Balkans Policy Research Group
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Projects

Strengthen the State Institutions and Peace in Kosovo
Finnish Embassy

Strengthen the state institutions and peace in Kosovo; enhancing Kosovo’s capacity to deliver governance, services, and access to key human rights, including in a decentralised context for minorities

The project aims to survey, identify and analyse obstacles and weaknesses in two broad areas as well as offer a series of policy recommendations on how to improve:

  • State-building, strengthen state institutions, including increase of service-delivery quality and enhancing citizen’s rights. And identifying ways for improvements
  • Peace-building, institutional and human capacity building, first survey effectiveness and use of the local governance by the communities, particularly in the Serb areas. Survey the impact of the implementation of the Brussels Agreement on ordinary citizens and ways to empower new institutions.

The project aims to develop practical policies that address the ways for improvement. The report aims to produce persuasive findings and recommendations that will mobilise domestic and international support for policy discussions and policy change.

The overall objective is to identify and remove the most salient obstacles or weaknesses in two broad areas;

a) Effective use of municipal governance by local communities, especially minorities

b) Effective access to key rights

The first specific objective is to identify through research, fieldwork and outreach the ways in which people seek to realise their rights to local self-government and their basic human rights and are, for reasons of government weakness or malfeasance, unable to do so.

The second specific objective is to develop practical policies that address those weaknesses, with reference to the experience in the region and best practices.

The third specific objective is to publish our findings in a succinct, persuasive way and to mobilise domestic and international support for our policy recommendations

The fourth specific objective is to mobilise cross ethnic analysts and researchers to promote those findings and recommendations, through;

a) adapting programmes to support local governance in the north

 b) With support of Balkans Group, Albanians and Serb researchers jointly engage in monitoring of those policies and furthering-and gaining other projects- the monitoring of the government policies with the aim to advance those key rights and increase the efficiency of the local governance.

Policy Dialogue for Reform-Driven Agreement and Resolution of the On-Going Political Crisis
Swiss Embassy

The project promotes democratic consolidation, cooperation, reform dialogue, and thus put the political crisis to an end through its Policy Dialogue discussions. The Dialogue roundtables are an activity of BPRG which were successfully launched in March 2016 as a pilot that brought together senior members of political parties at a roundtable focused on finding a way out of the crisis. The grant was used to support Dialogue discussions organised from March to May 2016.

Goal:

The overall goal of the project is to resolve the political crisis and prevent violence from taking place as well as to advance Kosovo’s state-building agenda.

By helping to develop working relations among all political parties, a more “normal” working atmosphere will be established which will contribute to returning institutions back to their full functionality, especially the Parliament.

By identifying themes and issues of common interest, the project will lead to a reform-driven political agreement addressing the major points of dispute while bringing about concrete reforms and policy solutions.

The project makes an important contribution to preventing state failure that has been lurking on the horizon for almost two years.

Objectives include:

  • To build consensus on key policy issues for Kosovo (including dialogue with Serbia)
  • To enable the full functioning of the institutions (including a return of the opposition parties to the Parliament)
  • To develop a culture of political dialogue in Kosovo.
Democratic Consolidation: Civil Society for Policy Change
Kosovar Civil Society Foundation (KCSF)

The project is aimed at encouraging reforms that contribute to democratic consolidation through an improvement in the quality and intensity of civic engagement in policy-making. The project activities (i.e. Policy Forum, briefings and policy one-pagers) are intended to offer policy alternatives to the most burning institutional problems, foster informed public debate on major issues, pool their resources and advocacy influence to effect tangible change, and fill in existing gaps in institutional functioning.

Objectives:

The specific goals of the programme are to;

  • Improve the ability of civil society to advocate to policy change by enacting innovative advocacy tools
  • Enhance the quality of public policy-making and decision-making by increasing expert input from civil society on specific policy issues related to institution-building, rule of law, and public administration
  • Encourage more active citizen participation in public debates through provision of accessible information on major policy questions, and foster the ability of citizens to hold institutions accountable
  • Encourage administrative procedural reforms as a means of improving public confidence in and attitudes towards institutions (local and central).
Empowering the Reporting on Rule of Law Standards in Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia
American Bar Association, Rule of Law Initiative

The overall goal of the project is to improve the capacity of journalists for reporting on the rule of law progress in Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina and to support better inter-sectoral cooperation between bar chambers, journalists and civil society within each country and in the region.

