22 January 2019 – The Balkan Group launched the project “Advancing Kosovo Institutions, Democratization and Regional Cooperation”, funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This two year project involves a wide range of stakeholders, such as governments, political parties, civil society and media, that will influence in social changes.
This project aims to advance Kosovo’s European agenda through strengthening institutions, democratization and regional cooperation, with the participation from all the levels of the society.
While pointing out a number of important factors for the democratic consolidation, such as confidence in politicians, involvement of women and youth in decision making, reaching of agreements, the consensus between political parties and long-term and sustainable reforms, the Norwegian Ambassador, Per Strand Sjaastad, stressed that “failure to provide stability is bigger if these principles are not fulfilled and therefore, through this project, we seek to build upon these principles. Kosovo has strong women and men. These should be translated into strong institutions.”
Congratulating for the launch of the new project, Kosovo Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, pointed out that “the new program that is being launched today has its own importance, because the dynamics of big goals are impeding our everyday life.”
Lutfi Haziri, Vice President of the Democratic League of Kosovo, thanked the Government of Norway, adding that, “After two decades, our interest is in diversity. Now, at this stage of the process, Norway continues to play an extraordinary role in Kosovo. This program will help in achieving goals and it will reflect successfully on the beneficiaries. “
Naim Rashiti, Executive Director of the Balkan Group, presented the three pillars of the program agenda of the organization:
- Strengthening of institutions and democratic consolidation
- Regional cooperation and the building of good neighborly relations
- European Integrations
“We deeply believe that these three priorities are, among others, also priorities of the state itself and of Kosovo institutions. Our contribution is complementary in order to speed up these agendas, increase participation and provide perspective by the civil society “- said Mr. Rashiti.
He further added that “The Government of Norway and Ambassador Strand have continued their support for the Balkan Group, enabling us to intensify our activities and work in line with the abovementioned programs.”
The main actions of the project include the internal political dialogue, training for the youth in politics, improved separation of powers, checks and balances between them, promotion of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue and the development of regional relations.
These activities encourage and promote the participation of women, ethnic minorities and youth to fully empower decision-making processes and build a culture of inclusiveness. The project is structured into three main components: support for the political dialogue, regional cooperation, improved separation of powers and checks and balances between them.