Building Bridges between Civil Society and Party Political Actors in the Western Balkans – The Perspective of Political Foundations

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It points out that there is a strong need for further capacity-building and awareness-raising, as well as for a change of mind-set on both sides. As one of the main actors in supporting democracy, the Euro-pean Union (EU) has significant leverage in the region. Nevertheless, the observation made by this paper is that the EU has only made partial use of the potential of its instruments and programmes in order to contribute to building bridges between civil society and party political actors in the Western Balkans.

Given the unique working methods of Political Foundations, they are in a position to encourage ap-proximation and mutual acknowledgement between the two actors. This paper therefore presents case studies and examples of their work and underlines the benefits of establishing dialogue between civil society and party political actors. On this basis, it proposes some recommendations for EU poli-cy-makers, party political actors and civil society in the region.

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