster closer cooperation, and strengthen ties among the Contracting Parties in the Western Balkans.

Values 

Our organization fully aligns with the policies of our founding fathers regarding widespread reconciliation and the European future of all Contracting Parties.

Objectives 

The Fund’s objectives are pursued through financial support for activities in any field contributing to cross-border and inter-regional cooperation and enhancing regional cohesion. These objectives focus primarily on the following areas:

  1. Promotion and development of cultural cooperation
  2. Promotion and development of scientific exchanges, research, and education cooperation
  3. Promotion of sustainable development
  4. Promotion and development of youth, cross-border cooperation, media, environment, European Integration, and gender as cross-cutting issues.

 

Type of Grants

The Western Balkans Fund provides different types of financial support to the final beneficiaries. Our main Regional Grant Scheme is the Call for Proposals, launched periodically. Since 2021, the Call for Proposals are co-funded by the European Union, IPA – Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. From 2023, we have introduced an all-year open Call for Proposals, tailor-made to support mobility and matching grants in the Region. Periodically, the Western Balkans Fund can offer also types of funding opportunities.

Beyond Grants

As a Fund, we provide much more than our grants. The Western Balkans Fund is fully invested in the fight for full equality, human rights, social and environmental campaigns. In 2023, the Unstoppable Conference on Women and Leadership will be the largest event of the year tackling gender and leadership issues. In 2022, the FIRE Conference become the largest Regional platform to tackle the language of hate and discrimination. In our lifetime, we have supported, among others, the Regional Civil Society Summit, the Diaspora Summit, and many other important causes.

Partners

One of the WBF’s strategic goals include building productive partnerships with likeminded partners and organizations in order to enable effective promotion, visibility and advocacy for regional cooperation initiatives. WBF builds cooperation with like-minded partners and organizations based on principles of complementarity, transparency, responsiveness, efficiency, accessibility and conflict sensitivity. WBF has expanded its donor portfolio with the European Union, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Japanese Government, International Visegrad Fund, RYCO, Peace Nexus.