In the Western Balkans, we work with partners who counter the trends of ethnic fragmentation and polarisation, and mobilise support for inclusive development, reconciliation and regional exchange.
Violent conflicts devastated the Western Balkans between 1991 and 2001, leaving a legacy of unaddressed bilateral and regional disputes, and dysfunctional political systems. Transitional justice processes have never been completed and war crimes are often denied. Ethno-nationalist antagonisms persist, hate speech is common, and there is increasing pressure on independent media.
Despite these challenges, important breakthroughs have been achieved. New forms of regional collaboration between Western Balkans states have emerged and the prospect of integration into the European Union is likely to lead to further economic development and institutional reforms. In early 2019, North Macedonia officially adopted its new name and settled a 27-year name dispute with Greece. New citizen-led movements are also forming, demanding social change, and advocating for more accountability.
Our Work in the Western Balkans
We have been working in the Western Balkans since 2014, starting with Organisational Developmentsupport for civil society actors. We have supported organisations that play a key role in conflict prevention and reconciliation by: enabling political participation and inclusive education of youth; advocating for media freedom; and through inter-ethnic initiatives.
Since 2017, we have been supporting two pioneer regional cooperation initiatives, led by the governments of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Albania. We are supporting them to develop strong organisational systems and conflict-sensitive grant-making. Since 2018, we have also expanded our Business Engagement service offer to the region and we are currently supporting one multi-stakeholder dialogue in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
We work in: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia
Find out more about our partnerships in the Western Balkans