Central and Eastern Europe

REGIONAL: SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

Fostering Improved Media Standards

Metamorphosis Foundation

$99,000

To foster improved media standards and promote access to objective news and analysis that counter disinformation and challenge illiberal narratives related to the region’s democratic transition and Euro-Atlantic integration. Working with journalists from other regional fact-checking and investigative reporting groups, the Macedonia-based organization will produce news and analyses spotlighting disinformation in media, examining trends regarding misinformation, and promoting access to objective news and analyses that challenge illiberal narratives.

Advancing the Process of Transitional Justice

Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past

$50,000

To promote a better understanding of war crimes committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. In partnership with five regional organizations, the Zagreb-based group will continue its activities to complete 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 regional meetings and presentations of its findings in Croatia.

Advancing Transitional Justice

SENSE – Transitional Justice Center

$51,000

To advance transitional justice and historical understanding in the Western Balkans. The Croatia-based organization will produce a virtual documentation center dedicated to preserving and presenting to the public all relevant investigations and prosecutions conducted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in relation to war crimes committed against civilians in Bosnia’s Lasva Valley in April 1993, thereby fostering public awareness and debate on these egregious crimes.

Closing Governance Gaps To Promote Resilient Economies

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)

$393,413

To promote accountability and good governance. The center will engage representatives of civil society, media outlets, and the business community in identifying governance gaps in key economic sectors, analyzing how foreign inflows of capital exploit them, and advocating recommendations to close them. The center and its partners will spotlight these issues through extensive public outreach campaigns.

Countering External Attempts to Undermine Democracy

GONG

$35,500

To increase awareness and learning about external attempts to undermine democracy and reverse democratic gains in Southeast Europe. Working with a leading Hungarian think tank, the Croatia-based watchdog will document and analyze Russia’s financial influence in the region, raise awareness of related practices and mechanisms used to exert political impact, and advocate for the reforms needed to inoculate domestic institutions from malign foreign interference in political decision-making processes.

Countering External Attempts to Undermine Democracy

GONG

$80,000

To better understand, raise awareness of, and respond to malign foreign influence in Southeastern Europe. Working with a leading Hungarian think tank, the watchdog will document and analyze Russia’s footprint in key sectors, raise awareness of related practices and mechanisms used to exert political influence, and inoculate domestic institutions and media from malign foreign interference through investigative reporting and other publications.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Debate

Remarker

$83,500

To foster public debate on key social, political, and cultural topics related to the region’s democratic transition. The Serbia-based independent outlet will maintain a multimedia portal that provides a forum for discussion and commentary by civic and political leaders, human rights activists, and journalists. To expand its platform for free and open dialogue on sensitive and controversial issues facing the region, the outlet will scale up the production of its innovative multimedia content, including audio, text, and video.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Debate in Media

Remarker

$40,000

To encourage public debate on key social, political, and cultural topics related to the region’s democratic transition. The independent outlet will maintain a multimedia portal that provides a forum for discussion and commentary by prominent policymakers, civic and political leaders, human rights activists, journalists, and academics. To expand the platform’s content and promote free and open dialogue, the outlet will also produce videos and other original materials.

Fostering Improved Media Standards

Transitions Online

$132,000

To improve media standards and the capacity of media in Southeast Europe to combat disinformation. The Prague-based organization will work with media groups in five countries to provide journalism educators with the knowledge to understand disinformation and the tools to counter it, and enable them to transfer that knowledge to journalists and journalism students. The project will include training workshops, mentoring, case studies of false information in public discourse, and an online learning resource.

Fostering Improved Media Standards

Why Not?

$40,000

To foster improved media standards, promote access to objective news, and counter disinformation. Together with other regional fact-checking and investigative reporting groups, the organization will continue to maintain a website and produce analysis that spotlights disinformation in the media, examines trends regarding misinformation, and promotes access to objective news and analyses that challenge illiberal narratives.

Fostering Improved Media Standards

Why Not?

$73,500

To foster improved media standards and promote access to objective news and analysis that counter disinformation and challenge illiberal narratives. The Bosnia-based organization will work with other regional fact-checking, watchdog, and investigative reporting groups in Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia to analyze and spotlight disinformation, examine trends regarding misinformation, and increase access to objective news and analyses. The partners will publish the content on country-specific versions of a common regional online platform.

Fostering Public Dialogue on War Crimes

Women in Black

$45,000

To foster public dialogue about war crimes and human rights violations committed against women during the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, and promote alternative mechanisms for attaining justice for the victims. Working with women’s NGOs and victims’ associations, the group will examine war-related violence against women, and assist victims in telling their individual stories of suffering. The testimonies will contribute to the growing body of facts about war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia.

Fostering Regional Cooperation among Young Political Leaders

Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Croatia

$50,000

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 nonpartisan meetings and advocacy campaigns, the Croatia-based youth organization will bring together promising young leaders from 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 Tolerance and Understanding among Youth

Education Builds BiH

$260,000

To foster tolerance and marginalize the appeal of extremist voices among youth by encouraging discussion on sensitive and divisive issues facing the Western Balkans and the world. A weekly television series will challenge youth, especially those living 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 most pertinent materials and make them available in local languages and in English.

