Situated at the crossroads of many civilisations, Sarajevo is the perfect place for foundations and their partners to discuss “Rethinking Europe: Solidarity, civil society and political governance”, the theme of the 25th EFC Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Conference. Despite a turbulent history, Sarajevo has emerged to become a beacon of hope for peace and tolerance through multi-cultural understanding.
Three landmark events shape the last century of Sarajevo’s history: the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, which triggered the onset of World War I; the 1984 Winter Olympic Games; and the longest siege of a capital city in modern history which lasted for 1,035 days. Sarajevo highlights the paramount importance of overcoming threats to European society and re-building a Europe based on key democratic values, human rights and trust in Europe’s strengths. The city’s past, but even more its present, reflects the precedence of solidarity, acceptance of diversity and celebration of reconciliation not only over a century of European history, but also in addressing today’s challenges and the future of the region. To revitalise these strengths a substantial and active civil society across Europe is required, which is a central challenge for all foundations.
Some 500 foundations, partners and local actors will convene to discuss issues such as social and economic renewal, reconciliation, health, gender, environment, peace education, the arts and media, which all play a part in building and sustaining unified, stable and peaceful societies in the Western Balkans, Europe and worldwide. This can be addressed in three main session areas:
- Solidarity, with a special focus on youth unemployment, acceptance of diversity beyond differences, and opposing xenophobia and hate speech
- Transitional justice, reconciliation and conflict resolution
- Civil society, good governance and the role of foundations in debating the future of Europe
Delegates will have the opportunity to network with their peers during informal social events and gain insight into the work of local organisations through guided excursions. Being in Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina for the AGA offers a unique opportunity to take a critical look at achievements and future challenges in a region of Europe that features the highest grade of activities by foreign donors.
Please note that grantseeking is strictly forbidden at all EFC events.