Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation
The Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST) promotes regional cooperation and good governance in the Wider Black Sea region; accountable, transparent, and open governments; strong, effective civic sectors; and independent and professional media.
The Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST) announces NEW funding priorities for the Black Sea countries.
Having conducted an in depth analysis of the regional needs and opportunities, and having revisited its goals and objectives, The Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST) has defined its new regional and in-country funding priorities. The Trust will continue to fund projects in the nine countries in the Wider Black Sea region:
- Southern Russia (Krasnodar and Rostov regions, and the autonomous republics)
BST will continue to fund both regional and in-country projects in four main programmatic areas:
- Confidence Building
- Cross-Border Initiatives
- Eastern Links
- Civic Participation (civic participation projects are in-country projects)
Preference will be given to Cross-Border Initiatives, Eastern Links, and Confidence Building projects originating from eligible countries (see description of programs below), and to in-country projects from Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Only exceptional in-country projects from the other countries in the region will be funded.
In its grantmaking, BST defines Confidence Building measures as informal measures designed and implemented by non-state actors that address, prevent, or resolve uncertainties among states or territories. They are designed to prevent wanted and especially unwanted escalations of hostilities and build mutual trust.
Confidence Building projects should be initiated by civil society organizations and groups, and should seek to successfully involve various population groups from the region in the projects’ activities. Organizations requesting grants must be legally registered in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Turkey, Russia, and Moldova. Involvement of partners from other countries, especially EU, is welcome.
Confidence Building projects may focus on the following areas:
- Art and culture as bridges between people
- Approaches to reconciliation and peace that incorporate experiences from history and convey them to the younger generation
- The role of media in overcoming stereotypes
- Innovative approaches to confidence building
Projects under Cross-Border Initiatives program may be initiated by potential beneficiaries from any country in the region.
Cross-Border Initiatives seeks to encourage public, private, and non-profit policy and civic entities to develop programs that promote regional cooperation and stability through funding initiatives aimed at, among others:
- Arranging cross-border dialogues among governmental entities, civic organizations, and policy institutes
- Facilitating an exchange of best practices in key economic and governmental policy areas, as well as among citizens and nonprofit groups
- Exploring ways to lower the physical and legal barriers between countries in the Black Sea region
- Promoting regional-wide efforts to build social, cultural, and economic networks
Eastern Links program attempts to establish linkages between groups from Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic states with their Black Sea counterparts to share expertise, experience, and information that are essential in promoting the political, social, and economic development necessary for long-term stability in the region.
Eastern Links projects can be initiated by potential beneficiaries from any country in the region.
Eastern Links projects can also be initiated by organizations from Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States.
Eastern Links projects may focus on the following areas:
- Creation of linkages between new EU member states and the countries of the Black Sea region
- Expansion of expertise and resources available to the countries of the Black Sea region in good governance
- Facilitation of mechanisms that allow for information exchange
- Linking of existing knowledge and expertise in economic reform
Civic Participation program funds in-country projects. Preference is given to projects from Ukraine and Azerbaijan. Only exceptional projects will be funded in other Black Sea countries.
Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova are NOT eligible for this program.
The new BST in-country priorities are:
- Fighting corruption
- Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in promoting citizen participation and democracy
- Independent judiciary (with a special focus on the role and conduct of the judiciary in the electoral process)
- Legal aid to civil society actors
- Increase civic participation in the electoral processes
- Freedom of the media
- ICT and democracy
- Watchdog activities
- Alternative media
- ICT and democracy
- Promotion of participatory democracy, with focus on constitutional process
- Encouragement of a resolution to the Turkish-Armenian conflict
- Advancement of freedom of speech and expression (with a focus on advanced usage of ICTs)
- Promotion of women's role and participation in social, economic, and political processes
RUSSIA (Southern Russia: Krasnodar and Rostov regions and the autonomous republics)
- Promotion of Russian participation in regional programs
- Advancement of rule of law
- Accountability of elected and appointed officials
- Anti-corruption activities
- Cohesion of civil society at national level
- Think tanks and public policy
- Support of independent media
Eligibility criteria, description of granting process and application forms may be found HERE.