EU and UNDP’s support to strengthening local democracy and cooperation between BiH Municipalities and NGOs

The final Workshop of the EU funded project “Reinforcement of Local Democracy II – LOD II” was held on 26 April 2012 in Sarajevo, hotel ‘Europe‘, to present the results of the project that was implemented in 15 BiH municipalities. The Workshop was attended by the Mayors of project partner municipalities and other local self-government units as well as representatives of civil society organisations, Delegation of the EU to BiH, BiH Ministry of Justice, RS and FBiH Associations of Municipalities and Cities, and United Nations Development Programme in BiH.

During the 18 months of its implementation, the LOD II has funded a total of 72 NGO projects in its partner municipalities Bijeljina, Derventa, Foča, Grad Sarajevo, Gradiška, Jablanica, Ključ, Ljubuški, Prijedor, Srebrenik, Tešanj, Trebinje, Tuzla, Zavidovići and Zvornik. These projects were aimed at solving the problems defined within development strategies of these local communities as well as at strengthening capacities of the civil society organisations and local governments.

The Workshop was also utilized for a discussion on ways to enhance existing mechanisms for funding of civil society organisations, with the special attention to funding of projects that can concretely contribute towards solving problems in the local communities. The results of the discussion will become more visible in the future, upon commencement of the application of EU standards on distribution of budget funds intended for implementation of civil society organisations’ projects at the local level.

The Workshop was also an excellent opportunity for exchange of experiences, principally in strengthening cooperation between local authorities and civil society organisations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to emphasis the lessons learnt that will help further this cooperation.

LOD II project is funded by the European Union through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) in the amount of 1,5 mil EUR, with a goal to contribute to democratic stabilisation, reconciliation and further development of BiH through support to selected municipalities in establishing improved local authority/civil society relations and facilitating financing mechanisms for improved service delivery.