Improving Crossborder Dialogue and Civic Engagement

Heartefact Fund

$70,000

To foster civic engagement, democratic values, and human rights in the Western Balkans. The Serbia-based organization will award small grants to support innovative projects addressing common problems facing post-conflict societies in the region, promoting crossborder dialogue, and enhancing cooperation between Bosnian, Kosovar, and Serbian civil society groups, particularly those addressing prejudice, discrimination, human rights violations, and painful war legacies. It also will award fellowships to promising civic leaders and human rights activists.

Introducing New Approaches to Civic Education

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

Supplement: $75,000

To promote new approaches to fostering public debate on human rights and democracy issues through the use of documentary film as an educational tool. Building on its extensive experience in the Czech Republic, the Prague-based organization will assist partners from Serbia and Kosovo in adapting and improving 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.

Political Party Integrity

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

$651,429

To assist political parties in Southeast Europe to strengthen policy development practices and internal mechanisms that promote integrity in line with practices of European parties belonging to the Conservative, Liberal, and Social Democratic political families. The institute will support regional integrity task forces bringing together party leaders within each ideological family to address systemic problems with nepotism, financial mismanagement, and corruption. The institute will also provide mentorship on policy development and connections with European-level party structures to enhance party policy making practice.

Promoting Accountability Through Regional Cooperation

GONG

$59,014

To better understand, raise awareness of, and respond to malign foreign influence in Southeastern Europe. Working with a leading Hungarian think tank, the watchdog will document and analyze Russia’s footprint in key sectors, raise awareness of related practices and mechanisms used to exert political influence, and inoculate domestic institutions and media from malign foreign interference through investigative reporting and other publications.

Promoting Accountability through Regional Cooperation

Today is A New Day, Institute for Other Studies

$111,000

To promote the transparency, accountability, and efficiency of legislative bodies in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. The Ljubljana-based organization will assist leading watchdog groups in the two countries to gather, analyze, and publicize parliamentary data more efficiently. The project’s interactive and user-friendly platforms will facilitate data-driven political journalism and civil society initiatives to monitor parliamentary sessions, document proceedings, track legislative processes and trends, and spotlight the performance of individual MPs.

Promoting Anticorruption Mechanisms

Romanian Academic Society

$72,000

To strengthen a regional network of anticorruption groups and build members’ capacity to foster accountability in Southeastern Europe. The Romania-based organization will coordinate a regional initiative dedicated to strengthening the legal rights of whistleblowers, and will 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 assistance to whistleblowers, and enhance public perceptions of whistleblowing as an effective anticorruption tool.

Promoting Democratic Governance through Electoral and Parliamentary Integrity

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)

$730,000

To enhance the institutional integrity of parliaments in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The institute will support regional initiatives that improve legislative efficiency, discourse, and transparency. To reverse declines in electoral integrity in these countries, the institute will support nonpartisan efforts to buttress fair electoral competition and informed voting.

Promoting Human Rights through Film

Pravo Ljudski

$60,000

To foster new approaches to promoting civic activism and raising human rights awareness among youth in the Western Balkans. In cooperation with a human rights film festival from Kosovo, the Sarajevo-based organization will organize a regional video activism summer camp to train youth in producing socially engaged documentary films, develop a joint curriculum for teacher training, and equip civic education teachers to act as trainers and promoters of the program in their respective countries.

Promoting Minority Issues through Online Media

Serb National Council

$80,000

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

Raising Awareness of Malign Foreign Influence in the Balkans

Prague Security Studies Institute

$60,000

To better understand and raise awareness of malign foreign influences undermining democratic transitions in the Western Balkans. Working with local partners, the Czech think tank will identify, analyze, and publicize Russian, Chinese, Turkish, and Gulf state sharp power in the Balkans. It will present its findings and recommendations to local and international experts, civil society, the media, and the public through thematic briefs, blog posts, case studies, articles, a final report, and a roundtable.

Strengthening Democratic Trade Unions to Promote Democratic and Equitable Development, Phase III

Solidarity Center (SC)

$628,000

To strengthen freedom of association and develop more inclusive models of workplace democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, and Montenegro. The center will build trade union capacity to effectively engage with community and government counterparts and support initiatives that engage and mobilize workers at the grassroots level on essential labor rights issues. The center will support activities that expand collective bargain coverage, provide training programs to encourage greater membership outreach, and facilitate work with civil society to extend labor rights to marginalized workers.   

Understanding and Preventing Anti-Western and Religious Extremist Influence

International Republican Institute (IRI)

$350,000

To counter violent extremism and malign foreign influence undermining democratic governance in the Western Balkans. The institute will bolster democratic institutions by supporting the efforts of a regional coalition of political and civil society leaders to develop action plans and counter-narrative strategies through public opinion polling, roundtable events, ongoing consultations, and the creation of counter-narrative messages.

Understanding and Responding to Foreign Malign Influence

Center for the Study of Democracy

$139,000

To better understand, raise awareness of, and respond to external attempts to undermine democracy and reverse democratic gains in Southeast Europe. The Bulgarian think tank will partner with local experts in eight countries to analyze Russia’s economic footprint in the region, raise awareness of the economic levers that the Kremlin uses to exert political influence, and provide recommendations to inoculate political institutions and media from malign foreign interference.

Using New Media to Promote Government Transparency

Center for Democratic Transition

$47,500

To promote transparency and accountability in Southeastern Europe. The Montenegro-based organization will work with three leading watchdog groups using new technologies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, and Serbia to develop further a regional online database that allows in-country and country-to-country comparisons of 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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