Central and Eastern Europe

REGIONAL: EUROPE 2018

Building Resilience to Anti-Democratic Politics

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

$681,429

To bolster political party responsiveness to citizens through improved communication, strengthen political engagement with citizens at the local level, and promote information integrity as the basis of public political discourse. The institute will provide technical assistance to political parties and other partner organizations in revitalizing democratic discourse in Central and Eastern Europe.

Building the Skills of Members of Parliament in the Eastern Partnership

International Republican Institute (IRI)

$200,000

To build the skills of members of parliament in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to effectively represent their constituencies, develop policies that deliver much needed reform, and communicate progress made toward addressing critical issues and restore public trust in political institutions. The institute will conduct legislative exchanges, bringing parliamentarians to Vilnius to learn from their counterparts in the Lithuanian Seimas as well as follow-up consultations with participating parliaments that will focus on improving strategic communications.  

Creating a Knowledge and Resource Hub to Fight Corruption

Solidarity Center (SC)

$280,000

To advance the capacities of trade unions and partner organizations in Europe, Eurasia, and Africa to advance anti-corruption efforts and promote democratic governance. The center will expand its Ukraine-based knowledge hub to encourage more worker reporting on corrupt practices and improve legal protection for anti-corruption work. It will expand the program’s platform and legal network for dialogue and information exchange between anti-corruption activists across regions.

Fostering Democratic Values in Central Europe

Res Publica Foundation

$74,167

To foster regional dialogue on promoting and defending core democratic values. The Poland-based organization will produce a series of articles in 12 national languages that it will publish in the region’s key media outlets and the Visegrad Insight website. The articles will primarily focus on democratic backsliding in Central Europe and address key issues such as migration, xenophobia, and media integrity.

Increasing Awareness of Malign Foreign Influence

Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs)

$64,195

To increase awareness of malign foreign influence in Eastern Europe and assist local, state, and non-state actors in devising responses. The London-based organization will map and analyze levers of influence and tools of destabilization used to undermine the region’s democratic societies. It will carry out field research, convene a roundtable of regional experts, publish and distribute a policy briefing, and hold a series of outreach events in the region.

Monitoring and Advocating for Media Freedom

Index on Censorship

$128,302

To raise awareness of violations of media freedom. Through its network of regional correspondents, the London-based organization will continue using its Mapping Media Freedom online platform to document violations of media freedom in Belarus, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ukraine, and across Europe. It will use the monitoring data presented on an interactive map to analyze and spotlight violations, advocate for their redress, and foster greater awareness of media freedoms.

NED Generation of Active Leaders (GOAL) 2018

International Republican Institute (IRI)

$200,000

To support structured information sharing and empower local level officials to effectively address citizen priorities through the development of core skills. The institute will conduct peer-to-peer exchanges for political party members and mayors through a regional program that supports active and reform-minded mayors from Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine in addressing the challenges they face in implementing democratic reforms.

Promoting a New Generation of Leaders in Central Europe

Res Publica Foundation

$27,550

To foster a new generation of civil society activists in Central Europe. The Poland-based organization will organize a debate on new political activism in the region at the Prague Forum 2000 conference and prepare and disseminate a report on the state of civil society in Central Europe. It will promote case studies and profiles of successful young activists in the region’s media, as well as prepare short videos spotlighting promising activists in the region that it will promote through social media.

Promoting Democratic Values among Youth

MESA10

$136,000

To enhance the skills of future leaders dedicated to bolstering democratic transitions and the Transatlantic Alliance’s promotion of democratic norms and standards. Partnering with a think tank in Belgrade and universities from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovakia, the Bratislava-based think tank will organize lectures, conduct a debate tournament on the role of Euro-Atlantic cooperation in promoting successful democratic transitions, and facilitate the students’ policy advocacy efforts with EU institutions. Close to 4,000 students will directly or indirectly participate in the program.

Promoting Democratic Values and Solidarity among Youth

Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Serbia

$60,000

To foster democratic unity, solidarity, and the fundamental tenets of democracy among young political and civic leaders from established and emerging democracies in Europe. The Serbia-based organization will continue to engage young activists in the struggle for democratic renewal by designing a creative online outreach campaign to reaffirm democratic ideas and values, providing a platform for networking and collaboration among young democrats, and proposing specific mechanisms to support activists as they struggle for democratic renewal.

Promoting European and Transatlantic Dialogue

Europaisches Forum Alpbach Gemeinnutzige Privatstiftung

$44,733

To promote dialogue and facilitate networking on democracy issues in Europe. The Austria-based organization will bring civil society leaders from Central and Eastern Europe to take part in the annual Alpbach Political Symposium. The 2018 meeting will explore the topic of “Diversity and Resilience” through a series of seminars across different disciplines. The organization will also gather journalists from the region to participate in an advanced media training seminar.

Promoting Good Governance and Accountability

Transparency International – Moldova

$35,000

To promote good governance and accountability that combats corruption. The organization will convene an international conference in Chisinau focusing on corruption and governance for over 100 participants representing civil society, the media, government and international bodies, and academia from Europe, Eurasia, and the U.S. The conference will provide a platform for dialogue between anti-corruption activists, democratic thinkers, and government officials on how to address endemic government corruption.

