The 30 Years is an initiative that will provide perspective on three decades (1991–2021) of the presence and work of the Open Society Foundations (OSF) in the Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia).
It examines how the unique philanthropic efforts of George Soros, his open society ideas and philosophy persevered during the stormy recent history of the region and how the work is still a moving force, alive and active. The initiative also looks toward the future—the many challenges and opportunities facing the region as each country finds its place within today’s Europe.
It is also an undertaking that has proven that the idea planted in the Western Balkans three decades ago is still an important vehicle in fighting for freedom of expression, social openness, societies that promote justice and equality.


In the late 1980s, at the time of the turbulent democratic changes in Eastern Europe, The Soros Foundation organized summer seminars for academics, lawyers and intellectuals from both Western and Eastern Europe at the Inter-University Center (IUC) in Dubrovnik. At that time, George Soros had already started his foundation in Hungary and was, after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, ready to continue his philanthropic activities in the countries of Eastern Europe, which had begun to build their democracies.

Virtual Momentum

The 30 Years Initiative had its tour de table, travelling virtually throughout the Balkans, hosted by each of the OSF national foundations and, where OSF does not have an official presence, hosted by prominent local partners. The information about the virtual momentum from Albania and Montenegro will be posted on the website at a later date.

June 17, 2021

The 30 Years Initiative closed its tour de table with a virtual round table discussion
on the future of the Western Balkans with participation from leading thinkers in the region
and senior representatives from Open Society Foundations


30 Years Book will be published in English language, in print and in E-version, also marking OSF’s three decades in the Balkans.

The book will have two partsThe Part One of the book includes essays by prominent public intellectuals, academics, journalists, activists, literary figures and artists throughout the region in addition to George and Alex Soros and Aryeh Neier, OSF President Emeritus.


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