April 20, 2024
News/Events Sarajevo The Secretariat

Press Release | Celebrating BiH Chairmanship-in-Office of the Western Balkans Fund

Check Against Delivery. Official Press Release in Local Language following

Start of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Chairmanship of the Western Balkans Fund Marked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of BiH

At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, the beginning of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s one-year chairmanship of the Western Balkans Fund (WBF) in 2024 was solemnly marked.

The host of the event was the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of BiH, Mr. Josip Brkić, with the presence of the Executive Director of the Fund, Dr. Gjergj Murra, and representatives of the Council of Senior Officials of the Fund.

In addition to representatives of civil society organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina as beneficiaries of the Western Balkans Fund, representatives of the diplomatic corps in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions of EU member states and contracting parties of the Fund, based in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Japan, Switzerland, and Norway, and the Head of the EU Delegation to BiH, as well as other representatives of international organizations, attended the event.

In his opening speech, Deputy Minister Mr. Brkić emphasized that the event was organized with the aim of increasing the visibility of the WBF, in order to acquaint as many civil society organizations and young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the work of the Fund and the possibilities of financing their ideas and projects. Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the chair of the WBF in 2024, also aims to promote the importance of the Fund in the broader international community, added Deputy Minister Brkić.

The Director of the Fund, Dr. Murra, presented the previous results of the Fund’s work and its vision for further development. He emphasized that there is room for more as reality shows us how similar we are in this region.

Representatives of a number of civil society organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, previous recipients of the Fund’s grants, shared their positive experiences with the attendees and presented projects that they have implemented in the past through funding from the WBF.

At the end of the event, Deputy Minister Brkić awarded certificates of grant allocation to representatives of civil society organizations from Bosnia and Herzegovina whose projects were selected in the latest WBF public call.

The contracting parties of the WBF are the Western Balkans six, and the Conference of Foreign Ministers is the main body of the WBF. The basic goal of the WBF is directed towards strengthening reconciliation and mutual cooperation in the region.

The Fund finances civil society projects in the areas of promoting cultural cooperation, research and cooperation in education, scientific exchanges, and sustainable development. Public calls for projects are published once a year, and the value of individual projects is up to 15,000 euros.

In addition to this, the WBF also awards MOVE grants, which enable individuals to participate in research or conferences in one of the contracting parties.

When awarding grants, equal geographic distribution is taken into account, so that organizations and institutions from our country always receive one-sixth of the approved projects. The Fund is financed by contributions from contracting parties, as well as donations from partner countries and organizations. More information about the Fund and open calls can be found on the website: http://westernbalkansfund.org/.

Official Press Release