Central and Eastern Europe

Regional: Southeastern Europe 2017

21st Century Parties, Regional Initiative

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To foster political party commitments to organizational reforms that address changing global norms and widespread disengagement. The institute will convene parties from Southeastern Europe to launch its new political party reference tool for modern organizational practices and outreach techniques, which is designed to improve communications with citizens and supporters. It also will assist the parties in implementing specific reform goals, as well as create opportunities for them to discuss challenges, successes, and lessons learned in implementing related activities.


Advancing the Process of Transitional Justice

Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past


To promote a better understanding of war crimes committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. In partnership with four regional organizations, the Zagreb-based group will continue its activities that contribute to the process of completing a comprehensive, credible, and commonly agreed upon source of information about the number, identity, and fate of war victims in the former Yugoslavia. The group will organize a series of meetings and presentations on its findings in Croatia and the region.


Advancing Transitional Justice

SENSE – Transitional Justice Center


To advance the process of transitional justice and historical understanding in the western Balkans. The Croatia-based center will launch a documentation center dedicated to preserving and presenting to the public investigations and prosecutions carried out by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The center will train journalists in techniques to engage the public on issues of transitional justice and present exhibitions in areas most affected by crimes against civilians during the armed conflicts in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 1990s.


Combating Kleptocracy in the Balkans

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To enable civil society, media, and the business community to monitor and counter malign foreign influences. The center will partner with a leading Bulgarian think tank and other regional experts to analyze Russia’s economic footprint in the Balkans and its impact on democratic institutions. Working with other local groups, the center and its partner will develop a transferable methodology for monitoring this influence, and will advocate for reforms that reduce opportunities for corruption.


Enhancing the Skills of Civic Leaders

Pontis Foundation


To strengthen the role of civil society groups in East European countries undergoing democratic transitions, with an emphasis on Southeast Europe. The Slovakia-based organization will partner with two academic institutions to develop and deliver an advanced regional workshop designed to enhance the skills of civic leaders in the fields of management, policy development, communications, and leadership, thereby enabling them to lead more effectively in advancing democratic values.


Fostering Regional Cooperation among Young Political Leaders

Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Croatia


To encourage cooperation between young political leaders from the Western Balkans and enable them to play a greater role in promoting democratic values, human rights, and reconciliation in their countries. Through a series of meetings and advocacy campaigns, the Zagreb-based youth organization will bring together promising young leaders from 35 political parties in five countries, exposing them to rarely discussed topics in their parties, and strengthen and expand the network that facilitates their regular communication and cooperation.


Fostering Regional Dialogue and Cooperation

The Balkan Forum


To foster sustainable regional dialogue on and cooperation in promoting democratic values and good governance in Southeastern Europe. The Kosovo-based organization will establish a multifaceted platform that will bring together a diverse group of political, business, and civil society leaders to share experiences and generate new joint initiatives on key democracy and development issues facing the region. A broader effort co-funded with other donors, the platform will include a regional conference, interviews, debates, policy research, advocacy efforts, and an online knowledge hub.


Fostering Tolerance and Understanding among Youth

Education Builds BiH


To foster tolerance and marginalize the appeal of extremist voices among youth by encouraging engaged discussion on sensitive and divisive issues facing the Western Balkans and the world. A weekly television series will challenge youth in deeply divided or vulnerable communities to reexamine their beliefs and stereotypes, question illiberal narratives, and explore issues related to extremism and radicalization. A dedicated web platform will feature the materials and make them available in English, Albanian, and Arabic.


Introducing New Approaches to Civic Education

Clovek v tisni, o.p.s. (People in Need)


To promote new approaches to fostering public debate on human rights and democracy issues by using documentary films as an educational tool. The Czech organization will assist partners from Serbia and Kosovo to adapt and improve a specialized course for future teachers that utilizes screenings of politically and socially themed documentaries in classrooms, with the aim of integrating this innovative civic education approach into regular university curricula.


Promoting Accountability and Improved Media Standards

Why Not?


To promote accountability and improved media standards in Southeastern Europe. An annual conference in Sarajevo will connect the region’s leading watchdog and media groups and highlight innovative accountability initiatives using new technologies. The Sarajevo-based grantee also will partner with other regional media, watchdog groups, and think tanks to develop a website that will spotlight disinformation in the media, analyze trends, and promote access to objective news and analysis that challenge illiberal narratives.


Promoting Accountability through Regional Cooperation



To promote the innovative use of new technologies to enhance political accountability in Southeastern Europe. The Zagreb-based organization will expand its production of digital monitoring and analytical features, which improve standards of democratic political culture and provide the public with opportunities to learn more about the performance of their politicians and elected officials. The watchdog group will organize regional meetings of leading accountability organizations to facilitate learning from well-known international accountability experts.


