The Engaged Democracy Initiative (EDI), initiatied by the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and the Institute for Democratic Engagement Southeast Europe (IDESE) aims to gather local organizations, researchers, social businesses and active citizens in the Western Balkans (WB) involved with issues of democratization, social injustice and accountability of institutions, and support them to join forces and work on preserving and promoting values of open, solidarity-based and democratic societies.

As the process is open, the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and the Institute for Democratic Engagement Southeast Europe (IDESE) are happy that the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Dialogue Southeast Europe is joining efforts in organizing the Engaged Democracy Convention: Engage, Inspire, Empower! Through solidarity to democracy in the Western Balkans, which will take place in Belgrade on September 16 and 17, 2021.

In the previous period, EDI partners have organized working sessions with more than 60 active individuals and representatives of local, independent, and engaged media from Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania. Together, they have discussed the experiences, needs and difficulties regarding the work of local initiatives and movements, as well as the potential for regional networking and joint work on specific issues, such as clean air, river protection, anti-corruption activities, public space, and decent work.

The Convention will provide a space for exchange, and it will unite the diverse citizens’ perspectives by delivering an agenda that meets up their needs.  This event is a kick-off for the future joint work on the possibilities of shaping a genuinely democratic and engaged region through exchange of experiences, advice, and information on activities, and facilitating joint work and cooperation both at the local and regional level.

By covering the topics of shared spaces, practices and common problems that exist on regional level, the list of representatives from the regional civic movements, NGOs and media will be given a space for exchange and collaboration on finding the future ways for joint action. The two-day convention programme is packed with plenary sessions, workshops and thematic discussions that will try to intensify the EDI process of creating a solidary community across the region. 

With raising the awareness on major concerns, sharing experiences and good and effective practices, the Engaged Democracy Convention under the slogan Engage, Inspire, Empower! will enable the formation of a new, non-hierarchical network of individuals and organisations working together on a regional level. 

Follow our social media under the hashtag #EngageInspireEmpower during the EDI Convention.