Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans (ReLOaD) launches in Kosovo

Jun 20, 2017

The European Union (EU) Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organized the kick-off event for the new Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans (ReLOaD) on Tuesday, 20 June 2017. The event launched the project and discussed the partnership between local government and civil society organizations (CSOs).

The event gathered distinguished guests and representatives from international organizations, networks of civil society organizations, media, central level institutions, as well as mayors and other representatives of municipalities, to discuss the state of partnership between local governments and CSOs, and the ways to enhance local participatory democracy and the quality of services provided by the CSOs.

Mr. Luigi Brusa, Head of Cooperation Section in the European Union Office in Kosovo, stressed  the importance of empowering civil society through provision of fair and transparent environment, including through transparent system of financing and project delivery, to enable their active participation in the decision-making in municipalities.

Ms. Alessandra Roccasalvo, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative recognized the importance of civil society organizations actively participating in the change process alongside local and other authorities. Ms. Roccasalvo added that the municipalities and civil society organizations should be able to work together in a systematic, consultative and transparent way.

The new ReLOaD programme in Kosovo will be working together with 5 selected municipalities that will cooperate with local CSOs through a competitive grant scheme, expanding relations between municipality and local civil society as well as improving the quality of CSOs’ services. The ReLOaD programme is therefore a continuation of both UNDP’s and EU’s efforts to support the municipalities to become more responsive to their communities and to improve the public services their residents demand and deserve.

Speaking on behalf of civil society, Ms. Valdete Idrizi, Executive Director of CiviKos Platform, shared her views on the importance of this initiative which helps bring the decision-making to the local level. The ReLOaD programme aims to contribute to the coordination of donors and to allow for a better cooperation of donors and CSOs, and is therefore welcomed by the civil society.

The Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans is a 3-year regional initiative funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in 6 Western Balkan countries with a focus on strengthening partnerships between local governments and civil society organizations by scaling-up a successful model of transparent and project-based funding of CSOs from municipal budgets. 

In Kosovo, the project will select and work with 5 municipalities through a grant scheme for CSOs, aiming to reinforce participatory democracy at the local level, expand relations between local governments and CSOs, as well as to improve the quality of CSOs services. As such, the project will reach over 3,800 residents in partner municipalities through at least 20 CSO projects.

The Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP.

More information on the ReLOaD programme: http://www.ks.undp.org/content/kosovo/en/home/operations/projects/poverty_reduction/regional-programme-on-local-democracy-in-the-western-balkans--re.html

For more information, please contact:

Burbuqe Dobranja, UNDP Communications Associate

Phone: (038) 249 066 ext. 410; mobile: 049 720 800; e-mail: burbuqe.dobranja@undp.org

Danijela Mitić, Communication Analyst UNDP

Phone: (038) 249 066 ext. 412; mobile: 049 720 824; e-mail: danijela.mitic@undp.org

Fjolla Çeku-Sylejmani, Information and Communication Officer, European Union Office in Kosovo / EU Special Representative

Phone: (038) 5131 327; email: fjolla.ceku@eeas.europa.eu