Beginning of February 2014, citizens’ protests took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as a sign of deep resentment and long lasting disappointment of the citizens in Bosnia and Herzegovina regarding the political paralysis and the catastrophic economic and social situation in the country.
Inspired by the protests, the question came up, what contribution can be made in order to strengthen the participation and ownership of citizens, thereby supporting social change in BiH, based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
In 2014, the conference "Civil Society as a Factor for Change in Bosnia and Herzegovina" brought together various NGOs and informal civil society groups from Bosnia and Herzegovina. They had the opportunity to meet on neutral ground in Vienna – and to discuss current developments and the future of BiH with Austrian and international representatives of civil society as well as with experts from various fields, to network and build new cooperation, and thus making steps forward in order to strengthen the civil society in their country.
Starting from the needs of the citizens of BiH, joint ideas, concepts and new initiatives were discussed and developed, which resulted in recommendations which served as a starting point for further activities. One of the main outcomes was the idea to support informal and grass-root initiatives in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together with ERSTE Foundation and other partners of the initiative, eight groups from Bosnia and Herzegovina were selected, which receive financial support during one year (July 2015 – July 2016) in order to respond to local needs and foster activities that strengthen the civil society in BiH.
Project leader: Hannes Tretter
Project coordinator: Nina Radovic