Regional Programme on Local Democracy in the Western Balkans 2 (ReLOaD2)
As a critical component of democratic systems, civil society has been and will continue to be an important actor of reform processes taking place in the Western Balkans. In this context, the EU accession agenda in the region promotes the role of CSOs in further democratisation, including consultation in decision making, contribution to processes associated with policy and regulatory changes and promoting of public accountability.
However, limitations in the environment for CSO work, as well as capacity constraints faced by both CSOs and local governments affect their cooperation efforts. While local governments across the region provide sizeable public funding to CSOs, they also face transparency and accountability challenges. Another challenge Western Balkan region is facing is insufficient youth engagement. While considered critical for strengthening fragile democracies and promoting broad-based social transformations in the Western Balkans, youth engagement in the region still needs to be stimulated and improved.
Based on the extensive experience from ReLOaD1 and previous project interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, ReLOaD2 will be able to address these issues and challenges in each of the participating IPA beneficiaries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.
What we want to achieve?
The overall objective of the project is to strengthen participatory democracies and the EU integration process in the Western Balkans (WB) by empowering civil society and youth to actively take part in decision making and by stimulating an enabling legal and financial environment for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
The ReLOaD2 project in Kosovo aims to strengthen partnerships between municipalities and civil society by scaling-up a successful model of transparent and project-based civil society organizations (CSOs) funding from municipal budgets and promoting youth and civic engagement in decision-making, improvement of local service delivery and community development. Our underlying goal is to further improve and ensure sustainable, transparent, and development-oriented mechanism to funding CSOs by municipal budgets that contribute to realization of priorities and needs of local communities. Furthermore, ReLOaD2 will promote youth engagement and support implementation of youth initiatives and will work on improvement of their economic perspectives in partner localities.
In six IPA beneficiaries, it is expected that the CSOs will implement around 300 projects and offer improved and diversified services for over 40,000 citizens at the local level.
In Kosovo, it is expected that the CSOs will implement around 56 projects and offer improved and diversified services for over 4,200 citizens at the local level.
Results up to date
Capacity Development and Awareness Raising
· 50 municipal officials (38% women) have increased capacities on EU application processes;
· 17 municipalities have expressed interest to improve cooperation with CSOs, youth organizations and promote transparent funding of CSOs;
· 7 municipalities are selected competitively through an open public call for municipalities;
· 28 (25% women) municipal officials are identified to participate in project cycle management trainings.