Agreement Signing Ceremony in N. Macedonia | 28.04.2023

We are pleased to make the announcement that on April 28th, 2023, the SMART Balkans project team awarded fourteen (14) grants to organizations based in N. Macedonia. The grants include ten (10) Local Initiative grants, two (2) Creative Box grants, and two (2) Media grants.

The Agreement Signing Ceremony brought together our cooperating partners – local organizations, media outlets and creative groups that were selected through the Public Calls for Local Initiatives, Creative Box, and Media grants. A total of 79 applications were received for these grant lines in N. Macedonia, of which 76 passed the administrative check, and 14 were selected to receive funding. The supported projects will focus on SMART Balkans’ key thematic areas, namely security, stability, and governance, which will be implemented at the local and national level, within a period of 6 to 12 months.

During her welcome speech, Ms. Marija Risteska, the Executive Director of the Center for Research and Policy Making, expressed her happiness and pride in the expansion of the circle of collaborators and partners, with 14 new grantees who will initiate changes both in the communities and at the national level through networking and joint action. The actions of the collaborating partners are expected to contribute significantly to the project’s main goals of promoting greater security and stability, as well as good governance in the entire region. These goals are achievable due to the support and trust that the Kingdom of Norway has placed in the project’s consortium, which provides financial assistance of more than 17.5 million EUR. Additionally, the fact that the consortium is composed of local organizations further contributes to strengthening the local capacities of the organizations.

Ms. Nela Jović, Senior Programme Advisor at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, indicated that Norway and N. Macedonia have had a successful partnership for 30 years through established bilateral relations, which are celebrating their anniversary this year. Norway’s main goal is to contribute to security and stability in the Western Balkans region, and establish good governance based on democratic values. To that end, Norway considers the European integration processes crucial and fully supports the country’s efforts in that direction, including the civil sector. Ms. Jović acknowledged the difficulty of civil society organizations’ work, considering that they balance the government’s needs and those of their constituents. Finally, she emphasized that, in the spirit of the project, she expects civil society organizations to use the grants “SMARTly”.

Recipients of Local Initiative grant:

  • Volunteer fire department Sveti Nikole
  • Non-governmental organization KHAM Delchevo
  • Association of Citizens Media Plus
  • Women’s Action – Radovish
  • Citizens` Association RUBIKON Skopje
  • Women`s organization of Strumica
  • Association for rural development LAG Agro Lider
  • Association Center for Social Initiatives “Nadez”
  • Housing and Tenants Organization HTO
  • Center for Education And Development-CED

Recipients of Creative Box grant:

  • Women`s organization of Strumica
  • Informal group “SKORO”

Recipients of Media grant:

  • Association for the Advancement of Journalistic Practices INNOVATIVE MEDIA – Skopje
  • TRD TV studio “TERA” Mangovski Zoran Bitola DOOEL TERA TV