Central and Eastern Europe

Southeastern Europe Regional 2019

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 five regional organizations, the Croatia-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.

Consolidating the Power of Independent Trade Unions to Promote Democratic and Equitable Development

Solidarity Center (SC)


To strengthen freedom of association and develop more inclusive models of workplace democracy in Southeast Europe. The center will strengthen and enhance the capacity of trade unions to engage civic partners and other local actors in promoting freedom of association and expanding trade union representation to include youth and other marginalized groups of workers. In Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, the center will support activities that expand collective bargaining, encourage membership outreach, and extend union membership.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Debate



To foster public debate on social, political and cultural topics impacting the region’s democratic transition. The Serbia-based independent outlet will develop its multimedia portal that provides a forum for public discussion and commentary by civic and political leaders, human rights activists, and journalists. To expand dialogue on sensitive and controversial issues facing the region, the outlet will scale up the production of its multimedia content and develop partnerships with other key portals in Southeast Europe.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Open Debate



To foster public debate on key social, political, and economic challenges facing Southeast Europe. As part of a multimedia program providing a forum for public discussion and commentary by prominent policymakers, civic and political leaders, journalists and academic experts, the organization will produce video clips, radio programs, and articles for the region’s leading political e-magazine. In cooperation with other NED partners, the organization also will translate articles from leading global media outlets to counter disinformation.

Encouraging Professional Media Reporting

Center for Media Development and Analysis


To raise public awareness regarding foreign malign influence and to counter disinformation. The Bosnia and Herzegovina-based media organization will expand its popular investigative reporting portal to identify and spotlight cases of foreign malign influence in Southeast Europe, and increase access to fact-based stories and analyses. It will publish the investigative stories and related multimedia content on its web platform and social media pages and offer the content to other regional media outlets free of charge.

Enhancing Electoral Integrity

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To strengthen the capacity of civil society and political parties in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Serbia to promote electoral transparency, fair competition, and accountability. The institute will foster collaboration and knowledge sharing on strategies to enhance electoral integrity among civil society in the target countries. The program will include regional and in-country programming, including training, on public outreach and advocacy strategies, the development of electronic electoral observation resources, internal party and electoral reforms, and peer-learning.

Fostering Crossborder Dialogue and Civic Engagement

Heartefact Fund


To foster crossborder dialogue and civic engagement in the Western Balkans. The Serbia-based organization will launch a regional civic education program to enhance cooperation between young people in Kosovo and Serbia, particularly those who are prejudiced towards their peers of different backgrounds and who hold biased views regarding the region’s recent past. The program will include study visits designed to stimulate broader crossborder communication and cooperation in addressing common problems facing their post-conflict societies.

Fostering Improved Media Standards

Today is A New Day, Institute for Other Studies


To foster improved media standards and promote high-quality news content that counters disinformation. The Slovenia-based organization will work with a pioneering debunking team from Bosnia and Herzegovina to develop a monitoring tool for regional news that covers media in the Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian languages. The project will increase the diversity of consumed media, offer a variety of news coverage on key topics, and provide tools to identify and filter out media bias.

Fostering Improved Media Standards

Transitions Online


To improve media standards and counter disinformation in Southeast Europe. The Czech organization will partner with media groups in six countries to provide young journalists and journalism students with needed skills and tools to understand and counter disinformation, which they will employ to produce articles exposing and challenging distorted media content. To raise awareness about the quality of media reporting, the program will engage senior journalists to produce reviews analyzing and highlighting examples of good and poor journalism in their countries.

Fostering Improved Media Standards

Transitions Online


To improve trust in quality journalism and strengthen confidence in professional watchdog media playing a key role in struggling democracies. The Czech media organization will promote the new genre of solutions journalism and build the skills of journalists in Southeast Europe to produce quality and impactful content on pressing political and social issues. Together with three local partners, the organization will carry out awareness raising events, hold trainings and workshops, and provide stipends to journalist to produce related content.

Fostering Improved Media Standards

Why Not?


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 North Macedonia to analyze and spotlight disinformation, examine trends regarding misinformation, and increase access to objective news and analyses. The partners will publish the analysis and content on country-specific versions of a common regional online platform.

Fostering Regional Cooperation among Youth Political Leaders

Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Croatia

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 nonpartisan meetings and advocacy campaigns, the Croatia-based youth organization will bring together promising young leaders from 37 political parties in six countries, exposing them to rarely discussed topics in their parties, and strengthen and expand the regional network that facilitates their regular communication and cooperation.

Fostering Tolerance and Understanding Among Youth

Association Perspektiva Plus


To foster tolerance and marginalize extremist voices among youth by encouraging discussion on sensitive and divisive issues facing the Western Balkans and the world. A weekly television series produced in Bosnia and Herzegovina will challenge youth in the region and beyond, especially those 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 in local languages as well as English and Arabic.

Political Party Integrity

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To assist representatives of political parties for Southeast Europe in strengthening internal mechanisms that promote political integrity. The institute will gather party leaders within each ideological family – Conservative, Liberal, and Social Democratic – to promote internal reforms that increase public transparency and accountability. The institute will complement this technical assistance with both regional and in-country programming that supports parties in strengthening their internal democratic practices to bolster inclusive decision-making within the party.

Promoting Accountability through Independent Reporting

NGO “35mm”


To foster independent reporting and promote the accountability of public officials. The Montenegro-based media organization will partner with leading regional media outlets to produce regionally-focused episodes of a unique television program featuring social, economic, and political themes. Leading national stations will air the program, and media partners will promote it on their online portals. The programs will contribute to ongoing debates on key issues relating to accountability and the region’s democratic transition.

