EU Info Center Sarajevo in cooperation with the Delegation of the European Commission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Directorate for European Integrations of BiH has been organized a 1-day seminar on new financial facility for Civil society under the “Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance IPA”, which was held on Wednesday, 8 October 2008, from 09.30 to 16.00 hrs, at the premises of the Delegation of the European Commission to BiH.
Ambassador Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of EC Delegation to BiH addressed participants together with Mr Yngve Engstroem and Hank Visser, representatives of the EC Directorate General for Enlargement, Mr Osman Topcagic, Director of the Directorate for European Integrations BiH and representatives of donor and non-governmental organisations in BiH.
The primary objective of this seminar was to provide a forum for a discussion between international and local representatives on how the funds that the EU allocated for strengthening civil society in BiH.
The new facility will cover three areas of intervention:
– support for local civil society initiatives and capacity building, reinforcing the role of civil society in the candidate and potential candidate countries
– People-to-People Dialogue programmes aimed at familiarising journalists, young politicians, trade union leaders, teachers, etc. with EU policies and institutions
– support for building partnerships and developing networks between civil society organisations in the enlargement countries and the EU to promote transfer of knowledge and experience.
Civil society has a key role in democratic public life. The EU’s strategy for enlargement has increasingly put an emphasis on civil society dialogue and development in the EU candidates and potential candidates. Since 2005, the European Commission has granted financial support to projects on civil society dialogue with and between Western Balkan countries. The EU’s financial support to civil society activities in Western Balkans and Turkey will approximately amount to 130 million euros over the period 2008-2010.