Agreement Signing Ceremony in Serbia I SMART Balkans

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On April 24th, 2023, we are proud to announce that we have awarded a total of thirteen (13) grants to organizations in Serbia as part of the SMART Balkans project, funded by Norway. Among these grants, nine (9) are Local Initiative grants, two (2) are Creative Box grants, and two (2) are Media grants.

The Agreement Signing Ceremony marked the formal presentation of the grant beneficiaries, local organizations, medias and creative groups, selected through the public calls for Local Initiatives, Creative Box, and Media grants. Out of 43 applications received from Serbia under these Public Calls, 42 passed the administrative check, and 13 were selected to receive funding. The supported projects will focus on the SMART Balkans thematic areas – security, stability, and governance.

Ms. Nela Jović, Senior Programme Advisor at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, offered her congratulations to the awarded organizations.

“Since the beginning of cooperation with Serbia, Norway has been helping non-governmental organizations as important actors in a democratic society. We are aware that the possibilities for obtaining grants from domestic and foreign sources are narrowing. This especially affects small, local, grassroots organizations, but they got a chance through SMART Balkans. As we saw today, there is a great variety of organizations, topics and locations of supported projects. I hope that cooperation and synergy will be established among these numerous initiatives, which could lead to more lasting, systemic results” Nela Jović expressed.

The Executive Director of the Center for Research and Policy Making, Marija Risteska, in her welcome speech stated that the number of partners in the SMART Balkan project increases with each public call, thereby the project’s impact on society is increasing. The main goals of the project are to strengthen participatory democracies and Euro-Atlantic integration in the Western Balkans by empowering civil society organizations and CSO networks to play a stronger and more active role in creating peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

“Our focus in the next three years will be on strengthening civil society organizations with the aim of encouraging real changes in society, which would contribute to improving the position of Serbian citizens. In this regard, we are very proud that the territorial distribution of grants contributes to the achievement of the project’s goals, as seen in the territorial distribution of organizations that will implement projects in Serbia.” she said.

Grants for Local Initiatives provide means of financing local projects focused on enhancing security, stability, and governance.

Recipients of Local Initiative grant:

Grupa 484
Skogled Association
Tim 42
Centar za razvoj građanskog društva PROTECTA
Udruženje građana Roditelj
Centra lokalne demokratije LDA
Volonterski centar Vojvodine
Centar za monitoring i aktivizam – CEMA
Creative Box grants are aimed at supporting legal entities (associations or foundations) and informal groups for creation of various creative products that promote the key messages of the projects.

Recipients of Creative Box grant:

UG Institut za istraživanje korupcije Kareja
Art Aparat
Media grants are designed to support legal entities, civil society organizations, or private media companies to develop media content and/or promote media awareness.

Recipients of Media grant:

Center for Investigative Journalism Kruševac – CINK
Forum žena Prijepolja

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