LOCATION: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey (2018-2021).

Since 2019 GDSI has supported Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the Western Balkans and Turkey through the EU TACSO 3 project. The project has strengthened the role of CSOs and improved their capacities to actively participate in democratic processes and stimulate an enabling environment for civil society and pluralistic media development.

TACSO 3 is part of the Civil Society Facility (CSF), an EU mechanism that supports the development of civil society in Enlargement countries. The project plays a key role in creating coherence in supporting civil society development at multiple levels in the Western Balkans and Turkey and provides its services and assistance to its regional beneficiaries in six main areas:

1. CSOs organisational and operational capacity development through trainings, trainings for trainers and coaching.

2. Enabling environment for civil society development through active consultations with citizens at regional and national level.

3. Communication and visibility of civil society to increase awareness of civil society activities and improve the public image of CSOs.

4. Development and monitoring of civil society and Media Guidelines and disseminate the outcomes and agree recommendations for policy and assistance through regional participatory events organised annually.

5. Enabling effective relations between the EU and CSOs to facilitate the transfer of knowledge around EU integration processes and consultation processes.

6. Events management including design and implementation of the People to People programme.

EU TACSO 3TACSO 3 is targeted primarily at civil society actors and additionally aims to reach staff members of stakeholder organisations including central and local governments, media and the private sector where relevant. Through trainings, public awareness campaigns and the development and implementation of guidelines the project has supported CSOs to interact and network with their National, Regional and European Counterparts, create new partnerships, and develop crucial skills. GDSI has completed the inception and implementation phases of this project and will complete its closure phase in November 2021.

Key achievements and best practices

→ Improved the public awareness of civil society activities and public image of CSOs through delivery of courses in storytelling and communications, and the publication of Civil Society Success Stories during the Pandemic.

→ Created and regularly updated a database of all (national and regional) CSF funded projects, including those financed through sub-granting.

→ Established a system for informing CSOs of relevant EU information such as calls for proposals and online consultations.

→ Updated and implemented the monitoring framework of guidelines for EU support to Civil Society.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.