Promoting Government Accountability and Transparency

Fundacja ePanstwo

$58,000

To promote government accountability and transparency through innovative technology-based tools and open data. The Poland-based organization will hold its 6th annual Personal Democracy Forum in Gdansk, which will bring together over 400 civic activists from Central Europe and Eurasia. It will facilitate communication between experienced and newer members of the TransparenCEE network and organize two related meetings in Romania and Kosovo.

Promoting Investigative Journalism in Central Europe

Foundation Reporters

$68,620

To strengthen cooperation among and the skills of investigative journalists in Central Europe. The regional organization will continue to develop its collaborative, crossborder, investigative website, VSquare.org, convene networking meetings and training workshops for investigative journalists from the Visegrad countries, and oversee a series of joint investigations on Russian disinformation and influence in the region.

Promoting Political Pluralism

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

$700,000

To broaden and deepen political discourse and action crossing ethnic and sectarian divisions and to strengthen the capacity of local partners to participate in and influence formal political processes. The institute will assist local partners to engage in pluralistic dialogue, train minority candidates to compete for elected office, educate minority elected officials to influence change through the legislative process, and build or strengthen horizontal networks among minority groups and mainstream allies.

Promoting Quality Russian-Language Media Content

Eastern Europe Studies Center

$76,340

To produce and disseminate independent information and analysis in the Russian language that challenges the Kremlin’s disinformation and anti-democratic narratives. Working with a network of Baltic media outlets, the Lithuania-based think tank will produce and distribute analytical and investigative pieces, and organize and disseminate the results of expert and public meetings, on disinformation topics. The project will also reach out directly to engage Russian minority populations in discussing topics of concern.

Promoting Understanding and Awareness of Chinese Influence in Central and Eastern Europe

Association for International Affairs

$120,000

To monitor and understand Chinese economic and political influence in Central and Eastern Europe. Working with local partners in Hungary and Slovakia, the think tank will analyze Beijing’s policies and assess their relation to the region’s democratic backsliding. The think tank will extend the project to Poland, coordinate a regional platform on China’s influence in the ‘16+1’ countries, expand its dedicated website, and conduct awareness campaigns aimed at fostering a democratic and accountable approach to foreign policy vis-à-vis China.

Strengthening Civil Society Resilience

Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights

$43,732

To strengthen the resilience of civil society organizations in Central Europe. In response to growing pressure on civil society in the region, the Warsaw-based organization, together with regional partners, will examine the current vulnerability of NGOs across Central Europe and strategize on appropriate and effective responses. In its initial phase, the partners will convene planning and assessment meetings, and develop a long-term strategy to strengthen the capacity and resilience of related organizations in the region.

Strengthening Cooperation on Countering Disinformation

Casimir Pulaski Foundation

$40,000

To enhance the work of organizations defending the integrity of the information space and promoting democratic unity. The Poland-based think tank will convene an inaugural coordination and knowledge sharing meeting for organizations confronting Russian disinformation and malign influence in Central and Eastern Europe. To facilitate effective and efficient responses by state and non-state actors, it will convene a series of side events around the annual Warsaw Security Forum.

Strengthening Democratic Standards and Values

Expert Forum

$95,157

To increase awareness about external attempts to undermine democracy and reverse democratic gains in Eastern Partnership and new EU member states. Working with partner think tanks in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Hungary, the Romania-based group will utilize its report on Russia’s negative influence on the region’s energy sector, public events, and a media campaign in the participating countries and in Brussels and Berlin to raise public awareness of the need for reforms and advocate for policy changes.

Strengthening Democratic Unity Among Business and Civic Leaders

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

$240,000

To promote private sector and civil society unity and leadership in advancing democratic, pro-market values across Central and Eastern Europe. The center will build the capacity of civic organizations in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Romania to establish local private sector funds that will promote civic initiatives designed to strengthen the rule of law in the region.

Strengthening Independent Election Monitoring

European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations

$89,000

To strengthen the capacity and sustainability of election monitoring in Europe and Eurasia. The bi-regional network will strengthen its institutional capacity, foster networking among its members, ensure greater membership quality, and implement previously developed communications and outreach strategies. Its Montenegro-based secretariat will conduct an extensive outreach campaign to improve public awareness about the continuing importance of election integrity in Europe and Eurasia and generate additional support for these efforts.

Strengthening Independent Journalism

Outriders

$64,922

To strengthen independent journalism in Central and Eastern Europe. The Warsaw-based organization will establish a platform for journalists to gain and share knowledge, develop new story ideas, find partners for crossborder projects, and provide them with new technology tools. It will convene a series of meetups, add a Tools/Stories section to its website, produce crossborder and community stories, and develop a set of articles and videos on new, engaging models of reporting.

