July 14, 2024
The Secretariat

Highlights of the WBF at the Budapest Balkans Forum

In mid-March, the Western Balkans Fund participated in the prestigious Budapest Balkans Forum VII edition.

At this crucial rendezvous’ for our Region’s future, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, EU representatives and many other distinguished stakeholders participated in the keynote discussions & panels (Continues after the gallery)

On behalf of the WBF, our Executive Director, Mr Murra, participated in the panel “The more, the merrier”. “Regional Initiatives, especially regional-owned initiatives like the Western Balkans Fund, are paramount for the European perspective of our Region”, he said.

Furthermore, Mr Murra stressed that “on the level of people-to-people links, our experience of more than 150 projects, 1.700 applications and 5.800 stakeholders shows that there has never been a problem between us”.

“The Western Balkans Fund is the embodiment of the soft power of the Berlin Process. A process which is based on “hard” connectivity, such as roads, energy grids and network, but that cannot be complete with the people to peoples link”, he continued.

The Executive Director concluded by encouraging international donors to be more present in the Region and more welcoming towards grassroots organisations.

“From our experience, we know that great, innovative and forward-looking ideas came not only from Belgrade, Sarajevo or Tirana but even from the most remote parts of our Region. We cannot afford to overlook such initiatives and places”, claimed Mr Murra.

During the panel, experts and other participants agreed that a clear European Perspective for the Western Balkans Region has become much more important in the face of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Featured, the highlights of our participation at the Budapest Forum.