Western Balkans Fund
The Western Balkans Fund (WBF) (WBF) is the first home-grown intergovernmental initiative created to strengthen regional cooperation and cohesion, and to advance region’s integration into the European Union. Its founding Agreement was signed by the Foreign Ministers of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia, and so far, the WBF is almost entirely funded by them. The WBF is supported by the International Visegrad Fund, an international donor organisation financed by Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, who are sharing their experience of promoting regional integration.
PeaceNexus’ Western Balkans Team has been collaborating with the WBF from the very beginning of its institutional existence through hands-on accompaniment, expertise and organisational development support. WBF’s staff was recruited in November 2017 and quickly launched the WBF’s first public call for proposals with the purpose of providing small grants to the non-profit institutions in Western Balkans across three relatively broadly defined areas of: sustainable development, cultural exchange and cooperation in education and research. PeaceNexus has supported the grant selection through expertise and process backing.
The WBF has received many applications from organisations outside the capitals, including applications from organisations in regions with shared borders between several Western Balkans 6 (WB6) contracting parties. The regional lens fosters concrete collaboration at the people-to-people level, which is an important factor in strengthening a sense of regional identity, which is key to preparing the ground for broader collaboration, as required as part of the EU accession.
PeaceNexus will continue to collaborate with the WBF throughout 2018, to support the WBF’s organisational development with additional expertise and process support. Jointly, the WBF and PN have identified the following priorities for our collaboration: Strategy development, team development, strengthening capacities in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning.
“We are grateful that PeaceNexus Foundation had trust in our potentials from the very beginning, and the success of our Fund will be the story of the partnership between our two organisations jointly addressing the needs of the Western Balkans region.”
Dr. Gjergj Murra, Executive Director of the Western Balkans Fund
*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.