CC4WBs Launch in Albania


EU-funded project, Culture and Creativity for the Western Balkans, at the Open Door Info Sessions across the region

UNESCO, the British Council and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) have joined forces to manage the project “Culture and Creativity for the Western Balkans” (CC4WBs), funded by the European Union. In February and May, the project was launched to the public via a series of open door info sessions in 5 countries across the region. An online webinar for all Western Balkan UNESCO Member States followed on 16 May 2023.

Running over 4 years, the “Culture and Creativity for the Western Balkans” (CC4WBs) project aims to develop the capacities of the cultural and creative sectors across the Western Balkans to enhance culture for social cohesion and sustainable development and to foster reconciliation and neighbourly relations in the Western Balkans.

Specifically, the project will support more inclusive and effective cultural policies, enhance regional cultural cooperation, promote the mobility of artists and cultural operators, strengthen the circulation of creative goods and services, and provide financial and technical assistance for cultural and creative industries.

With the aim to make the creative industries an empowered driving force in the Western Balkans, the project will also stimulate the protection, management and promotion of cultural heritage. Its methods range from combining advice for policy improvement with data for informed decision-making, supporting public-private partnerships, and fostering networking and other funding opportunities.

Many groups are set to benefit from the 4-year project, including local stakeholders, cultural and creative institutions and organisations, businesses and individual professionals, civil society organisations and community groups, disadvantaged or vulnerable groups, education and research institutions, youth and women, media professionals from independent media and networks, bloggers and emerging journalists working on cultural contents.

CC4WBs Launch in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The creative sector has been amongst the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, this new creative project is a great opportunity to build on the power of culture and creativity as a driver for sustainable development.
Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant-Director-General for Culture

As part of the project’s first phase, open door info sessions were organised across the region. Sessions were well attended and drew the interest of a number of cultural figures - from cultural operators, creative industry workers, experienced managers and artists to emerging media workers. Overall, the info sessions on the Open Calls for Proposals for Organisations, Institutions and Individuals numbered 859 guests, joining virtually and in-person.

At each location, the audiences were warmly welcomed by the representatives of the organising bodies, namely UNESCO, the British Council and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), as well as EU delegations, the British and Italian ambassadors and the Ministers of Culture or their representatives in the Western Balkans.

The info days served to present the details of the Open Call for Organisations and Institutions, including the process for applying and awarding grants. The second part of the gatherings were dedicated to the Open Call for Expressions of Interest in Cultural Leadership and Media Programmes for individuals who will - upon successful completion of programme trainings -receive micro grants for individual projects.

CC4WBs Launch in North Macedonia
Now that the Public Call is closed, having received so many applications in the process, I feel an enormous sense of pride. It is a proof of how vibrant the culture and creative sectors in the region are and how engaged they also are in actively showcasing their tremendous talent and seizing the opportunity to access the necessary funding to realise their dreams!
Renata Radeka, Project Coordinator, CC4WBs project

It is estimated that more than 800 cultural and creative industries, 9,000 cultural professionals, 30 institutions, and 150 individual public officers will directly benefit from this € 8 million project. Indeed, the CC4WBs project aims at reaching at least 1.5 % of the general population of the Western Balkans as indirect beneficiaries of its socio-economic impact by providing increased opportunities for cultural participation and enjoyment through festivals, events and cultural contents.

CC4WBs Launch in Serbia

The Open Calls are now closed and the CC4WBs project team is evaluating applications. Ahead of us is a vast task, with over 250 applications received through the Open Call for Organisations and Institutions, and over 150 individual applicants who applied for the Cultural Leadership and Media Programmes. The evaluation process will be conducted during the months of June and July. The list of successful applicants will be published on the CC4WBs Page.

CC4WBs Launch in Montenegro