In order to achieve the overall goal specific objectives will be:

  • Tracking the quality of media reporting on specific issues
  • Empowering professional journalists for professional reporting and respect for the presumption of innocence, protection of minors, securing the identity of protected witnesses, etc.
  • Raise the level of communication and exchange of information between advocates who are well introduced to fair trial standards and journalists
  • Creating a sustainable united front for tracking the rule of law implementation in all five partner countries
  • Creating new lines of communications between bar chambers in the region and CSOs
Creating Synergy in Western Balkans for Strengthening Education, Research and Science
Funded by Western Balkans Fund (WBF)

Through desk and field research this project aimed at understanding and facilitating the construction of a more enabling environment in research, education and innovation with a particular focus dedicated to strengthening EU funds absorption capacities in the Western Balkans Region. The Regional Assessment directly contributed to enhanced deliberation with relevant state institutions to pay heed and invest in targeted areas. BPRG led the Kosovo component. 

Policy Dialogue: Achieving a Political Agreement and Advance State Building through Reform-Driven Dialogue
Swiss Confederation, represented by the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

The project promotes democratic consolidation, cooperation, reform dialogue, and thus ends the political crisis through its Policy Dialogue discussions. The Dialogue roundtables are an activity of BPRG which were successfully launched in March 2016 as a pilot that brought together senior members of political parties at a roundtable focused on finding a way out of the crisis.

Objectives: 

The overall goal of the project is to resolve the political crisis and prevent violence from taking place as well as to advance Kosovo’s state-building agenda.

By helping to develop working relations among all political parties, a more “normal” working atmosphere will be established which will contribute to returning institutions back to their full functionality, especially the Parliament.

By identifying themes and issues of common interest, the project will lead to a reform-driven political agreement addressing the major points of dispute while bringing about concrete reforms and policy solutions.

The project makes an important contribution to preventing state failure that has been lurking on the horizon for almost two years.

Objectives include:

  • To build consensus on key policy issues for Kosovo (including dialogue with Serbia)
  • To enable the full functioning of the institutions (including a return of the opposition parties to the Parliament)
  • To develop a culture of political dialogue in Kosovo.
Strengthening Kosovo’s Institutions, Democratisation and Regional Cooperation
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

This project aims to advance Kosovo’s EU Agenda through strengthening institutions, and regional cooperation with participation from all levels of society. The two year project targets a broad range of stakeholders who can affect change, such as civil society, governments, political parties and media. Activities encourage and promote participation from women, ethnic minorities and youth to fully empower decision making processes and build a culture of inclusion. The project is structured into three major components, Political Dialogue, Regional Cooperation and Enhancing Checks and Balances.

Planned activities foresee high level, roundtables, research, capacity building, providing expertise, partnership building and outreach.

Specific Objectives:

  • Foster dialogue and consensus of political parties by encouraging inclusion of women, youth and civil society and educate future political leaders.
  • Promote and support dialogue on normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia, bi-lateral relations between Kosovo and Bosnia Herzegovina, and enhance regional cooperation by engaging institutions, media and civil society.
  • Strengthen good governance and rule of law through research and debate of legal gaps and construct harmony between the constitution, political system and governing branches.
Promoting and Communicating Benefits of the Kosovo-Serbia EU Facilitated Dialogue
European Union

Led by BPRG, this project seeks to promote and communicate the benefits of the EU facilitated technical dialogue on the normalisation of relations between Kosovo and Serbia to the wider public by focusing on a number of communication and outreach activities, peer to peer cooperation, research and local engagement.

Objectives include:

  • Broaden the support for the Belgrade-Pristina EU facilitated dialogue
  • Review the citizens perspective on the dialogue and its processes
  • Facilitate cooperation and networking among youth, CSOs, opinion makers and media
  • Enhance communication and foster citizen’s progressive perspective
  • Establish a standing group of CSOs and think tanks capable of advocacy and support

The Kosovo Serbia Policy Advocacy Group, will implement this action and is composed of 8 regional CSOs: Balkans Policy Research Group (BPRG), Democracy for Development (D4D), Kosovo Centre for Security Studies (KCSS), and NGO AKTIV in Kosovo; Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE), European Movement in Serbia (EMinS), Belgrade Center for Security Policy (BCSP), Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (YUCOM) in Serbia.