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Focus on: central and eastern Europe

contribute not only funds but also experience. Both Veirs and Dakova highlight CEEs growing diversity: the region is becoming less cohesive. Different parts of the region face different issues, challenges and opportunities. So foreign donors in the region must play different roles in different places, and there is still much to do even in the new EU Member States, especially Romania and Bulgaria. Several American foundations left the region in the run-up to the 2004 EU enlargement, assuming that once countries were in the EU, civil society would develop on its own or be less necessary. But Dakova thinks the lesson is that actually after these countries join the EU, you need more civil society not less, simply because governments now have command over enormous resources which they did not have before and once saf safely in the EU, there is less external pressure l to maintain reform efforts and conform to standards.

A tale of two Balkan partnerships: A Trust and a Fund


By Nyegosh Dube, EFC

Are western funders in fact leaving? Yes and no. Veirs points out: there was a group of western funders we who wh have now left. But there is now a group of th western funders that we is activethat wasn't Vera Dakova, Program O cer, active before. What ac CS Mott Foundation. has changed is that ha Photo Charles Stewart Mott US foundations are no Foundation longer dominant. Western European foundations and other funders are increasingly getting involved, as the newly established European Fund for the Balkans shows (see article, this page). There are also the examples of the Black Sea Trust and the Balkan Trust for Democracy, both GMF projects, set up with funds from GMF, USAID, and Mott. But these partnerships have also attracted substantial European funds to civil society development in CEE. Its new money to the region, its new initiatives, its new ideas and its extremely positive, says Veirs. For further information see: www.mott.org

Two remarkable partnerships have taken shape in the Balkans. Each has chosen a distinctive path to its objectives, underlining the power of diversity in tackling the challenges posed by this complex region. One has been operating IRU YH \HDUV WKH RWKHU LV LQ LWV UVW \HDU %RWK are testimony to what foundations can do when they act together. One began as an American effort joining public and private funders and has become a transatlantic venture. The other is an exclusively European effort of private funders but follows in the footsteps of American donors. Both aim to help a war-torn and historically disadvantaged region make the transition to stable, well-governed democracy integrated into European and Euroatlantic structures. Both are based in Belgrade.
The Balkan Trust for Democracy was launched in 2003 as a public-private partnership by USAID, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The idea stems from the realisation that democracy as an institution that fosters freedom and the rule of law is something that does not happen overnight and that the Balkansneeded a prolonged form of assistance to consolidate democracy, says Ivan Vejvoda, Executive Director of the Balkan Trust. It was conceived as a ten-year project ending in 2013 but will probably continue beyond that date. The Trust not only makes in-country grants, but also grants for regional projects, something that Vejvoda sees as particularly important. It enables projects in the area of post-con ict reconciliation, especially in the Dayton Triangle formed by Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Croatia, the countries most involved in Yugoslavias violent break-up. And it enables the transfer of best practice and knowledge across borders, especially on transition processes. So, for example, the Bulgarian and Romanian experiences of EU accession can be transferred to Serbia or Albania. Vejvoda speaks of an arc of learning from central Europe through the western Balkans and over to the Black Sea. Those who are ahead are very important for our countries because they have already gone through transition." The Balkan Trust has had another impact. It has served as a model and inspiration for two other regional partnerships: the Bucharest-based Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, launched by the same three founders in October 2007, and the European Fund for the Balkans,

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European Foundation Centre | www.efc.be

set up by four European priv private foundations and wh which also began operations in autumn 2007. erat The Th Funds partners are the th King Baudouin Foundation, the Robert Bosch da Stiftung, the Compagnia St di San Paolo and Austrias ERSTE Stiftung, a tr new banking foundane
Hedvig Morvai-Horvat, Executive tive Director, The European Fund for the Balkans Photo EFB

tional and primarily focuses on young public servants (with grants going directly to individuals) as well as think-tanks and policy institutes. We are tryingnot to repeat the activities which are very successfully already running under the Balkan Trustand would like to nd a real niche for our activities, says Morvai-Horvat. Both she and Vejvoda say their respective organisations are eager to cooperate. [The Fund] is doing something thats very complementary but not identical, says Vejvoda. Geographically, the two organisations cover all of former Yugoslavia (except Slovenia) plus Albania, but the Trust also covers Bulgaria, Romania and Moldova. There is a grand dynamic at work in central and eastern Europe, including the Balkans: the departure of American public and private funders as countries graduate into EU and NATO membership, and the growing presence of European public and private funders, including German political foundations and non-EU public donors like the Norwegian and Swiss development agencies. In fact, Europeans have come on board the Balkan Trust itself: the Bosch Stiftung, the Compagnia di San Paolo, Tipping Point (a Bulgarian foundation) plus the Czech, Danish, Dutch, Greek and Swedish governments.

"Democracy as an institution that fosters freedom and the rule of law is something that does not happen overnight."

tion (see article on page e 36). Their initial threeyear commitment to the he Fund will probably be extended, and new European partners sought. Vejvoda calls the birth Ivan Vejvoda, Executive Director, But more can be done. Vejvoda believes we all have to of the European Fund The Balkan Trust for Democracy Photo The Balkan Tru st for Democracy work harder to motivate more private European founa very signi cant dedations to work [in the Balkans], a sentiment echoed velopment [which by Morvai-Horvat who feels European funders need shows] that European an entry strategy and hopes the Fund will encourage funders, and in particular private funders are understandother European donors to enter the region. Our partner ing their responsibility to support and develop stability in foundations consider thatEuropean funders should be the region much more concerned about the still-burning issues in the region, she notes, we believe European integration and all issues related to this process should be supported by European foundations. Vejvoda foresees another in uence: the acceleration of indigenous philanthropy in the western Balkans once these economies become a little more stable, once were locked fully into [the path of] European integration. Domestic philanthropy is now in its early stages with many western companies engaging in corporate social responsibility activities and serving as a model for local businesses. Before the con ict, the former Yugoslavia was already quite well integrated into western Europe economically and was widely expected to become the rst post-Communist state to join the EU. Now were basically picking up in the western Balkans where we should have been at an earlier stage, Says Vejvoda. He expects the remaining Balkan states to be EU members by 2015. For further information see: www.balkanfund.org hedvig.morvai-horvat@balkanfund.org, and ivejvoda@gmfus.org

The European Fund for the Balkans was established as a follow-up to the work of the International Commission on the Balkans. According to Hedvig Morvai-Horvat, its Executive Director, the idea behind the Fund is to make [the Commissions] recommendations really come alive in the region, to promote them across the region, and to develop initiatives which are in line with those recommendations. The Fund aims to bring the western Balkans closer to the EU through programmes and activities focused on Member State building and pro-European constituency building. This means strengthening state institutions so they can carry out necessary reforms, supporting independent policy-making by think-tanks and others, and giving young people opportunities to experience and learn about Europe. The two entities have di erent approaches: The Balkan Trust is exclusively grant-making and mostly funds civil society organisations (with some funding for think-tanks and the media). The European Fund is both grant-making and opera-

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European Foundation Centre | www.efc.be