The aim of the initiative “Building a European Civil Society” is to tackle two European challenges. The first one is the existing gap between the European project and the citizens of Europe. Frustration and skepticism concerning the EU are on the rise, not only within the European Union, but also in the Western Balkans where the European integration process is perceived as a purely technical and economical process. The second challenge is the psychological gap between the countries and societies of the Western Balkans and of the European Union. Both parts of Europe know very little about each other, and this concerns also many civil society actors working in spheres that still tend to ignore each other.
These two challenges need to be faced not separately but together. In this sense, the development of a European civil society including the countries of the Western Balkans is of essential importance. With the initiative “Building a European Civil Society”, crossborder factory and its partners will, through different means, create opportunities for citizens and civil society actors from the European Union and the Western Balkans to meet, exchange and debate, to develop links and to work together for a Europe where its citizens and the Western Balkans will have a real place.