News archive - Fellowship Programme for Young Government Officials from the Western Balkans - Supporting Excellence and Leadership in Governance

"Decision makers of tomorrow" are the target group of the programme by the European Fund for the Balkans. Applications will be accepted from October 10 to November 10, the programme shall run from April 2009 to June 2009.

The Programme aims to contribute to the development of effective and efficient state administrations in the region by offering a tailor-made fellowship and training programme for highly qualified young professionals from the central government of the countries of the Western Balkans.

Up to 20 scholarships are made available for civil servants from the Western Balkans to spend a three-month fellowship in government institutions in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic or Poland.

By participating in the Programme, the Fellows have the opportunity to:

  • get professional experience in EU countries’ federal or state government agencies,
  • gain peer-to-peer exchange of experience,
  • receive training on EU (and other international) issues,
  • receive training on their respective field of expertise,
  • acquire leadership and management skills at seminars,
  • have an opportunity to get closely acquainted with their colleagues from the region and the EU and thus
  • create links between administrations through individual networks,
  • serve as ambassadors of their respective countries,
  • learn a foreign language and
  • participate in the alumni network.


Civil Servants of ministries in the Western Balkan countries can apply.
The Programme is specifically designed for civil servants from the central government who have several years of professional experience in public administration and have already assumed initial managerial responsibilities or are preparing for a position of leadership.
Basic knowledge of the workings of the European Union is required and personal enthusiasm for the European idea is essential.

• national of one of the Western Balkan countries,
• maximum age of 40,
• at least 3 (ideally 5) years of professional experience upon completing studies,
• at least 2 years as a civil servant for state authority,
• initial managerial experience or prospects of assuming leadership responsibilities,
• excellent academic qualifications,
• very good knowledge of English,
• ideally basic knowledge of the language of the host country,
• sound knowledge of national and international politics and economics,
• strong interest in the political development of Europe,
• negotiating skills,
• team-working skills,
• initiative and definite readiness to perform,
• excellent written powers of expression,
• ability and readiness to acquaint oneself with various different topics in a short
period of time,
• ability and readiness to complete inter-disciplinary work in inter-departmental
• working groups.

The application for the Fellowship Programme will be consisted of three phases:
• Online application
• Submitting additional documents via E-mail (upon request)
• Interviews
Applications will be made exclusively through the online application form and must be
submitted before 10 November 2008 CET.
Please refer to the Guidelines for Applicants for more details regarding the application procedure.

After the deadline, the applications will be evaluated by the European Fund for the Balkans.The pre-selection will be conducted on the basis of the online application by the mid of November 2008. Short-listed candidates will be notified of the results by e-mail in the third week of November 2008, with an invitation for an interview. The candidates will need to confirm their attendance at the interview within a week of receiving the notice.
The final selection will take into account the candidates’ application, and the results of the interview. It will be conducted by an independent Selection Committee composed of the European Fund for the Balkans external experts. The interviews will be carried out from 1st to 10th of December 2008 in Belgrade.
For detailed information on the application process, see

The costs for participation in the Programme will be covered by the European Fund for the Balkans. Throughout the Fellowship Programme, fellows will receive a monthlyallowance, in addition to a relocation fee. The costs for language training are reimbursed up to a fixed amount. Travel, accommodation, visa fees and health insurance (if necessary) and any other essential maintenance costs relating to seminars and other compulsory events are also covered. The EFB supports the fellows with organisational issues.

Intensive language training: January – End of March 2009
Introduction seminar: April 2009, 10 days
Working phase I: April – Mid May 2009
Intermediary seminar: Mid May 2009, 3 days
Working phase II: May – June 2009
Final Seminar: End of June 2009, 5 days

Interested candidates can apply from 10 October to 10 November 2008. Deadline for application is 10 November 2008 CET. Applications received after this date cannot be accepted. Only applications received online can be accepted. Candidates will have to submit a letter of approval from their supervisors for leave of absence for the whole duration of the Programme (April 2009 – June 2009). Candidates will also have to indicate two referees who are willing to be contacted by e-mail. In addition, candidates will have to submit a ‘motivation letter’ including detailed written presentation of the motive for applying for the fellowship programme as well as medium and long-term professional goals and expectations about the stay in the host institution. Please refer to the Guidelines for Applicants for more details regarding the application procedure.
The candidates may be required to submit copy of their university and professional certificates. The successful candidates will need to confirm their participation within a week of receiving notification of their selection.
Participants are expected to be available during the overall period of the Programme (April 2009 – June 2009) and to attend each planned activity (the ten-days introductory seminar, on-the-job training in a host institution, the three-day visiting programme in Brussels and the five-day final seminar in a given region). All of the activities of the Programme require a full-time presence.

The official Programme starts in April 2009 with an introductory seminar. When foreign language improvement is necessary, the fellows will take intensive language training in their home countries prior to the deployment in a given host institution from the end of January to the end of March 2009.

Ten days introductory seminar organised by Public Administration School, Germany, 1 April – 10 April 2009

The ten-day introductory seminar will offer participants with insight into current social and political challenges in the EU and in different host countries through presentations and meetings with senior decision makers. The fellows will have the chance to discuss their plans for their fellowship, receive individual advice, present their professional and personal goals and prepare themselves for the fellowship programme. The introductory seminar will serve as a platform for discussion of current political and social challenges and for exchange of ideas. The seminar will be conclude with training in rhetoric, strategic decision-making as well as leadership and managerial skills.

Fellowship in host institution: Working phase I (mid April 2009 to mid May) and Working phase II (May - June 2009)

Following the introductory seminar, between April 2009 and June 2009, each fellow will be placed in a government institution in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic or Poland. During their stay in a host institution, fellows will gain peer-to-peer exchange of experience, and will familiarise themselves with administrative structures and forms of policy making in a host institution. The quality and intensity of the cooperation with the authorities of a host institution is crucial for the success of the fellowship.
The choice of a government institution is made on a case by case basis taking into consideration the preferences outlined in the application form, the profile of the fellow, professional interests, language skills, and the strategic interest of the employer. The final decision about the choice of a host institution is made after the participant has been accepted to the programme.

Three day Intermediary Seminar, Brussels, mid May 2009

Half way through the fellowship, participants will meet with high-ranking officials of European Union institutions and learn about the current developments in the EU, familiarise themselves with the political culture of the EU and link their work in their home country with the one in the host institution. The seminar also offers an opportunity to monitor individual goals, plan steps for development over the coming months and exchange experience of the host institution with fellow participants.

Five day Final Meeting, end of June 2009

At the end of the Programme, the European Fund for the Balkans will invite the fellows to a final review meeting presenting the results of their work and evaluating the fellowship programme.

Kristina Jovanovska
Programme Manager
European Fund for the Balkans
Resavska 35, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Telephone/Fax: +381 (0)11 30 33 662
email: kristina.jovanovska[at]balkanfund[dot]org

Entry created by Elke Dall on October 27, 2008
Modified on October 27, 2008