The overall aim of the Hub’s Strategy is strengthened regional cooperation in promoting the civic space in the Western Balkan region, by supporting activities that will contribute towards the effective, transparent and accountable work of the CSOs. Thus, they will strengthen their position as influential actors in society, striving to a more enabling environment for civil society development.

To achieve the Hub’s goals, BCSDN opened a call for project proposals (closed on 15 September 2020, more details below) titled “STRENGTHENING REGIONAL COOPERATION TO PROMOTE CIVIC SPACE IN THE WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES”. The funding for the call is provided by SIDA and the aim is to build strong regional connections by encouraging the regional networks to share their knowledge, experience and skills in addressing the discrepancies and bottlenecks identified in the development of civil society in the Western Balkan region.

Grants have been awarded to 10 regional networks and initiatives (see table below) with missions and demonstrated experience in the thematic area of this Call, with special focus on the enabling environment and accountability of CSOs. The table below comprises the successful grantees awarded under the first Call for proposals.

Name of the Grantee Title of the Action Objectives of the action Location Budget awarded (EUR)
Western Balkans Regional Platform for advocating media freedom and journalists’ safety – informal network of journalist associations and media trade unions in Western Balkans To improve the dialogue between journalists’ associations and parliaments in Western Balkans for stronger civil society sector To improve the dialogue between members of national parliaments and NJA in Western Balkans for advancing the state of freedom of expression as a fundamental human right and strengthening the role of CSOs. Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro 69,982.00
Informal Think for Europe Network of Think Tanks and EU Policy Research Centres in South-East Europe (TEN) Western Balkan Civil Society Empowerment for a Reformed Public Administration – WeBER 2.0 To strengthen civil society monitoring in PAR area, based on evidence and analysis produced by CSOs, and lead an effective regional and national level government-CSO policy dialogue on PAR. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia 69,430.00
Informal network At-Risk Youth Social Empowerment Network (ARYSEN) Civil Society Organisations in Western Balkans and their role in provision of social services and prevention of social exclusion To strengthen the advocacy capacities of CSOs service providers in order to allow for greater involvement in policy making and to increase the awareness of policy makers about the importance of the role CSOs have in service provision. Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia 70,000.00
ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey, Serbia Our region- our rights: Strengthening regional cooperation, resilience and sustainability of the LGBTI movement in Western Balkans To increase sustainability and resilience of the LGBTI movement in WB, by assessing and increasing capacities of LGBTI CSOs, promoting, monitoring and advocating for human rights and fundamental freedoms of LGBTI people in WB. Serbia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania 65,901.00
Youth Initiative for Human Rights To Reconcile is To Reinforce Wider civic space and safer working environment for civil society through the establishment of innovative inclusive practices of civil society, securing greater participation of stakeholders, state institutions and civil society actors. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia 69,054.00
ConWeb – Network of national consumers’ organizations of South East Europe Developing civil society partnership with business: Service driven model for mobilization of financial resources To develop and promote an innovative model for CSO cooperation with businesses through consumer-friendly certification services that further diversifies civil society funding sources and its impact on implementation of consumer and environmental protection policies. Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia 41,921.00
SEENET – South East Europe network on natural resources, energy and transport Stay Safe and Speak Out To analyse and identify potential areas of legal framework improvement, to conduct a public awareness campaign on the negative impact of the increasing pressure on environmental activists and CSOs, and initiate dialogue between governmental and civil society sector about public participation in environmental decision making. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania 69,970.00
Association for regional cooperation BALKAN NETWORK FOR LOCAL DEMOCRACY CSOs networking for better local democracy in the Balkans Strengthening BNLD capacities through regional exchange of experience on evidence based advocacy and monitoring EU integration and reform agenda in WB countries; creating a regional CSOs co-operation and learning resource for advancing active citizenship at local level. Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro 69,980.00
SIGN – South Eastern European Indigenous Grant- makers Network SIGN for Philanthropy Education and Promotion (SIGN 4 PEP) To build knowledge and infrastructure  for increased financial sustainability of CSOs and effective engagement of citizens in decision-making processes. To promote strategic giving and provision of support to civil society initiatives among citizens, businesses and public institutions. Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia 69,916.00
Informal network of organizations for improving the role of civil society in implementation of palliative care represented by the Centre for palliative care and palliative medicine “BELhospice” Palliative Care- My Care, My Right To enhance capacity of CSOs to play a vital role in implementation of palliative care and protection of human rights of the most vulnerable groups – patients with life limiting illnesses and their families. Serbia, Albania and Montenegro 70,000.00


Call for proposals (CLOSED)

Call for Project Proposals: “Strengthening regional cooperation to promote civic space in the Western Balkan countries”

Number of the Call: 09- 108/1 – 2020

The funding is provided by SIDA, aiming to build strong regional connections by encouraging the regional networks to share their knowledge, experience and skills in addressing the discrepancies and bottlenecks identified in the development of civil society in the region.

Grants will be awarded to regional networks and initiatives with missions and demonstrated experience in the thematic area of this Call, with special focus on the enabling environment and accountability.

BCSDN with its Executive Office in Skopje is the contracting authority for this Call.

The deadline for applications is 15 September 2020 at 24:00 (CET).

Details about the application process, selection criteria and eligibility of actions are provided in the Guidelines for Applicants.

The draft contract and the templates for the reporting documents are available on the following link.


All regional formal/ informal network of active CSOs, associations and foundations, including non-governmental, and not-for-profit coalitions, partnerships, networks, sectoral or thematic interest groups, media outlets, research institutes and think tanks:

  • Registered/ established in at least one of the Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia and Serbia),
  • Registered/ established at least one year before the publication of this Call,
  • Comprised of member organizations in more than 2 countries from the WB region.

Potential applicants should have a mission that is in line with the specific objectives of this Call and should demonstrate experience in project management.

Objectives of the Call

The overall objective of this Call is to support regional networks and initiatives in the Western Balkan region by financially backing projects that will contribute to wider participation of civil society groups and enhanced regional cooperation among CSOs in promoting civic space.

The proposed activities should address the discrepancies in the development of civil society in the region by exchanging knowledge, experience, and skill across CSOs and establishing a platform for solidarity and cooperation in case of need.

The proposed interventions should target one of the specific objectives presented bellow and aim to deliver concrete results that feed the overall aim of the Hub’ Strategy:

Specific Objective 1- CSOs contributed to a conducive environment for civil society development by addressing the deterioration of the state of fundamental freedoms, improving the civic dialogue, supporting resources mobilization and alternative funding sources for promoting civic space, etc.

Specific Objective 2- CSOs contributed towards effective, transparent and accountable work by supporting CSO constituency and trust-building, like innovative outreach activities, CSO rebranding, encouraging meaningful participation of stakeholders at all levels, introducing new dynamic accountability practices, etc.