European Union awards €4 million to support civil society organisations in BiH

Within the EU’s support to development of civil society in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 9 civil society organisations were awarded with grants worth €4 million. The awarded projects will operate within various sectors: anticorruption, social inclusion and social entrepreneurship, youth, education, media, health and environment.

The first meeting with all the grantees and their partners, involving some 18 civil society organisations, was held today at the EU Office to BiH, aiming to encourage the grantees to establish successful cooperation and together contribute to sustainability of the projects.

The projects were awarded within the EU Civil Society Facility and Media Programme in BiH 2016-2017 aiming at supporting involvement of the civil society in the EU integration process in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Vladimir Pandurević, Task Manager for Civil Society Development of the EU Delegation to BiH underlined that civil society organisations play an important role as promoters of democracy, and that no fundamental social change can be achieved without a strong civil society. “The European Union will continue with support to civil society organisations in BiH. This year, the EU provided support of almost €4 million and in the next year, that support will reach €5.5 million,” Pandurevic said.

In order to facilitate cooperation between CSOs and to raise awareness about the results of EU assistance to BiH in this sector, a web platform will be created to feature comprehensive information about 14 sectors which were supported by the EU within the Programme so far. This is the first time that such a degree of coordination and exchange of information will be established within the EU supported Civil Society Facility and Media Programme, thus enabling CSOs to continue developing their own capacities and strengthen their cooperation.

The Civil Society Facility Programme was established in 2008 to financially support the development of civil society. It includes both national and multi-beneficiary initiatives which are programmed in a coordinated manner to achieve shared outcomes. The main priorities of the Civil Society Facility 2016-2017 Programme in BiH are focused on institutionalisation of civil society participation in policy and the decision making process, further capacity building of CSOs in BiH, grass-root CSOs in particular, in the areas of social inclusion, education, social entrepreneurship, environment and climate change, youth, media and anti-corruption.