EFB Community Voices

Developing human capital


Fellowship Programme for Government Officials from the Western Balkans

The Fellowship Programme for Government Officials from the Western Balkans is a practice-oriented educational programme for civil servants. Its goal is to give impetus to the European Union integration-driven reforms of the Western Balkans’ countries, through building human capital in administrations – individuals who are acting as agents of change.

The participants of this programme are ambitious and high-potential Balkan government officials. They attend intensive seminars, gain practice by working in the administrations of European Union Member States, learn their host country’s language and experience international and intercultural exchange. Through these activities, they acquire new skills and knowledge on how European political and social systems work, while simultaneously networking with colleagues from the region and the EU. In this process, civil servants upgrade their capacities and leadership skills, and bring home hands-on knowledge of European principles of administration, thus contributing to the acceleration of the European integration of the region and its substantial transformation.

The Fellowship Programme for Government Officials from the Western Balkans was launched in 2008. So far, more than 200 government officials have benefited from this program, and today they form a large regional community of people who work towards the Europeanization of the Balkans.

Policy Hackathons

Policy hackathons are competitions that create a fusion of policy research and analysis, and digital technology, with a focus on solving social problems. The goal of these unique regional endeavours is to inspire innovative ideas on how to change the Balkan political and social environments.

Competitions are held throughout the region. Defining key problems faced by citizens and stimulating out-of- the-box thinking about how to solve them are the tasks for the participants. Organised in teams, they have two days to design the digital policy tools that could contribute to solving particular problems in the given policy areas. A digital policy tool can be anything that is used every day in the world of digital communications – a website, mobile application, search engine, browser add-on, social network etc.

This project was launched in 2018. The first regional policy hackathons, #BalkanConnect2018, took place in Sarajevo, Belgrade, Skopje and Sarajevo and attracted more than 70 participants.