Bosnia and Herzegovina: diversifying funding through European and territorial partnerships (24 June 2015)


To finance its projects, the Institut français (French Institute) in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been strategically experimenting bilateral and multilateral partnerships.

Operation "Sarajevo Heart of Europe" (World War I commemoration) for which the French Institute in Bosnia and Herzegovina has played a key unifying role, has created a precedent. The French Institute team very rapidly covered all the preconditions for responding to a European call for proposals and managing a multilateral project.

One of the means implemented consisted in involving a number of civilian and institutional actors in the projects as an essential condition for responding to European calls for proposals.


Political: base France’s strategy of influence on the territorial partnerships launched by French regions, whose role in managing European funds has constantly expanded with multiyear programming by the European Union (EU).

Strategic and tactical: implement a strategy of convergence involving territorial institutions and civil society cultural actors; combine bilateral tactical opportunities (decentralized cooperation) with multilateral ones, as a precondition for responding to European calls for proposals.

Operational: diversify its sources of financing and make the European contribution a structural one without its being viewed as an exclusive financial doctrine.

Focus on "The largest comic strip panel in the world" exhibited in Sarajevo

This giant comic strip panel (more than 730 m²) is exhibited for three months since 28 May on the roof of the Markale Market. This market became notorious in the wake of the massacre of 67 civilians who were shelled during the war of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The comic strip is taken from "Le tombeau perdu d’Alexandre le Grand" ["The Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great"] (published in France in 2013) by a French scriptwriter, Gilles Kraemer and a Bosnian conceptual artist, Damir Niksic. The comic book describes the search for the tomb of Alexander the Great by a French-speaking Egyptian journalist.

This project was the last contribution by the French Institute in Bosnia and Herzegovina to the operation "Sarajevo Heart of Europe". It was carried out through cross-financing from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI), the Mons2015 programme and the EU. This event received significant coverage in the French and Bosnian press.

Looking to the future

The French Institute is pursuing its cross-financing policy in which the EU and UNESCO play a fundamental role. Two projects are ongoing:

Project CENEF (Café Europa New European Fabrication) was presented in February by Technocité (centre of competence dedicated to creative industries in Mons), in which are participating the Avignon Festival, the University of Siena, the Linz Festival and the French Institute in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Café Europa, a concept created with "Mons2015, European Capital of Culture", has networked 13 cultural establishments in Europe through a forum for discussion conducive to creativity: a café with a Skype wall that can link at least three network members through a high-speed connection. Thematic meetings are organized weekly and open to the public. CENEF is a European initiative that has come from the Cafés Europa and aims to identify, via the cafés, creative cultural industries with economic potential. Their prototypes, developed by the possibilities of 3D printing, are intended to be presented at the Avignon, Linz and Mons festivals. Areas of application include scenography, architecture and design.

The Nat in Ma®t project: authorization for the Lens Liévin Urban District Community (CALL) and the Cd2e association (Centre for the creation and development of eco-businesses) to participate in that project around the theme of climate change was obtained by the Cooperation and Cultural Action Service of the embassy. The project aims to:

  • build the capacity of cultural actors to transform citizens’ and cultural practices for the environment
  • start an economic transition based on industries that combine the recycling of natural materials and innovation in rural and urban development
  • define a "smart building-related" area of application

Partnerships forged

Operation "Sarajevo Heart of Europe"

  • The Sarajevo Heart of Europe Foundation, which was created by the Mission of the Centenary of World War I and the French Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, brings together European countries: Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, Spain, Belgium and Italy,
  • the City of Sarajevo,
  • actors from Bosnian civil society,
  • and the EU, via the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

Project CENEF (Café Europa New European Fabrication) led by Technocité and 11 partners including:

  • the Avignon Festival,
  • the University of Siena,
  • the Linz Festival,
  • the French Institute in Bosnia and Herzegovina,
  • the EU, as principal funder via the Creative Europe programme.

Nat in Ma®t project:

  • Lens Liévin Urban District Community (CALL)
  • Cd2e association (Euralens)
  • Brno University of Technology (Czech Republic)
  • French Institute in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • the Bosnian NGO - Green Council
  • financed up to 50% by the EU via the Creative Europe programme

Useful websites:

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