Dr. Gjergj Murra, 1st Executive Director of WB Fund
Albanian Daily News
Published September 11, 2017
On September 5, 2017, the Western Balkans Fund First Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs took place in Bled, Slovenia.
Following the signing of the "Agreement concerning the establishment of the Western Balkans Fund", on November 2015, and the ratification of the Agreement by all WB6 Contracting Parties, this development can be considered the key step on the way to the WBF official launching and leading the way for making it fully operational.
The Conference, attended by all the Foreign Ministers of WB6, had in focus the approval of the Decisions, relevant for the progress and for the starting up of Fund's activities. Respectively, the WBF Conference of MFA took these decisions:
• Approved: "Rules of Procedure of the Western Balkans Fund Secretariat";
• Approved: "Rules of Procedure of the Council of Senior Officials of the WBF";
• Approved: "Rules governing rights and duties of the Executive Director of the WBF";
• Approved: "Rules Governing the Use of the Financial Means of the WBF";
• Appointed Dr. Gjergj Murra, as the first Executive Director of the WBF, starting from 1-st October 2017;
• Empowered the WBF Executive Director to sign the Host Country Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the Western Balkans Fund;
• Decided that the Western Balkans Fund Chairmanship-in-Office for the period till the end of 2017 will be held by the Republic of Albania, to be followed for the year 2018 by Bosnia & Herzegovina;
• Gave authority to the Committee of Senior Officials to take the necessary decisions regarding the Western Balkans Fund Secretariat structure and other organizational issues;
• Decided to proclaim the official launching of the Western Balkans Fund and the beginning of its activities and operations.
Through this achievement, the WB6 give another clear demonstration of their political will for strengthening the neighborly relations, the spirit of cooperation in the region and towards the European integration processes. The Fund's main objective is to boost cooperation between its members, to strengthen relations and regional cohesion, to advance integration into the European Union.
The Fund aims to achieve these goals by supporting regional projects and by bringing people to share mutual experiences, aware of values, traditions and culture of their respective countries.
WBF budget is formed by the financial contributions of its members, aiming to sponsor small and medium projects, for increasing regional and cross-border cooperation, and strengthening regional cohesion in these areas: Education and Scientific exchanges; Cultural cooperation; Cross-border and youth cooperation; Sustainable Development;
The application for funding will be simple and accessible from a wide range of stakeholders aligning from individuals to youth organizations, regional civil society networks, academic and research institutes etc.
The WBF Secretariat, with Headquarters in Tirana, informed "Albanian Daily News" that the Call for Projects will be launched before the end of the year.

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