The Balkan Trust for Democracy, a new project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF), was recently developed by a public/private partnership between GMF, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The three partners have earmarked $25 million to launch the new grantmaking program that will be based in Belgrade and begin operations in summer 2003.
“The strength of the Balkan Trust for Democracy lies in the excellent cooperation and shared vision among the three founding institutions. The Mott Foundation believes that this initiative will be a cornerstone for achieving the vision that we have for the region — stable and productive democracies and engaged citizenry throughout the Balkan Peninsula,” said Mott President William S. White.
The Balkan Trust will work with local and national organizations in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia and Montenegro to support local initiatives that improve connections between citizens and governments. Grants will also be awarded for cross-border cooperation to promote the region-wide political and civil society developments needed for long-term stability in Southeastern Europe.
USAID and the GMF are each contributing $10 million to the venture, and Mott is granting $5 million. GMF is also underwriting the Trust’s administrative expenses, so the full $25 million will be disbursed as grants.