Switzerland provides new support for strengthening cooperation among Western Balkan countries

Press release, 01.07.2021

Through an agreement signed today the Western Balkans Fund receives Swiss funding to boost cooperation and increase exchanges in the region.

Director of Western Balkans Fund Gjergji Murra (left) and Swiss Ambassador in Albania Adrian Maître after signing agrement to support the Fund for the next 5 years.
Director of Western Balkans Fund Gjergji Murra (left) and Swiss Ambassador in Albania Adrian Maître after signing agrement to support the Fund for the next 5 years. © FDFA

Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître signed today an agreement with the Director of the Western Balkan Fund, Gjergji Murra, for supporting its activities for the next 5 years with an amount of approximately 900,000 Euro.

“To achieve peace, stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans, the first condition is that the whole region and its citizens cooperate, build bridges and exchange. The Western Balkans Fund adds value to regional cohesion and contributes to the EU integration”, said Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître.

“We will cherish and treasure this partnership as very valuable. And I can assure you, that the Secretariat of the Western Balkans Fund, representing the 6 Ministries of Foreign Affairs from the Western Balkans, has all the will and motivation to be a serious and reliable partner in this process as we commit to our people-to-people approach in the region for the benefit of all, said the Director of Western Balkans Fund Gjergji Murra.

The Ambassador of North Macedonia Dancho Markovski – representing the chair of the Conference of Foreign Ministers which governs the Western Balkans Fund – said: “We are thankful for this support, which indicated how steadily the partnership has grown in the Western Balkans Fund, to the point of transforming it into a long-term cooperation. On behalf of all 6 contracting parties, we assure our full commitment for the benefit of all people in the Western Balkans”.

Through this new agreement the Western Balkans Fund (WBF) will be enabled to strengthen its capacities, expand its projects, and increase people to people exchanges and ties in the Western Balkan region. In addition to enhancing the Fund’s organizational structure and management, the Swiss support will go towards a more effective funding of common projects and initiatives in the region.

The support will also enable WBF to proceed with the strategic plan for the upcoming 5 years to strengthen relations among stakeholders.

The Western Balkans Fund is a joint organization between Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, established to support cooperation and exchanges in the region. It provides grants to projects and initiatives from civil society, cultural organizations, academic and local institutions, with the view to boost cooperation and reconciliation in the region.