SMART Balkans National Conference in Kosovo

The 4-year project “SMART Balkans – Civil Society for Shared Society ​​in the Western Balkans” was presented on June 23, 2022 in Pristina, during the National Conference held in Kosovo. The conference was attended by more than 110 participants, representatives of the government of Kosovo, civil society organizations, media and active citizens, who during their discussions emphasized the role and importance of the involvement of civil society in the key reforms of the country’s integration agenda.  The SMART Balkans project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and will contribute to the strengthening of civil society organizations and CSO networks in the region, to play a more active role in creating peaceful and inclusive societies, as well as to promoting sustainable development in Kosovo.

In his opening speech, the program director of the Institute for Democracy and Mediation, Mr. Gjergji Vurmo, said that SMART Balkans is the largest program given to the civil society sector in the region in the last 30 years, which is trusted to implement by a local consortium. Ambassador of Norway to the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Albania, H.E. mr. Jens Erik Grondahl, participating in the activity, during his speech emphasized that this project comes at an important moment after the Russian aggression in Ukraine and aims to contribute to the acceleration of the integration agendas of the Western Balkans in the European Union. He added that this project will increase citizens’ awareness and their involvement in decision-making processes in the region.

During the conference, were presented capacity-building programs and the grant scheme offered to the civil society sector in the thematic areas of the project such as security, stability, and good governance. The project coordinator for Albania and Kosovo, Mrs. Kledia Lika thanked the civil society in Kosovo for the interest shown in this project and invited all interested organizations and individuals to apply to the public calls for grants that will be opened continuously during the 4-year period of implementation of the SMART Balkans project.

More photos from the conference can be found here: https://bit.ly/3CTuvC3

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