In 1991 George Soros described an idea to promote cooperation among societies in Central and Eastern Europe. “People should travel, meet each other, exchange opinions and experiences,” he said. “They should engage in the processes of transition. There is so much that people from Central and Eastern Europe can offer each other, so many ways in which they can be helpful to each other. This region should be alive.”
Seventeen years ago when the Program was created, the focus was collaboration addressed to transition and transformation in the post-socialist societies of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. While “East East” is an old name dating from the “East/West” division of Europe, “East East: Partnership Beyond Borders” remains relevant today in prioritizing international exchange among civil society organizations and societies in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Mongolia.
The East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program supports collaborative exchange of information, experience, expertise and knowledge through multi-national initiatives which seek to build international networks of informed, empowered people, who act to engage citizens to affect positive change in the realization of ideas and practices of open society.
The Program is implemented by the foundations of the Open Society Institute (OSI) network in Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey, Central Asia and Mongolia and with partners in Slovenia, Russia, Croatia, Lithuania and Hungary. Initiatives are identified by the foundations and partners, i.e., not centrally, and are evaluated by peer review by the foundations and/or partners to be involved in the project. The Program awards financial support for expenses of international exchange, including in-country expenses and travel to enable participation in initiatives which receive Program support.
350 multi-national initiatives receive East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program support annually. Examples of initiatives supported in 2008 include,
- Barrier Free Cities: Protection of the Rights of People with Disability
- Capacity Building for Working with Socially Excluded Young People
- Citizen Engagement and Public Participation: Transparency in Decision-Making
- Friendly EU Borders: Relations with New Eastern Neighbors
- Public Policy at the Local Level: Implementation of European Standards
- Lessons Learned: Security Sector Reform and Euro-Atlantic Integration
- Building a Common European Future for Environmental Sustainability
- Enhancing e-democracy in Mongolia: Experiences of Citizen Participation Initiatives in Estonia
- New Energy Routes in Southeast Europe and Human Rights Protection: Inter-Sectoral Dialogue
- Finding Common Ground: Lessons from the EU Accession Process
- History and Collective Memory in Southeast Europe: Dilemmas and Implications of Political Discourse
- Methodologies of Integrating Vulnerable Groups in Society: Homeless and Unemployed People
- Perspectives for Development of the State and the Civil Society in Central Asia
- Platform for Social and Cultural Development of Rural Regions in Western Balkans
- Independent Election Monitoring in the post-Soviet Space: Comparative Experiences
- NGO Engagement in European Integration in Ukraine: Experiences in the Czech Republic
- Institutional Capacity for Combating Intolerance and Extremism in the Black Sea Region
- Regional Trends and Approaches to Migration and Asylum Challenges
- Inclusion and Exclusion in and on the Borders of Europe
The Subprogram for European Integration is facilitated with OSI-Brussels, and supports cooperation among the new EU member states, candidate and potential candidate countries and the EU eastern neighbors. The Subprogram seeks to leverage and maximize EU accession experiences in Central Europe to future EU member countries and EU neighbors.
The Southeast Asia: Beyond Borders Program is facilitated with the OSI Southeast Asia Initiative, and prioritizes support for strengthening the role of civil society as a force for advocacy and dialogue in Southeast Asia; encouraging civic engagement, empowerment and citizen education in Southeast Asia; and, promoting information and knowledge networking, especially among youth and young people, in Southeast Asia.
The East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program does not support world congresses and annual conferences; artistic productions; individual travel/conference participation grants, consultancies; higher education research; translation and/or publishing projects; hard science; or, business/commercial/for-profit activities.
For the particular activities carried out under the East East Program, please see the annual report 2008 downloadable in pdf format from our home page.
East East Application form
Ms. Laura Gevorgyan
East East: Partnership Beyond Borders Program Coordinator