July 12, 2024
News/Events The Secretariat

Press Release | IVF-WBF Launch New Joint Fellowship

Bratislava, March 6, 2024 – The International Visegrad Fund and the Western Balkans Fund are strengthening their partnership by joint pilot program for the researchers, lecturers and scholars from V4 and Western Balkan countries. The signing of the agreement by the Funds´ Executive Directors, Petr Mareš and Gjergj Murra, will take place in Bratislava on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in the presence of diplomatic representatives of participating countries.

Following the Memorandum of Understanding between the Visegrad Fund and the Western Balkans Fund based on the long-standing commitment to support the stability, development and European perspective of the Western Balkans, a pilot joint fellowship program will be launched in June 2024. Supporting sustainable regional cooperation in and between the two respective regions, the Western Balkan-Visegrad Fellowships will allow WB6 applicants to apply for short-term research fellowships at V4 research institutions, and reciprocally, V4 applicants can apply for fellowships at WB6 institutions. The Executive Director of the Visegrad Fund, Petr Mareš, declares: “This new program represents a new quality in our cooperation with the Western Balkans Fund. We finally operate as equal partners. It is a future-oriented program. We hope it will help to create a network of young academics for cooperation in the field of research & development, which is the key area-condition for future prosperity of both our Regions.”

The concept of the Visegrad Fund inspired, back in 2015, Western Balkans stakeholders to create a similar institution, namely the Western Balkans Fund. Since then, the Visegrad Fund has been technically supporting the operation of the Western Balkans Fund. Executive Director of the Western Balkans Fund, Gjergj Murra, confirms: “With the implementation of the Joint Fellowship Program, the technical collaboration between our two organizations will rise to a strategic partnership yielding direct benefits for our respective Regions. The agreement marks a significant milestone, and it showcases our growth. It provides an valuable platform that will greatly enhance mobility between V4 and WB6. I am convinced, it will become a springboard to more Joint Cooperation between our stakeholders”.