The purpose of this grant was to facilitate the participation of representatives from NGOs, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and think tanks from Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs), the Western Balkans and Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine to participate in European debates and to offer a unique learning experience on how to communicate and interact with policy-makers (at EU and national levels). It also facilitated that their voice is heard in EU policy circles so as to make the challenges in their countries better understood at EU levels, and to implement promising practices and knowledge learnt in EU affairs and interactions with EU policy makers in their domestic arenas.
This concerns a one-year project that run from the 2017 CEPS Ideas Lab to the 2018 Ideas Lab (January 2017 to February 2018). The project aimed, first, at ensuring the active participation of around 20 representatives from CEECs as well as the Western Balkans countries to the CEPS annual flagship conference (CEPS Ideas Lab), which involved a wide range of high-level officials and policy makers. Second, the project foresaw a deeper engagement and further cooperation of five selected fellows (coming from the above mentioned countries) in a tailor-made (one-year) Visiting Fellowship Programme at CEPS.
The Fellowship Programme has aimed to deepen their knowledge on relevant EU policy affairs and ways/strategies in conducting policy relevant research, designing relevant policy recommendations and interacting and communicating with EU policy makers, and to apply at their domestic arenas the ‘promising practices’ and experience learnt.