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Balkan Trust for Democracy

Important Note:

Dear Partners and Potential Applicants,

The Balkan Trust for Democracy original ten-year mandate came to an end in May 2013. As of June 1, 2013, the BTD is undergoing structural changes that affect both BTD's geographic coverage and grantmaking scope. 

As a part of this transition, the BTD is no longer accepting unsolicited project proposals.  Organizations that are interested in receiving BTD funding are welcome to send a brief email (no more than three paragraphs) outlining the project idea to  BTD does not recommend that organizations develop full project proposals unless invited to do so by BTD program staff.

BTD’s grantmaking activities will now focus primarily on six countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. BTD may also support relevant regional initiatives that include civil society stakeholders from Western and Eastern Europe, and in particular those based in Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania. However, national level projects within Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, and Romania are no longer eligible for BTD funding consideration.

As BTD completes its restructuring over the summer of 2013, updates on the new grantmaking framework and thematic priorities will be provided through this website.

History of BTD: 2003-13

The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) has been for the last ten years a $36-million grantmaking initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. This award-winning public-private partnership was created in 2003 by GMF, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. BTD has operated with a small, experienced staff that has actively sought out and incorporated expertise from a wide variety of partners. These experts, along with GMF staff, have made up the grantmaking committee that reviews proposals to ensure that BTD’s programs are effective, responsive to local needs, and complementary to other initiatives supported by the international community. An Advisory Board of experts from Southeastern Europe and key international organizations has guided the Balkan Trust for Democracy’s strategic development.

BTD has been structured to allow both European and U.S. partners to join the effort to strengthen transatlantic cooperation in the Balkans. Since its founding, additional contributions from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Belgrade, Compagnia di San Paolo, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Robert Bosch Foundation, Foreign Commonwealth Office of the British Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and Communitas Foundation (formerly Tipping Point Foundation) have made BTD a true transatlantic partnership.

Operating from the German Marshall Fund's Belgrade office, BTD has awarded grants in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. BTD has also supported regional grants to organizations promoting the benefits of a pan-Balkan network.

Policy Dialogue
In addition to grantmaking, the Balkan Trust for Democracy has continually worked to accelerate the region's integration into Euroatlantic structures and to raise the profile of the Balkans. Together with GMF's Washington Headquarters and its other European offices, BTD has connected local actors with European Union, U.S., and international individuals and institutions in order to build networks and consensus on Balkan issues from a broader, multi-stakeholder perspective.

Success Stories

Influence Monitoring Matrix Improves Civil Society in the Balkans and EU January 13, 2015
Success Story Balkans

The Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN) developed a monitoring matrix to influence European Commission civil society support through the 2014-20 Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance Civil Society Facility, a funding mechanism through which the European Union promotes reforms in potential enlargement countries.

Teens Turn Around their Local Communities through the YouthBank Program January 05, 2015
Teens Turn Around their Local Communities through the YouthBank Program_BiH_653

In Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), young people face serious obstacles that hinder their active involvement in the local community. The Mozaik Community Development Foundation is a social enterprise with a mission to further social and economic development in BiH, particularly on a local level.

BTD-Funded Documentary The Second Meeting Brings Former Adversaries Face-to-Face January 30, 2013
Second Meeting

Film tells the story of reconciliation between the Serbian anti-aircraft officer and the U.S. pilot he shot down during the NATO intervention in Kosovo.

Report on Effectiveness of Use of EU Structural Funds in Romania and Bulgaria January 30, 2013

The Institute for Public Policy (Romania) and its partner, Green Policy Institute (Bulgaria), have published a comparative report on the transparency and effectiveness of the use of EU Structural Funds in Romania and Bulgaria, available here.  Despite large allocations from EU Structural Funds for the period 2007-2013

Publication: Index of Transparency at Municipal Level in Kosovo January 30, 2013
The Speak Up! Movement (FOL) has published the Index of Transparency at Municipal Level, a report on the implementation of the Law on Access to Public Documents at local level in Kosovo, as part of the BTD-supported project “Promoting Greater Transparency of Public Institutions in Kosovo.”