Launch of the baseline assessment DG NEAR Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Region 2021 – 2027

31 May – 1 June 2023 Hotel Crna Gora, Podgorica, Montenegro


Deadline: Friday, 12 May 2023 at 15:00hrs (Brussels time)

The EU-financed TACSO 3 project is pleased to announce the forthcoming EU Civil Society Forum for the Western Balkans and Türkiye 2023. We are inviting CSO leaders and experienced civil society activists, as well as representatives of grassroots CSOs, to apply as participants in the Forum.

The EU Civil Society Forum 2023 (Forum ’23) will be held on 31 May – 1 June 2023, in Podgorica, Montenegro, in the form of a hybrid live and virtual event. A limited number of up to 120 participants will be selected for live participation in Podgorica. The virtual/online participation will allow further active video involvement in all Forum ’23 sessions.

The event is intended to provide a forum for direct communications, formal and informal, between three main stakeholders: the European Union institutions working on Enlargement, civil society organisations, and the public authorities in the Western Balkans and Türkiye.

The primary objectives of the Forum ‘23 are to discuss the findings of the baseline assessment against the DG NEAR Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in the Enlargement Region 2021 – 2027 (click here for Guidelines) and to contribute to an agenda for future action for civil society in the region.

Furthermore, the event will be an opportunity to promote new approaches in CSO – government cooperation, strengthening CSO capacities and maximising the potential of digital and green transformations for social development.

The official language of the event is English.

EU funding support will be provided through the EU TACSO 3 project to enable civil society and national authority representatives to participate in the live event in Podgorica, Montenegro. Funding support will be provided to a maximum of one person per participating organisation. Please note EU TACSO 3 is unable to financially support CSOs which have current grants from the EU worth more than EUR 700,000. These organisations are expected to be able to fund their participation in the Forum ’23 from their grant funds.

Participation is also welcome from others who are engaged in civil society development, such as bilateral/multilateral donors and international organisations. In this case, we would ask such participants to pay for their own travel and accommodation.

EU TACSO 3 project will cover the direct costs of the selected participants in the Forum ’23 live event, including:

  • Travel costs
  • Full board and accommodation.

Live participation at the Forum will be limited to 120 participants in total.

In selecting participants to be funded, EU TACSO will look for a balanced representation of CSOs, taking into account the following:

  • Relevance to the agenda: Representation of CSOs or CSO networks from the WBT region working specifically on one of the three specific objectives promoted by the EU Guidelines for support to civil society (2021-2027) – i.e., a conducive environment for civil society, strengthened cooperation and partnership between civil society and public institutions; and reinforced CSO capacity and resilience;
  • Ensuring representation and diversity: Presence of CSOs or CSO networks representing marginalized groups, and young people;
  • Representation of CSOs or CSO networks contributing specifically to sectors highlighted in the agenda;
  • Geographical balance of regional representation;
  • Gender equality and diversity.

Please indicate clearly in your application your readiness to actively participate in the event, either live or online.

EU TACSO 3 aims to ensure accessibility for people with disabilities. We will be able to support reasonable requests for assistance for disabled people to participate in person. In your application, please note any special requests you may have.

Please review the draft Agenda document for more information on the key topics of the panel and breakout sessions here.

All prospective participants and contributors from CSOs and CSO networks from Western Balkans and Türkiye are invited to apply by using the following application form.

The final agenda of the event and related logistical details will be provided prior to the event.

Should you have additional questions, please contact us at the following e-mail address: