Today a new “Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans” was launched in the presence of local government and civil society representatives.
This 10 million EUR programme funded by the European Union will be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) over the next 36 months in six countries and territories in the Western Balkans.
“This programme aims to strengthen local participatory democracies enabling local authorities to engage with civil society in local social and integration projects”, said EU Head of Cooperation, Nicola Bertollini.
“Civil society organizations that work at the municipal level need more resources, and local governments need to develop more transparent and merit-based ways to allocate funding to CSOs,” said UNDP Resident Representative Louisa Vinton. “The new programme will work with both groups to find solutions for these challenges while overseeing a large number of public-interest projects in selected municipalities.”
It is expected that over the next three years, this programme will help fund and implement 200 public-interest projects in the Western Balkans, improving the services and quality of life for over 40,000 citizens.
In addition, the programme will help promote and facilitate dialogue and cooperation between CSOs and local governments across the Western Balkans, through regional events, peer-to-peer exchanges and increasing capacities for managing grant schemes.
The budget for the country amounts to 845,000 EUR and it is expected that dozens of public-interest projects by local governments and CSOs will be implemented throughout the project duration.