“Civil society is an essential element of democratic public life. Its active involvement in the process of political, social and economic reform in the Western Balkans strengthens democracy and reconciliation. Despite some positive steps, civil society organisations remain weak and need training to adapt to present circumstances. It is, therefore, important to create conditions conducive to further growth of their activities.”

In October 2010, implementing the policy of the European Commission to further strengthening the civil society role on the Balkans, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia launched the Support to Civil Society project. It is part of the Civil Society Facility established in 2008 by the European Commission under IPA .

The CSOs’ actions supported by the Project are selected under an open call for proposals and aim at promoting cultural diversity and antidiscrimination, sustaining local socioeconomic development and introducing EU standards at local level in Serbia.

The EU contribution for the awarded actions amounts to 4 million Euros, covers up to 90% of the total eligible project costs (from 50.000 EUR to 150.00 EUR) and is allocated from both IPA ‘2009 and IPA ‘2010 Programmes for Serbia.

The maximum duration of supported actions is 12 months. All of them are implemented by eligible civil society organisations in partnerships with:

  • Other CSOs from Serbia, EU-member states and other countries of the region,
  • Cultural and/or educational institutions, and
  • Local self-governments.

The Project is managed by the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia and its implementation is awarded to GOPA Consultants, a leading German development company.