Promoting Accountability Through Regional Cooperation


Supplement: $35,000

To promote innovative use of new technologies to enhance political accountability in Southeast Europe. The Croatia-based organization will expand its production of monitoring and analytical features that 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 nonpartisan organization will organize meetings with two regional accountability organizations to facilitate learning from leading international accountability experts.

Promoting Accountability through Regional Cooperation

Today is A New Day, Institute for Other Studies

Supplement: $45,000

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

Promoting Anticorruption Mechanisms

Center for the Study of Democracy and Governance


To strengthen a regional network of anticorruption groups and build members’ capacity to foster accountability in Southeastern Europe. The Albania-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 whistleblower disclosures and cases, provide advice and assistance to whistleblowers, and enhance public perceptions of whistleblowing as an effective anticorruption and accountability tool.

Promoting Crossborder Independent Journalism

Simplicity Ltd.


To build the capacity of independent media in Bosnia and Herzegovina and promote crossborder media cooperation. The Serbia-based organization will identify the specific needs of Bosnian media outlets, and provide them with technical upgrades, revenue diversification models, outreach support, and new content formats to strengthen their resilience to political pressure and bolster editorial independence. Crossborder content exchanges will contribute to ongoing debates about the region’s democratic transition, governance challenges, and the rule of law.

Promoting Democratic Values and Reforms



To foster new policy approaches to promoting democratic values and strengthening democratic institutions in Southeast Europe. The Kosovo-based organization will identify and mobilize a group of democratization experts in six Western Balkan countries to produce single-country and regional assessments of the current state of democracy and corresponding civic responses, as well as recommendations for potential new approaches and instruments to address the identified challenges

Promoting Dialogue and Historical Understanding

Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo


To foster dialogue and historical understanding among youth, and build a stronger culture of remembrance, in the region. The Kosovo organization will facilitate interactive workshops to introduce high school and university students to concepts of transitional justice and facts about war crimes committed in the recent past. It will organize study visits to its documentation center and a multiethnic school promoting transitional justice. Hands-on workshops will promote dialogue and historical understanding among young professionals from Southeast Europe.

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 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Two leading online portals from Zagreb and Mostar 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.

Promoting Responsible Economic Policies, Phase II

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To improve access to objective information on responsible economic policies among key partners in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Serbia. The center will enhance local civil society organizations’ outreach capacities to advance democratic and market values. In BiH, the center will assist partners in advocacy and outreach on pro-reform measures. In Serbia, it will support a new media platform providing access to objective information and analysis on economic reform issues. In both countries, the center will engage the private sector in reform processes.

Promoting Youth Activism and Solidarity among Youth

Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Serbia


To promote greater youth participation in developing coordinated responses to challenges facing democracy in the Western Balkans. The 2019 edition of a biannual Youth Summit, to be held in Skopje, North Macedonia, will bring together prodemocratic youth activists from the Western Balkans with their counterparts in established and emerging democracies to promote cooperation and solidarity. The Summit will include panel discussions, workshops, and related events that will produce policy recommendations and concrete plans for future cooperation.

Raising Awareness of Malign Foreign Influence in the Balkans

Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI)


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

Strengthening Public Support for Human Rights in Bulgaria and Macedonia

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee


To increase public support and consolidate a constituency for human rights and democracy in Bulgaria and Macedonia. The Sofia-based organization will work with its counterpart in Skopje to expand the support base for human rights work, improve cooperation between human rights and democracy supporters, forge new public outreach strategies, and improve the response of civil society to antidemocratic campaigns in the two countries. The project will create national online platforms and organize events engaging youth leaders, public intellectuals, and democracy advocates.

Strengthening the Institutional Integrity and Independence of Western Balkan Legislatures

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To strengthen the institutional integrity of parliaments to fulfill their legislative and representative functions. The institute will facilitate regional dialogue among parliamentary leaders to develop strategies and apply measures to address challenges in their respective legislatures. It will foster parliaments’ institutional independence through professional services and resource development, and will support collaboration and resource sharing in lawmaking and oversight among members and staff of parliaments in the Western Balkans and with experts from European Union member legislatures.

Understanding and Preventing Anti-Western and Religious Extremist Influence

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To counter violent extremism and malign foreign influence in the Western Balkans. The institute will expand its task force and empower regional actors to implement targeted interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. The interventions will include measures to boost resilience to threats to the region’s democratic development. The institute will also enhance the understanding of malign foreign influence among young political leaders in Montenegro and develop officials’ ability to counter threats to the country’s democracy.

Understanding and Responding to Foreign Malign Influence

Center for the Study of Democracy


To 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 seven countries in the region to analyze foreign malign interference in local media, raise awareness of the media outlets and channels used to exert economic and political influence, and provide recommendations to strengthen the resilience of democratic institutions.

Understanding and Responding to Foreign Malign Influence

European Values


To understand, raise awareness of, and respond to foreign attempts to undermine democracy and reverse democratic gains in Southeast Europe. The Czech think tank and its Hungarian partner will work with local experts in three Balkan countries to monitor and analyze disinformation in the media, raise awareness of the tools and channels used to disseminate false narratives, and provide recommendations to strengthen the resilience of media, democratic institutions, and civil society in the region.

Understanding and Responding to Foreign Malign Influence

Political Capital Kft. Ltd.


To understand, raise awareness of, and respond to external attempts to undermine democracies and reverse democratic gains in Southeast Europe. The Hungarian think tank and its Czech counterpart will partner with local experts in three Balkan countries to analyze foreign malign interference in the region’s political, economic, social, and media spheres; raise awareness of the tools and channels used to exert harmful political and economic influence; and provide recommendations to strengthen the resilience of democratic institutions.

Using New Media to Promote Government Transparency

Center for Democratic Transition


To promote government transparency and accountability in Southeast Europe. The Montenegro-based organization will work with three leading watchdog groups using new technologies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, North 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 event.

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