The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiated in 1993 a programme called MATRA - Societies in Transition (Maatschappelijke transitie in Dutch). Its aim - support a pluralistic society and contribute to the democratic processes in MATRA’s target countries, as well as strengthen their ties with the Netherlands.
Reaching back to the mid-1990s, and up the programme’s formal conclusion in 2011, we maintained a long-standing partnership with MATRA and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, implementing multiannual media development and press freedom projects across the Western Balkans, Central, and Eastern Europe, in association with our local partners.
At project level, MATRA's goal was to fortify democratic institutions by bringing together Dutch organisations and local partners. Experience has shown that a country’s needs and development priorities are best expressed by its own civil society organisations, requesting external assistance and support. For this reason, MATRA support was given exclusively to organisations that sought its aid.
Within the MATRA programme, the EJC was directly involved in six projects, namely:
- Armenia: Enhancing Journalistic Practices in Armenia;
- Belarus: Training for Independent Journalism;
- Bosnia-Herzegovina: New Approaches for New Journalism;
- Macedonia: Improving Media Literacy Education;
- Ukraine: New Media Initiative;
- Ukraine: Training and Capacity Building for Journalists.
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