Democracy and participation, Migration

Overcome Fences


Who is behind this?

Martin Barthel

Comparative Research Network e.V.


Who is joining forces?

Sorsfordító szociális szövetkezet (Changing Destiny Social Cooperative)


NGO Skills


Zenska Alternativa (Women´s Alternative)


Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

The border region between Serbia, Croatia and Hungary witnessed in the last 20 years new borders, wars and crisis. Still an active local milieux of NGOs working with this issues had been created. With 5 days intercultural trainings for about 25 local multiplicators from all three countries, the project foresees to teach skills, which can be used by the NGOs to work together on overcoming the fence, foster reconciliation and build the capacity for a borderless region.

Where will your idea take place?

Border Region Hungary, Croatia, Serbia

Why does Europe need your idea?

The ideal of a borderless Europe is challenged by the current trend of fencing some of its borders. Fences divide regions and communities and alie them from each other. Alienation can turn into ignorance and conflict. The project "Overcome Fences" aspires to bring borderlanders together through intercultural workshops. They will work on gaining trust and mutual understanding, and on a platform for cross-border cooperation to help multipliers to transfer their ideas to other local communities.

What is your impact?

Training multipliers in intercultural competences will build local capacity for dialogue and understanding across the borders. Involved stakeholders and NGOs will be offered a platform and methods to (re)build cooperation.
An embedded study will analyze how fences has changed cross-border relations, evaluate the efficiency of the training and on that base create a template curriculum to be reproduced in other regions with conflict and need for cooperation.

How do you get there?

Contacting stakeholders will be supported by a survey based on questionnaires, facilitated by local partners, for mapping the main conflicts and challenges in cross-border relations related to fences. The intercultural training's programme will be based on our previous practices and the results of this survey. The 5 day-long training will be held in one of the localities of the selected border region, with 20-30 participants and 3-4 trainers experienced in intercultural dialogue. The event will be followed by a second survey for evaluation and the production of a curriculum on intercultural training for overcoming fences. The results of the project and the curriculum will be edited in several languages and shared with local stakeholders, multipliers and the international public.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

The project will focus on local stakeholders, living in the border region connecting Serbia, Hungary and Croatia. The participants will be multipliers or trainers, capable to reproduce and share the exercises and methods used during the training towards their own audience in their language. Since we want to create a space for dialogue, we will not exclude any group. We prefer to constitute an intergenerational and intercultural learner community.

What makes your idea stand apart?

Research and EU policy papers on cohesion mention often that civil society actors in border regions face specific challenges. First there is a rather low developed civil society, partly struggling with the past of the border. Secondly stakeholders are lacking contact places and knowledge about partners on the other side of the fence. The proposed project will offer both - a stimulation for the local communities and a contact platform across the fence.

€ 36000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 46000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

1. Administrative, Research and Dissemination Costs CRN 6000€ NGO Skills 5000€ Changing Destiny 5000€ Zenska Alternativa 5000€ Total: 21.000€ 2. Travel and Accommodation 900€ x 20 participants (5 days) - Total: 18.000€ 3. Trainer and Workshop Cost (e.g. rooms, translation etc.) 7000€



Idea created on Feb. 16, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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