The European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and the Institute for Democratic Engagement Southeast Europe (IDESE) joined forces and created the Engaged Democracy Initiative (EDI). EDI aims to involve local movements and organizations, researchers, social businesses, engaged citizens and journalists in a hierarchless and horizontal regional network (rhizome) for supporting, promoting and pursuing values of open, solidary and democratic societies across our region.
Evidence shows that local initiatives remain spontaneous, often focused on single issues, lacking strong national and even more horizontal regional ties and cooperation, as well as tools to reach the broader vision of a better and just society. We need to empower citizens and to strengthen those voices coming from the local communities that are able to address and fight for common goals and public interests and engage for more participatory democracy and accountable institutions. We also need tighter genuine cooperation throughout the region, shared knowledge and common tools and valuable know-how exchange.
The purpose of the EDI Rhizome will be exactly in jointly voicing common concerns – locally, regionally and towards EU counterparts to create a solidary community engaged for democracy and solidarity in our region.