MINELRES: King Baudouin Foundation: Update about our activities in the Balkans

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Jun 30 09:54:02 2008

Original sender: King Baudouin Foundation <kbs-frb@kbs-frb.be>

Background information about our activities in the area of the Balkans
is given below. You can also consult this information on www.kbs-frb.be 

European Fund for the Balkans (EFB)
More mobility for students from the Western Balkans
EPC Public events
United World College

Fund for the Balkans (EFB)   
Sarajevo launch 
June 18th marked the launch of the European Fund for the Balkans, a new
multi-million euro joint venture funding programme in the Western
Balkans, created by four of the largest European foundations: the Robert
Bosch Stiftung , the King Baudouin Foundation, the Compagnia di San
Paolo and the ERSTE Foundation. The EFB’s goal is to undertake and
support initiatives that will bring the Western Balkans closer to the
European Union. The Fund develops grant-making and operational
programmes and is open to private and public donors. 

Think & Link: 6 projects selected 
The EFB’s first initiative is “Think and Link”, a regional policy
programme for think tanks and policy institutes. The theme chosen for
its first call for proposals is “Environmental policy in the Western
Balkans: policy legacies, current institutions and European standards”.
6 of the 26 projects submitted have been retained to receive financial
support and technical assistance through 2 seminars with experts,
beginning 23 June 2008. 
More information:

Young leaders debate Western Balkans and EU 
In April, the EFB organized a very successful 2-day regional seminar in
Belgrade on the theme “The European Future of the Western Balkans: Youth
have a role to play”. The objective was to share experience and ideas on
regional cooperation and leadership among young leaders in the Western
Balkans. Participants were alumni from 6 schools for political studies,
currently working in political parties, state institutions, NGOs,
business and the media, as well as regional and EU experts and policy
More information:

Further information regarding the European Fund for the Balkans is 
available by phone/fax on +381 (0)11 30 33 662, 
by e-mail at: info@balkanfund.org or on the website: www.balkanfund.org 
More mobility for students from the Western Balkans   

New research on student mobility 
At the request of the KBF, the International Center for Migration Policy
Development (ICMPD) conducted research on SMART visas for students in
the Western Balkans who wished to study in the EU. Results were
presented to the EU Council working group on the Balkans. In September
2008, a further study by ICMPD on the potential abuse of student visas
will be published together with the results of research among university
students to evaluate factors related to low student mobility. The KBF is
also supporting a project to monitor visa facilitation agreements
through a hotline and is evaluating visa problems among the general
More information:

Detailed information can be obtained from Stefan Schafers 
on +32 (0) 2 549 02 39 or Michele Duesberg on +32 (0) 2 549 02 86. 

MRP in SEE   

Workshop on political participation of minorities 
Improving political dialogue and participation at various levels of
government in the process towards EU integration were the leitmotifs for
a 2-day seminar in Skopje, in March 2008, organized by Common Values.
Delegates came from Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro,
Romania and Serbia. Presentations and discussions from the workshop will
be published end 2008/early 2009. Further information can be obtained
from Common Values, Skopje: Elena Angelovska

Minority Rights in Practice in SEE: permanent open call 
In addition to strategic grants, the KBF occasionally supports proposals
for advocacy and policy initiatives to be implemented at regional and
European level (e.g. public awareness campaigns, conferences, policy
events and cross-border projects). Such projects are part of a permanent
open call. Initial contact to request support may be made by letter, in
which a brief description of the project and the range of funding
required are stated. Applicants whose projects are short-listed will
receive a detailed application form to complete. Further information
about the guidelines can be obtained from Fabrice de Kerchove
<dekerchove.f@kbs-frb.be>, Project Manager at the King Baudouin
Foundation, or from our website

EPC Public events   

Albania EU Membership 
Albania, which was close to becoming a ‘failed state’ three years ago,
has now introduced legal, economic and social reforms and is moving
towards becoming a mature democracy, speakers told an EPC Policy
Dialogue. The country is working towards European integration and, after
being invited to join NATO in April, speakers felt it should now push
ahead to achieve EU membership as quickly as possible. 
More information:

Crime and Governance 
Despite falls in crime levels and the incentive of EU membership,
corruption and organized crime remain serious problems in the Western
Balkans and are experienced on a daily basis by inhabitants as well as
in political and judicial circles. EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn
told delegates at an EPC Policy Dialogue, organized in cooperation with
the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), that governments
could speed up their integration if they had the political will to
undertake serious reforms. Executive Director Antonio Maria Costas
presented UNODC’s report on Crime and its impact on the Balkans. 
More information:

Balkan task force 
As part of its EU Integration & Citizenship Programme, the EPC published
in June 2008 a working paper on “The Balkans and Europe: containment or
transformation? Twelve ideas for action”. The paper contains the
findings of a task force of international experts, set up by the EPC and
the King Baudouin Foundation, to consider whether existing EU policies
are really capable of moving forward from containing security risks in
the Western Balkans by means of the ‘protectorate’ method, onto the path
of ‘Europeanisation’ through instruments of the accession policy. The
report provides examples of inducements that could bring real benefits
to the people as well as encouraging governments and administrations to
channel their efforts for reform. 
More information:

United World College   
The United World College (UWC) of Mostar was officially opened by Her
Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan in May 2007. Although this is the 12th UWC
(others include Hong Kong, India, Norway and Costa Rica), Mostar is the
first college to have the specific aim of contributing to reconstruction
in a post-conflict society and the first to be housed in an existing
school. Its students are of secondary school level and from all national
groups in Bosnia and Herzegovina and further afield, all of whom live
together and study for the International Baccalaureate. Students are
selected on merit and awarded a full scholarship to cover all aspects of
their 2 years of study. The Belgian UWC National Committee enjoys the
support of the King Baudouin Foundation and this year selected the first
Belgian student, Sebastiaan Debrouwere, to attend the college in Mostar. 
More information:
More information:

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