On 2nd and 3rd September 2021, the Balkan Network for Local Democracy (BNLD) organized the Regional Best Practice Fair in Skopje, North Macedonia. The hybrid meeting was frequented by 30 participants, including CSOs, youth groups, BNLD members, national stakeholders, etc.
Welcoming speeches at the event were provided by Ms. Biljana Stojanovska, BCSDN’s Regional Civil Society Hub Grant Manager, and Ms. Stanka Parac, President of Balkan Network for Local Democracy.
Both days focused on presentations and discussions on topics and data on issues such as: self-government, participation, and CSOs, as well as case studies of individual community practices in the WB6 among 9 communities on topics covering active citizenship decision-making.
The findings presented will be used on a national and regional level as a basis for further development of civil society and advocating for the interests of the citizens in the Western Balkans. The main goal is for the youth from the region to be more involved with local self-government. According to organizers, there is still much to be done on the enrichment of local democracy. However, by presenting inspiring ideas and findings and highlighting best practices, the Fair has shown that progress has been made to improve the overall situation in the field.
The event was a part of the project “CSOs Networking for Better Local Democracy in the Balkans”, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and implemented by the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN). BNLD is one of Regional Civil Society Hub grantees which project as in line with BCSDN mission will contribute towards promoting the civil society enabling environment and effective, transparent, and accountable CSOs’ work in the Balkans.