Southeastern Europe Regional 2020

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 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


To advance transitional justice and historical understanding in the Western Balkans. The Croatia-based organization will convene educational and cultural events dedicated to preserving and presenting relevant investigations and prosecutions related to war crimes committed against civilians during the 1990s, thereby fostering public awareness and debate on the egregious events. A workshop for teachers from the region will counter historical revisionism and promote dialogue and historical understanding.

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

Solidarity Center (SC)


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

Countering External Attempts to Undermine Democracy



To improve the understanding of, and responses to, foreign malign influence in Southeast Europe. Working alongside a leading Serbian media organization, the watchdog will document and analyze the external illiberal footprint, identify the region’s internal vulnerabilities, raise awareness of practices and mechanisms used to exert political influence through investigative reporting, and seek to inoculate domestic institutions and the media from malign foreign interference.

Encouraging Critical Thinking and Open Debate



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

Enhancing Electoral Integrity

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To strengthen electoral integrity in Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia through advocacy, monitoring, and reform, the Institute will support efforts by civil society, political parties, and other stakeholders to promote accountability, transparency, and fairness in electoral processes.

Fostering Crossborder Dialogue and Civic Engagement

Heartefact Fund


To foster crossborder dialogue and civic engagement in the Western Balkans. The Belgrade-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

South East European Network for Professionalization of Media


To improve media standards and counter disinformation in Southeast Europe. Supported by a Prague-based media development organization, media groups in six countries will provide young journalists and journalism students with the skills and tools necessary to understand and counter disinformation, which they will employ to produce articles exposing and challenging distorted media content. The program will engage senior journalists to analyze media content in their countries and raise public awareness of the quality of media reporting.

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 Approaches to Countering Disinformation

Center for European Perspective


To enhance the work of organizations and institutions defending the integrity of the information space and promoting democratic unity against foreign malign influences in Southeast Europe. The Slovenian think tank will convene a series of workshops and meetings to facilitate effective and efficient coordination between and policy responses by state and non-state organizations in six Western Balkan countries that work on countering Russian disinformation and malign influence.

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 nonpartisan meetings and advocacy campaigns, the Croatia-based youth organization will bring together promising young leaders from 25 political parties in five countries, exposing them to rarely discussed topics in their parties, and strengthen and expand a network that facilitates their regular communication and cooperation.

Fostering Tolerance and Understanding among Youth

Association Perspektiva Plus


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 television series with weekly broadcasts 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 in local languages, as well as in English and Arabic.

Political Party Integrity

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To assist more than 250 representatives of 35 political parties in 10 countries of Southeastern Europe in strengthening internal mechanisms that promote political integrity,) the Institute will gather party leaders within Conservative, Liberal, and Social Democratic families to promote internal reforms that increase internal transparency, bolster inclusive decision-making, and strengthen external accountability. This technical assistance will comprise regional and in-country programming, with particular efforts made to promote women’s political participation.

Promoting Accountability though Regional Cooperation

Today is A New Day, Institute for Other Studies


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 both countries to gather, analyze, and publicize parliamentary data more effectively. 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 Accountability through Independent Reporting

NGO “35mm”


To foster independent reporting and promote greater accountability of public officials. The Montenegro-based media organization will partner with other 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 additionally 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



To promote the innovative use of new technologies to enhance political accountability in Southeastern Europe. The Croatia-based organization will expand its government and media monitoring activities that strengthen democracy by providing public with opportunities to learn more about the performance of their elected officials. The nonpartisan watchdog will cooperate with the region’s leading accountability organizations and facilitate learning from international accountability experts.

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 Cross-border 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 support editorial independence. A crossborder content exchange will contribute to ongoing debates about the region’s democratic transition, good governance, and rule of law.

Promoting Democratic Values and Reforms



To foster new policy approaches and strengthen democratic values and institutions in Southeast Europe. The Kosovo-based organization will continue working with a group of democratization experts in six Western Balkan countries to produce single-country and regional assessments of the current state of democracy, and recommendations for potential new approaches to identified challenges. The organization will facilitate discussions and conduct strategic planning for the new initiative.

 Promoting Minority Issues through Online Media

Serb National Council


To foster crossborder cooperation between independent online media outlets in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and support the dissemination of original content related to minority rights. 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 Reconciliation among Youth

Obala Art Center


To encourage new approaches to promoting transitional justice and reconciliation among youth. The group will organize a civic education workshop that utilizes documentary and feature film screenings and facilitated discussions about transitional justice, conflict resolution, and reconciliation. In addition to facilitating cooperation between filmmakers and civil society groups that are researching and documenting wartime human losses, the organization will conduct an extensive outreach and awareness raising campaign throughout out the region.

Promoting Responsible Economic Policies, Phase III

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To enhance appreciation of democratic and market values in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; to enhance the regional outreach capacity of Balkan civil society organizations and think tanks to advance democratic and market values. The Center will assist partners in continued outreach to key stakeholders and constituencies in this regard. In both countries, the Center will further engage the private sector in the reform process.

Reinforcing Democratic Resilience through Civic Engagement Strategies

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To support the development of tools for environments for direct and deliberative discourse between elected officials and citizens, the Institute’s multi-country initiative will conduct activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, and Serbia and work directly with local governments, national leaders, civil society organizations, and young people.

Responding to Foreign Malign Influence

Why Not?


To respond to external attempts to undermine democracy and reverse democratic gains in Southeast Europe. The group will organize its annual conference that connects the region’s leading watchdog and media groups to stimulate discussions, exchange best practices, and provide recommendations to strengthen the resilience of media and democratic institutions to disinformation. The organization will convene a donor coordination meeting to harmonize funders’ strategies and priorities for defending the integrity of information space.

Strengthening Public Support for Human Rights in Bulgaria and North 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 develop further national online platforms and organize events engaging youth leaders, public intellectuals, and democracy advocates.

Strengthening the Integrity of the Electoral Processes

European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations


To strengthen the integrity of the electoral processes in Southeast Europe. In advance of the 2020 parliamentary elections in Montenegro and Serbia, the election watchdog will conduct nonpartisan activities to increase the transparency of the electoral process and monitor a review of voter lists. The organization will publish its analyses and recommendations, conduct outreach campaigns, and convene public meetings with state officials, legislators, and civil society. The organization will also strengthen its institutional capacity and foster networking among its members.

Understanding and Addressing Ethnonationalist Narratives and Malign Foreign Influence

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To counter ethnonationalist divisions exacerbated by malign foreign influence in Southeastern Europe, the Institute will empower its Task Force to map ethnonationalist narratives, and develop responsive outreach plans in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, and engage new members in its Task Force to encourage political action. To address the risk of democratic backsliding in Montenegro, the Institute will seek to strengthen the ability of Montenegrin political party and governmental actors through a public opinion research and a youth political leadership institute.

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.