The National Conference for promotion of the project SMART Balkans – Civil Society for Shared Society in the Western Balkans, was held in Belgrade on 30.06.2022, and was attended by around 180 representatives of civil society organizations, media and active citizens from Serbia. In addition, two very productive panel sessions took place within the conference themed: Perspective of security and stability in the Western Balkans Region and Good Governance and EU integration in the Western Balkans region: situation and role of CSOs.
The Executive Director of CRPM, Ms. Marija Risteska in her introductory address stressed the need for such support for civil society organizations, emphasizing the role of CSOs as bearers of change in society.
The Executive Director of CPCD, Ms. Aida Daguda in her welcoming speech referred to the need for regional networking as a way to maximize the influence of citizens and civil society organizations on the decision-making process and strengthen participatory democracy in the region, which is also one of the goals of the project.
The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway in Serbia, Montenegro and N. Macedonia, H.E. Mr. Jorn Gjelstad gave an overview of the support of the Kingdom of Norway in the region so far, especially for the civil society sector, emphasizing the need for better involvement of the citizens and civil society organizations in the decision-making process.
At the conference, the presentation of the project focused on the grants and programs amounted to 14.5 million euros, which will be distributed to civil society organizations in the region.
The four-year project is one of Norway’s largest programs in the region, with a focus on good governance and security and stability, in the amount of EUR 17 million and is implemented by a consortium of three organizations from the region: Center for Civil Society Promotion (CPCD) from BIH, in cooperation with partner organizations Center for Research and Policy Making (CRPM) form N. Macedonia and Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM) from Albania.
More photos from the conference can be found here: https://bit.ly/3zTgG4z