The Balkan Trust for Democracy’s financial and technical assistance for this sub-granting process is part of the larger Norwegian efforts to support Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.


Democratization, strengthening the rule of law, freedom of expression, protection of human rights, and the fight against domestic and gender-based violence continue to be fundamental for social transformation, whereas the prospect of European Union integrations remains the main impetus for change for the ‘Western Balkans 6’ countries (WB6).

The ‘Western Balkans 6’ countries are at different stages of democratization and the EU accession process, four of which are EU candidate countries (Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia), whereas two remain potential candidates (Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo) at this time.

Already fragile democracies facing numerous challenges in the domains of the functioning of democratic institutions, the rule of law, human and minority rights, media freedom, and public administration reform, the WB6 countries have recently faced the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has further challenged stability and ongoing reforms.

The purpose of this Call for Proposals is to contribute to reforms processes underpinned by EU integration by supporting civil society actors in the ‘Western Balkans 6’ countries - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia.

This sub-granting scheme of the Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD) is being realized with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade.

Support is given to two priority areas:

I. Media Freedom
II. Fight against Domestic and Gender-based Violence

I - Media Freedom

The media landscape in the WB6 countries is characterized by a lack of transparency of media ownership and media funding, violations of media-related laws and regulations, instances of limited accountability of actors in the media sphere, political and economic pressure on journalists, threats to journalist safety, censorship, and self-censorship. Obstacles to free access to information continue to exist, whereas media pluralism remains limited. The COVID-19 pandemic only led to an exacerbation of the existing challenges in the media freedom sphere. Support under this Call for Proposals is conceived as a contribution to the creation of an enabling environment for free and independent media as a prerequisite of democratic societies. 

The following actions are eligible under this priority:

  • promoting media and digital literacy
  • strengthening media integrity, including support to the work of media self-regulating bodies, media associations, media trade unions
  • improvement of conditions for the safety of journalists
  • investigative journalism
  • promote access to information (freedom of information)
  • contributing to disclose and prevent disinformation, falsified information and propaganda
  • local media capacity-development and support
  • research, media monitoring, monitoring of the work of regulatory bodies and functioning of the legal framework
  • reporting, policy recommendations, advocacy
  • contributing to media pluralism

II. Fight against domestic and gender-based violence[1]

Domestic and gender-based violence continues to be a widespread cause of concern across the WB6 area. Although respective national legal frameworks are adequate for the most part and are aligned with international legal instruments to a large extent, the Istanbul Convention[2] in particular, their effective implementation remains a challenge. Further efforts are needed in the areas of prevention of domestic and gender-based violence and a more coordinated and efficient institutional response to domestic and gender-based violence on behalf of all relevant actors. Civil society organizations are targeted by this call as key actors that can provide support in prevention, provide victim support services, as well as give a contribution to the improvement of the legal framework and harmonization with international legal instruments pertaining to domestic and gender-based violence in particular. 

The following actions are eligible under this priority:

  • educational activities focusing on prevention (targeting youth, teachers/professors and other educational staff)
  • training activities (for members of the police, medical services, social work centres, the judiciary, educational institutions and other actors)
  • awareness-raising (targeting the general public, as well as victims and potential victims of gender-based violence)
  • research, monitoring, reporting, writing policy recommendations and advocacy pertaining to gender-based violence
  • developing and/or effectuating early warning mechanisms
  • coordination between relevant actors (including cross-sectorial cooperation)
  • victim support services (psycho-social counselling, legal assistance[3]) and protection
  • support to social reintegration of victims
  • prevention of double victimisation of survivors of gender-based violence
  • capacity-building[4] and networking among CSOs (local, national, regional)

Norwegian development assistance is guided by four cross-cutting issues: human rights, women’s rights and equality, climate and environment, and anti-corruption. 



Eligibility criteria:

Civil society organizations registered in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia are eligible to apply for funding. Activities must take place on the territory of one or more countries eligible under this Call. Projects with cross-border activities among these countries are also eligible. 


Organizations may apply individually or in partnership with other civil society organizations (CSO) eligible under this call for proposals.


The minimum amount of funding per project proposals is 21,700 EUR (25,000 USD)

The maximum amount of funding per project proposals is 180,000 EUR (207,000 USD)

Project duration: 6 months minimum, 18 months maximum, depending on the date of receipt of the application

This is an open call, and project proposals will be assessed continuously from August 5, 2020 up until October 15, 2021.

Proposals received after this date will not be taken into consideration.

The end date for project implementation is set to May 15, 2022.

Information on awarded projects will be published on BTD website.



Project proposals must be submitted using the provided application forms, in the English language only.

The application documentation consists of the following mandatory documents: 

Should you have any questions regarding the Call, please send an email to [email protected] with subject line “WB6_20_22, [name of organization], [country].” No phone calls please. 



Applications must be sent via e-mail to: [email protected] with the subject line “WB6_20_22, [name of organization], [country].”

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration. The applicant will get e-mail confirmation of receipt upon submission of complete application documentation. Do not send any additional documentation, it will not be opened or reviewed.

All applicants will be evaluated on a competitive basis and notified of the decision.



[1] For the purpose of this Call, this term pertains to domestic and gender-based violence. It includes any forms of physical, psychological, sexual and economic violence or the likelihood/risk thereof, affecting women, children and men, and includes online forms of violence.

[2] The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, ratified by all WB6 countries except Kosovo.

[3] Providing free legal aid, where applicable

[4] Sub-granting is not eligible under this Call for Proposals



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