The implementation of the EU acquis is a necessary condition for each country seeking membership of the Union. While much emphasis has been placed upon the transposition of EU legislation into the national law of these countries, the European Commission has made it clear that such laws must be implemented effectively. It is therefore necessary to have administrative structures with an adequate capacity to ensure compliance.
Developing accountable, predictable, reliable and transparent public administrations that can provide public services in line with government priorities and meeting the requirements of the acquis communautaire, is a demanding task in the western Balkans, and one which requires the commitment of a great variety of actors and resources.
The European Fund for the Balkans initiates programmes that support the building and improving of the professional and administrative capacities and skills of young government officials from the Balkans in the EU integration process, with a view to:
- Building a new generation of politicians and civil servants with new visions and a regional outlook
- Gaining practical experience in EU countries’ federal, state or municipal government agencies
- Creating links between administrations in the region through individual networks and joint initiatives
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Youth in the Balkans need to shed a sense of inferiority as victims, and to unite with other like-minded youth. The inability to experience other cultures and other worldviews results in the development of ghetto-logic. To overcome the great challenges that confront them, young people should get connected more to the global stage. The open minded, visionary and socially aware youth of the Balkans has an active role to play in the region’s development today, not tomorrow.
With the aim of promoting European values in future generations, the Fund will undertake and support initiatives allowing young generations in the Western Balkans to experience and learn about Europe.
These initiatives will:
- address opportunities that exist for young people to play an active role in contributing to the development of the Balkan region
- serve as catalisators for emerging positive change makers and leaders in the Balkan societies
- encourage the spirit of co-operation by identifying new connecting issues for young generations in the region and the EU
- create a network of ‘young ambassadors’ of the region.
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The political elite in Western Balkans countries should clearly comprehend what member-state building means in practice. Parties – journalists, civil society representatives, academics, interest groups – that shape policy debates have a responsibility to constructively contribute to meeting these challenges.
A broad and shared understanding of the Europeanisation process is paramount for overcoming competing and conflicting agendas which frequently generate difficulties in building and sustaining reform coalitions. Therefore, countries of this region should develop strategies, plans and priorities which are followed up by genuine domestic debates, and exercise ownership for achieving sustainable institution building and actual transformation.
Ownership of the European integration process cannot be gained by the countries and societies of the Western Balkans without a clear vision or realistic and result oriented understanding of the challenges, costs and opportunities of genuine EU member state building. It also requires the integrated efforts of all layers of society to adopt European values.
The Fund will provide support through programmes focused on individual and collaborative research and policy development projects as well as media outreach initiatives, with a view to:
- Supporting inclusive and evidence-based research and policy-making;
- Strengthening the think tank capacity in the Balkans or in the EU regarding Balkan issues
- Bringing EU integration into public perception
- Linking emerging policy institutes from the Balkans with EU-based think tanks
- Stimulating regional exchanges and transfer of know-how within the wider region
Supporting Policy Development
Supporting Policy Development is programme by the European Fund for the Balkans which seeks to serve policy researchers, think tanks, NGO’s, and governments, who are interested to be engaged in the policy developments and the EU integration process in the Western Balkans. The programme aims to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise based on the evidence based approach for addressing complex societal challenges the countries of the region are facing on their way to EU membership.
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The European Fund for the Balkans supports projects that are in the line with its priority programme areas throughout the year. All civil society organizations from the Western Balkans and the organizations which are dealing with the Western Balkan issues are eligible to apply. Initiative and partnerships aims to contribute toward informed policy making, new ideas which can accelerate the reform process of the societies in the region, create synergies and multiply the impact through innovative approaches, promote increased public engagement and support decisive leadership on the road to EU integration.More about programme