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

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Wed Jan 13 19:24:23 2010

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 
Student Mobility 
Trafficking Victims Re/Integration Programme (TVRP) 
Minority Rights in Practice in South-East Europe (MRP) 
Brussels Seminar on Transitional Justice and European integration 

European Fund for the Balkans 

Life in the Balkans is hard, but EU support is high 
Results from the latest Gallup Balkan Monitor were presented by Gallup
and the European Fund for the Balkans at an EPC event on November 17.
Despite the crisis that the Balkan region is going through, a strong
pro-European feeling remains. Two-thirds or more of those interviewed
across all countries, with the exception of Croatia (the country closest
to EU membership), said they would vote 'yes' if asked to participate in
a referendum on joining the EU. Moreover, roughly half of respondents
believed that greater cooperation between the Balkan states would be a
good thing. 
>> More information: www.balkan-monitor.eu and www.balkanfund.org 

'Think and Link': launch of second round of grants 
The Think and Link Regional Policy Programme seeks to foster inclusive
and evidence-based policy-making in the Western Balkans by initiating
research projects embedded in a regional capacity building and
networking programme. Following the 2009 call for projects for the
programme, 12 organizations were selected and 24 participants from these
organizations were invited to attend a capacity building seminar in
Skopje on December 10-12. 
>> More information: http://www.balkanfund.org/the-news/envisioning-

Student Mobility

Promoting foreign study 
A number of initiatives are currently in hand to promote study abroad
among students in the Western Balkans:

Grants to state universities for the promotion of foreign study 
The King Baudouin Foundation made grants to 7 universities in the
Western Balkans for the purpose of hiring one additional staff member in
the international office to provide student information and support
services regarding study abroad. Under the supervision of the
Foundation, all grantees selected their new international staff members
who received a 2-week training programme at a Western European partner
university. The grantees are also provided with an additional annual
budget of  10,000 to implement the student information and support
programme for foreign study. Additional grants of  10.000 were also
given to two further universities in the region for the organization of
activities to promote studying abroad. Activities which are undertaken
by the universities cover aspects such as former exchange student
ambassador programmes, information days and support regarding student
application procedures and financial support available. The list of
grantees can be found here:
>> More information: http://www.kbs-frb.be/call.aspx?id=246704&LangType=1033 

Searching for foreign study scholarships made easy! 
A period of study abroad enables any student to gain invaluable
experience from living in a different cultural and academic environment
and share this experience with other students back home. The launch, on
December 5th, of a new student search engine to locate available
financial support for study abroad is designed and developed by SPARK to
encourage such exchanges among students in the Western Balkans.
Scholarshipsforwesternbalkans.eu lists a wide range of scholarships for
students and researchers and gives information about financial support
available for Bachelor, Master and Doctorate degrees across 17 fields of
study, in 33 EU and EFTA countries. 
>> More information: http://scholarshipsforwesternbalkans.eu/

Trafficking Victims Re/Integration Programme (TVRP) 

Support extended for 4 current TVRP projects 
The Trafficking Victims Re/Integration Programme (TVRP) supports
assistance programmes that provide sustainable reintegration of victims
in six countries of Southeastern Europe. This initiative also aims to
build NGO capacity in the sector, encourage cooperation and synergy with
government agencies and contribute to a systematic approach to
monitoring and evaluating reintegration services. A second round of
grants totalling  200.000 has been approved to continue support to four
of the programme's partners for the coming two years. The five other
organizations are likely to enjoy extended support in 2010. 
>> More information: http://www.kbs-frb.be/call.aspx?id=209644&LangType=1033 

Minority Rights in Practice in South-East Europe (MRP) 

Final Review Report published on MRP programme 
After 4 years' support in the Balkans, the King Baudouin Foundation's
Minority Rights in Practice (MRP) initiative came to an end in December
2008. The final review of the programme has now been published and was
discussed at a meeting of experts held by the KBF and EPC on October 1.
The report summarizes some of the outstanding achievements of the MRP
NGO partners in 9 countries in areas such as legal change, education,
local governance, capacity building, public awareness, media and
European integration. It also sets out recommendations for further
action in the light of recent trends and developments in the field of
minority rights in the Balkans. 
>> More information: http://www.kbs-frb.be/publication.aspx?

Brussels Seminar on Transitional Justice and European integration 

With the support of the King Baudouin Foundation and other donors, the
Humanitarian Law Center, a Belgrade-based NGO, and the Center for Global
Governance (LSE) organized a seminar on transitional justice and
European integration in Brussels on December 1st 2009. The seminar
gathered civil society activists from the Western Balkans, academics and
other Balkan-watchers, and representatives of EU institutions to discuss
policy perspectives for supporting the establishment of a regional
commission to investigate and disclose the facts about war crimes in the
former Yugoslavia. 
>> Contact information: outreach@hlc-rdc.org 


EU Enlargement; progress and prospects (26 October 2009) 
Speakers at an EPC Policy Dialogue agreed that the EU enlargement
programme continues to achieve progress despite delays over ratification
of the Lisbon Treaty, since all candidate and potential candidate
countries have made progress. Croatia and the Former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia have brought in political, economic and judicial reforms in
preparation for EU membership, whilst the promise of EU membership has
brought stability to the region of the Western Balkans. 
>> More information: http://www.kbs-frb.be/otheractivity.aspx?

Visa liberalisation in the Western Balkans (24 November 2009) 
A speaker at an EPC Policy Dialogue meeting, jointly organized with the
European Stability Initiative (ESI), said that 90% of citizens in the
Western Balkans consider travel as a key advantage of getting closer to
the EU and makes citizens feel that they are welcome because it shows EU
conditionality in action. Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia will be
granted visa-free travel on 19 December 2009 and Albania and Bosnia and
Herzegovina are likely to follow in 2010. Kosovo is also hoping to begin
dialogue soon. 
>> More information: http://www.kbs-frb.be/otheractivity.aspx?

A wider EU - what next 
In this Commentary, Rosa Balfour, Senior Policy Analyst at the EPC,
argues that over the past five years the outgoing Commission has kept up
the momentum of enlargement at a time of internal EU crisis. But the EU
record is chequered when it comes to solving disputes in the region.
>> More information: http://www.epc.eu/TEWN/pdf/1036042412_A%20wider%20EU%20-%

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