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A new international project in Barcelona

On October 17, 2012 Open Society Foundations, one of the most important humanitarian organizations in the world, announced the creation of the Open Society Initiative for Europe (OSIFE) in Barcelona.

Open Society Foundations is a network of organizations that award grants founded in 1993 by George Soros, an investor and political activist of Hungarian origin. Although at the beginning it was only active in the countries of the former Soviet Union, today OSF is present in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

Its main objective is to promote democracy, human rights and economic, legal and social reforms that are needed in the countries where it is active.

Jordi VaquerAt the local level, OSF implements a series of initiatives to promote application of the law, education, public health and independence of the press. At the same time, the organization encourages cooperation between different countries and continents regarding matters such as the fight against corruption or the violation of human rights.

Another important goal is the development of civil society organizations (NGO, NPO, think tanks, unions, etc.) to promote participation in democracy and society. The main activity of OSF in the mobilization of civil society has always been developed in Europe, and this fact may be reinforced with the creation of its new headquarters in Barcelona.

From there, OSIFE will act transnationally, collaborating intensively as much with organs from other cities in the European Union as with other civil society organizations. Consequently, in this sphere, Barcelona will have the important role of being a model to follow regarding the reactivation of democratic principles and European integration.

At the same time, it will try to recreate an open society, a concept that is being lost due to the political, social and cultural changes that the economic crisis is causing in the European Union.

The director of the new organization beginning on January 1, 2013 is Jordi Vaquer, the current director of  CIDOB (Barcelona Center for International Affairs).

Here at we wish the initiative great success.

Bea Laszlo
Translation by Sally Seward
on 00/00/0000
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