Building trust and achieving sustainable peace in the Western Balkans

580,000 euros for initiatives of civil society organisations thanks to EU support

February 8, 2024

CSOs, UNDP and EU representatives.

Belgrade, February 8, 2024  – The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have distributed grants today for implementing 12 initiatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) for the total amount of 580,000 euros. Thanks to the financial support of the European Union (EU),  over the next two years, through their activities, the organisations will contribute to the promotion of peace and cooperation in the region, education about transitional justice, overcoming the legacy of war crimes in the 1990s, and protecting the rights of victims and survivors during armed conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia, as well as their families. Their initiatives were selected through public calls for CSOs within the regional project "EU Support to Confidence Building in the Western Balkans".

“The EU has showed unequivocal support to Serbia and the whole of the Western Balkans region in order to foster stability, reconciliation and lasting peace.  The work which will be done through the awarded Serbian Civil Society Organisations is therefore very important to us, not least as it touches upon many aspects of affected post conflict societies. We will continue providing support in the area of transitional justice and support to fighting impunity now and for the benefit of generations to come”, said Plamena Halacheva, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia.

"Civil society organisations played a key role in fostering reconciliation in the Western Balkans after armed conflicts. Their activists are still in direct contact with citizens, survivors, and members of victims' families and have a unique understanding of their most pressing needs. I believe that the civil society initiatives we supported will contribute to further building trust and ensuring sustainable peace in the region," said Fabrizio Andreuzzi, Deputy Resident Representative at UNDP Serbia.

Among the 12 selected initiatives that will be implemented is My Country: Youth Theater as a means of dealing with the past in the Western Balkans of Center E8, which will stage a documentary that affirms the politics of peace and transitional justice and will be performed in six cities in the Western Balkans region. The MAAT Student Association will carry out activities to include young people from the entire region in the transitional justice and reconciliation processes at the local and regional level under the slogan "We! A generation of truth, cooperation and compassion". In addition, the International Aid Network (IAN) will provide Psychological support to witnesses in war crimes proceedings.

A complete list with more details on all selected initiatives can be found in here.

This event is organised within the "EU Support to Confidence Building in the Western Balkans" project, for which the EU provided EUR 7 million. It is implemented by UNDP.