Official title of the project

Support to Civil Society


Project information

Region / City
Belgrade, Serbia
Total budget of programme / project

4 million EUR

Implementation period
2011. Jun - 2012. Jun
Expected results

Non-governmental organisations, cultural foundations, associations of consumers, business associations and trade unions worked in partnership with other civil society organisations, cultural and educational institutions and local authorities from Serbia, the EU member states or other neighbouring countries to pursue their goals.

Cultural and educational institutions together with civil society actors worked on promotion of intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity and pursue the combat against discrimination.

Music concerts, theatre plays, festivals of young contemporary writers and other location specific events were organised to explore issues of concern in the region and make diverse communities known to the general public.

Age discrimination, quality standards in education and services sectors and mediation were some of the focuses of the supported actions.

Civil society organisations also contributed to social inclusion in Serbia, by establishing and improving community based services for people with disabilities and applying public policies addressing homeless people and street children.

Together with local authorities, civil society actors worked to strengthen human resource capacities of rural tourism and to stimulate women entrepreneurship. Several actions  ensured the effective implementation of a number of well-planned local strategies, while others contributed to the protection of Serbian environment and its 462 protected areas.

Consumer protection, prevention of harassment at workplace and enhancement of social dialogue were within the objectives of the awarded projects.

Target Groups

Civil society sector in Serbia;

Summary of the project

In October 2010, implementing the policy of the European Commission to further strengthening the civil society role in the Western Balkans and Turkey, the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia launched the Support to Civil Society project.

The Call for Proposals has been published in December 2010, and closed in March 2011, generating high interest amongst Serbian, regional and EU-based civil society organisations, as over 280 applications were

received. Upon evaluation, 43 actions were selected and awarded financial support.

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”,

stated European Commission in its Communication on Western Balkans in 2008.

(COM (2008) 127 final)

Programme/Project objectives

To support active civil society participation in Serbia’s EU-integration.


Its specific objectives are defined as :

Specific objective 1:

Building social cohesion and overcoming discrimination in Serbian society by promoting

tolerance and cultural diversity; and

Specific objective 2:

Active civil society participation in the

socioeconomic development.

More details on project

International donor programmes:


Civil Society Advocacy Initiative (CSAI)   - a seven year (2006-2013) grant and capacity‐building programme, implemented by the Institute for Sustainable Communities in partnership with local and regional CSOs. CSAI has awarded 300 grants amounting to 11.3 million USD. The programme supported 203 CSOs and 126 grassroots.

Sustainable Local Development Project   – a five-year project launched in 2011 and designed to support with 22 million USD the socio-economic development of Serbian communities. CSOs will be supported by a grant scheme component.

The Social Development Civil Society Fund of the World Bank aims at empowering citizens to have greater ownership of developmental processes.  The average amount of the small grants programme is 4 500 USD.

Bilateral programmes:

The Norwegian fund for grassroots projects   is a grant scheme managed by the Norwegian embassy in Belgrade for developing civil society and local communities in in Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia

Swiss Development Cooperation Programme  is paying great attention to improvement of the civil society and to the minority issue and to their inclusion into the social system of the Republic of Serbia. Since 2008, additional financial funds are dedicated to projects dealing with issues of migration;

Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)  – Swedish development cooperation with Serbia is primarily directed to: democracy and public administration, European integration, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental interest, respecting human rights, and gender equality;

Other international:

International organisations like UNDP  and OSCE  provide support for CSOs’ projects in the area of democratisation, rule of law, citizen participation, youth, women, minority rights;

Foreign private donors:

GMF – Balkan Trust for Democracy,  Mott Foundation,  National Endowment for Democracy,  Open Society Institute,  Robert Bosch Foundation,  Rockefeller Brothers Fund.