The second edition of the “Engaged Democracy Convention - Engage, Inspire, Empower!” will be organised from May 17 to 20, 2023 in Pristina, Kosovo, as a continuation of the work carried out within the Engaged Democracy Initiative (EDI).

The EDI was initiated by the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and the Institute for Democratic Engagement Southeast Europe (IDESE) in 2020. EDI gathers local  initiatives and movements, researchers and active citizens in the Western Balkans (WB) involved with issues of democratization, social justice and accountability of institutions, and support them to join forces and work on preserving and promoting values of open, solidarity-based and democratic societies. Within EDI, five topics common for the region that are the foundation of our work have been identified: environment, decent work, public space, media and human rights.

The first “Engaged Democracy Convention: Engage, Inspire, Empower! Through Solidarity to Democracy in the Western Balkans” was held in Belgrade in September, 2021. The first edition of this regional format provided a space of exchange and united diverse and innovative citizens, academics, and journalists by delivering an agenda that had been demand-driven and co-created with participants. This event was supported by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe. Then, in 2022 EDI organised regional thematic meetings in almost each capital of the Western Balkans covering each of the five topics. Overall, around 100 individuals and representatives of local movements were gathered whose exchange at the meetings in some cases led to specific projects and collaborations even outside of EDI.

In parallel, in January 2022, the Engaged Balkans online platform was launched in order to provide a closed, safe digital space for networking and connecting citizens and organisations from the Western Balkans. The focus of the platform is to create a trust-based regional online community. This invitation-only platform has gathered more than 300 members that in one way or another are involved with EDI.

The second edition of the Engaged Democracy Convention will be held in Pristina, Kosovo, between 17-19 May, 2023 and the Convention agenda is developed based on our work carried out in 2022, when we organised five thematic regional meetings, that expanded and deepened our EDI network. The two-day Convention programme is designed to also include plenary sessions, and workshop that will try to intensify the EDI process of creating a solidary community across the region. 

The importance and value of the Engaged Democracy Convention vol.2 has been recognised and is supported by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe and the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). The two-day programme of the Convention is co-designed with members of the Engaged Balkans platform and will include plenary sessions and workshops that will try to intensify the EDI process of creating a solidary community across the region. 

Through the support of the German Federal Foreign Office, a regional competition format is enabled, where projects within each thematic group will be pitched at the Convention and the winning proposal selected by present participants. The aim is to have projects that will boost and energise both, the thematic groups and the network on a substantial and regional level. As the winning projects will be selected by present members of those communities the projects are aimed for, a purposeful choice should be ensured.

Stay tuned for more info!