Promoting Anticorruption through Whistleblower Protection

Romanian Academic Society


To strengthen a regional network of anticorruption groups and build members’ capacity to promote accountability in Southeastern Europe. The Romania-based organization will coordinate a regional initiative dedicated to strengthening the legal rights of whistleblowers, facilitate its members’ efforts to generate political and public support for whistleblower laws and mechanisms, investigate and monitor whistleblower disclosures and cases, provide advice and resources to whistleblowers, and enhance public perceptions of whistleblowing as an effective anticorruption tool.


Promoting Historical Reconciliation

Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe


To advance the process of historical reconciliation in Southeast Europe by encouraging a constructive public debate about the common history of different ethnic groups and promoting a multi-perspective approach to teaching recent history. Within a larger effort to train schoolteachers in modern teaching methods and promote democratic principles, the group will translate and distribute new history teaching materials in the Albanian and Serbian languages.


Promoting Historical Reconciliation through Film



To advance historical understanding and reconciliation in the Western Balkans by generating public discussion on the consequences of war and individual responsibility for crimes committed during Yugoslavia’s disintegration. The organization will produce and distribute a feature-length film that critically spotlights war crimes perpetrators and compels audiences to face the legacy of the region’s painful past. To be held in ten cities across the region, the film screenings will include discussions featuring leading experts and filmmakers.


Promoting Minority Issues through Online Media

Serb National Council


To sustain a network of independent online media outlets and enable it to create and disseminate unique content related to minority rights. Two leading online portals from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia will produce and exchange a series of articles critically examining the status of minorities in the two countries. The content will promote minority issues and encourage constructive public debate on the status of minorities, while expanding the portals’ reach and impact.


Promoting Open Debate and Democratic Values

Heartefact Fund


To promote democratic values and foster constructive public debate on important social and political topics related to the region’s democratic transition. The organization will develop an online magazine as a platform for alternative and critical voices in an increasingly restricted media environment. Using multimedia content, such as text and video blogs, interviews, video reports, and podcasts, the site will promote informed discourse and inclusive dialogue on the state of democracy and human rights in the region.


Promoting Open Debate and Democratic Values

Heartefact Fund

Supplement: $25,000

To encourage cooperation between young political leaders from the Western Balkans and enable them to play a greater role in promoting democratic values, human rights, and reconciliation in their countries. Through a series of meetings and advocacy campaigns, the Zagreb-based youth organization will bring together promising young leaders from 35 political parties in five countries, exposing them to rarely discussed topics in their parties, and strengthen and expand the network that facilitates their regular communication and cooperation.


Promoting Responsible Economic Policies

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To enhance Balkan think tanks’ strategic capacity to develop regional pro-democracy and pro-market initiatives. In Serbia, the center will support a group of experts to create a guide to economic misconceptions and assist key stakeholders in promoting sustainable economic reforms and conducting public outreach. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the center will assist local NGOs in offering solutions to the country’s key socio-economic challenges to political parties.


Strengthening Democratic Trade Unions to Promote Democratic and Equitable Development –

Solidarity Center (SC)


To promote a more representative model of workplace democracy. The center will strengthen the capacity of trade unions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia to engage effectively in activities and initiatives that expand trade union input into democratic reforms. It will also encourage trade union participation in organizing and recruitment campaigns, expand collective bargaining, provide training-of-trainers programs to encourage greater membership outreach, and build networks with other civil society organizations.


Strengthening Legislatures in the Western Balkans

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To foster a regional network of parliamentary representatives committed to promoting good governance reforms and supporting the development of parliamentary resources and professional services to improve the legislative process. The institute will facilitate regional networking among members of parliament and organize workshops and information exchanges with parliamentary staff from six western Balkan countries and experts from European Union-member legislatures.


Understanding and Preventing Anti-Western and Religious Extremist Influence

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To track, analyze, and counter anti-democratic and religious extremist narratives in the Western Balkans. Through public opinion polling, focus groups, and media monitoring, the institute will provide reliable data documenting and exposing malign foreign influence, and use the findings to support collaboration among a diverse group of reform-oriented, progressive political leaders around the region so that they may develop counter strategies to disinformation and extremist messaging.


Using New Media to Promote Government Transparency

Center for Democratic Transition


To promote the use of new media in fostering transparency and accountability in Southeastern Europe. The Montenegro-based organization will continue to work with watchdog groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Serbia to develop further a regional online database that compares the openness, accountability, and reform capacities of the legislative and executive branches of government in the four countries. The project will include regular monitoring, interactive data graphics, and a regional conference.

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