Strengthening Political Party Resiliency

International Republican Institute (IRI)

$825,000

To stem the destabilization of Central and East European democratic institutions. The institute will support established and emerging political parties sharing a common commitment to democratic values and the transatlantic relationship by providing assistance to improve their ability to adapt to the long-term changes currently occurring in their political environments. This will be done through public opinion polling followed by individual trainings and consultations, regional conferences, and development programs for young and emerging leaders.

Strengthening Public Diplomacy in Central Europe

GLOBSEC

$139,615

To defend the integrity of the information space and increase resilience to media manipulation in Europe. The Bratislava-based think tank will conduct public opinion polls and focus groups, convene informational and educational events, publish analytical materials, and design and disseminate informational products and tools that will help officials, civil society, and the public in four countries to understand better the impact of and oppose disinformation.

Strengthening the Capacity to Counter Disinformation

Center for Propaganda and Disinformation Analysis Foundation

$100,000

To increase the capacity of Polish organizations monitoring and analyzing Russian disinformation and malign influence. The Warsaw-based group will conduct interviews in Poland’s regions to map vulnerabilities to disinformation, assess prevailing narratives and actors, and develop appropriate responses to malign influence. Working with international experts in the field, the visits will identify potential partners who could subsequently engage in the establishment of a national platform, share lessons learned and best practices, and conduct informational sessions for students.    

Strengthening the Professional Skills of Young Journalists

Digital Bridge Association

$55,500

To strengthen the professional skills of young Moldovan journalists. The Romania-based organization will conduct a training in Chisinau on digital security and disinformation for Moldovan reporters. It will also organize a contest for best articles and a study visit to Bucharest for the winning journalists. The organization will assist young Moldovan reporters in producing multimedia and crossborder stories, expanding their independent news portal, and producing and disseminating a report on disinformation.

Strengthening Transatlantic Media Cooperation

Eurozine

$81,404

To support independent media outlets and strengthen transatlantic cooperation among independent media. The Austria-based media group will convene a workshop on disinformation, technology and democracy for editors from partner journals. It will also oversee the production, translation, and distribution of a series of articles on the issue among its 80 partner journals. Finally, the outlet will convene a conference bringing together 100 participants from partner journals across Europe and the U.S.

Strengthening Transatlantic Ties

Center for European Policy Analysis

$169,626

To rebuild, strengthen, and deepen relationships between American and European institutions and policy makers working on transatlantic issues. The U.S.-based organization will recruit, competitively select, and sponsor up to 18 young, mid-level professionals from Central and Eastern Europe for a three-week, tailored fellowship program at key Washington DC-based institutions and organizations.

Supporting Democratic Voices in Authoritarian Spaces

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

$200,016

To strengthen the ability of regional business associations to convene stakeholders, identify and advance reform proposals in authoritarian spaces, and enhance citizen participation in advocacy processes as providers of analysis and reporting. The center will build the organizational capacity of its regional partners, assist them in developing regional-level advocacy platforms and strategies, and support training programs on economic analysis and reporting in regions outside of capitals.

Supporting Journalists in Danger

European Center for Press and Media Freedom

$79,975

To protect and assist journalists at risk in Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Eurasia. The organization will provide shelter to journalists who are in danger because of their reporting through a comprehensive in residence program for journalists, and direct support for in-country journalists who face legal problems as a result of their work.

Supporting Regional Investigative Journalism

Romanian Center for Investigative Reporting

$28,450

To strengthen regional cooperation among investigative journalists and expose sources of disinformation. The Bucharest-based organization will establish cooperation with Bulgarian investigative journalists and jointly conduct in-depth investigations into sources of disinformation in both countries. Teams in both countries will identify common narratives, map the media landscapes, and monitor sources of disinformation and propaganda. They will also conduct investigations into media ownership structures and publish weekly monitoring reports in Romanian, Bulgarian, and English.

The Beacon Project

International Republican Institute (IRI)

$400,000

To improve the responses of political actors and civil society organizations to malign influence undermining democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans. The institute will build upon the Beacon Project’s platform and associated network to expand its media monitoring, leverage the capabilities of Beacon’s data collection tool, and conduct polling around significant political events. The institute will publicize the program’s findings through various communications channels and media.

Training and Networking Young Journalists

Potsdam Media International

$23,000

To develop the skills, networking, and cooperation of journalists in Europe and Eurasia. The Berlin-based organization will bring promising journalists from Eastern Europe and the Eastern Partnership states to its annual M100 Young European Journalists Worskshop and Sanssouci Colloquium. The events will improve participants’ practical skills, foster media networks between east and west that will allow them to better understand challenges facing media from different regions, and build support for journalists under threat.

Understanding and Countering Malign Foreign Influence

Political Capital Kft. Ltd.

$78,640

To better understand, raise awareness of, and respond to malign foreign influence in Central and Eastern Europe. The think tank will commission and analyze innovative social media listening research to gain a deeper knowledge of how authoritarian influences are affecting the citizens of Central and East Europe. It will raise public awareness of the results and better inform effective responses through policy reports, op-eds, articles, a website, blogs, media appearances, and public events.   

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