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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:

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bulgaria
  • Georgia
  • Moldova
  • Romania
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • Southern Russia (Krasnodar and Rostov regions, and the autonomous republics)

Call for Applications

The Black Sea Trust invites applications from organizations, groups, universities, and think tanks from Turkey aimed at enhancing social cohesion of Turkish society.

The Black Sea Trust

The Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (BST) promotes good governance, stability and security in the Wider Black Sea region. The Trust encourages accountable, transparent, and open governments; strong, effective civic sectors; independent, objective and professional media; constant dialogue between groups and societies in conflict areas; coherent and effective European policies in and on the region; strong transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability and development of the region.

The problem

Polarization is one of the biggest challenges of contemporary Turkish society and the political system. It embodies risks leading to political instability, increased economic risks and social unrest. Polarization is not only based on partisan politics, the Turkish society has been divided by a number of significant divides.

Call for Applications

The goal of this call for applications is to support activities of civic non-partisan organizations, research and policy institutions, coalitions, and initiatives from Turkey aimed at enhancing social cohesion in Turkish society.

BST invites proposals from organizations from all regions of Turkey, in the following areas to address the issues of social cohesion:

  1. Minimizing the gap and facilitating the dialogs between secular and religious perceptions of what is a good society, which in the same time is also modernist-center versus traditionalist-periphery discourse.

  2. Addressing the consequences of years-long armed conflict in Southeast of Turkey caused by the Kurdish independence movements through dialog and reconciliation activities among the ethnic groups of Turkey.

  3. Strengthening the NGO – government dialog with an aim to prevent further social polarization within society and strengthen capabilities of state and political institutions to address the issue.

Projects should be exemplary, applicants are encouraged to be bold and creative, and have a realistic and economical budget calculation. Preference will be given to projects developed in and as a partnership between two or more organizations, and that involve grassroots approaches.


The call for proposals is open to organizations and groups registered in Turkey. New organizations are encouraged to apply.

Duration of projects

Maximum duration of projects is 12 months.

How to apply

Project proposals must be submitted in English only. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2015. All application forms are available below:

Application Form

Budget Form

The average grant will be around $25,000 USD. Multilateral projects may exceed that amount in exceptional cases.

All inquiries will be acknowledged by email within one week of receipt. Final decisions are typically announced within 10 weeks of application.

Questions related to proposal preparation may be sent by e-mail to Martins Murnieks at


BST will continue to fund both regional and in-country projects in four main programmatic areas:

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.

Confidence Building

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

Cross-Border Initiatives

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

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

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.

RomaniaBulgaria, 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


Click here for more information on the call for applications in Ukraine. This call is for civic non-partisan organizations, coalitions, and initiatives to promote democratic practices of citizen participation. The deadline for submitting project proposals under this priority is January 31, 2015.

  • 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.