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Europe and Central Asia

Against the background of the regional upheaval caused by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Open Society continues to support open and inclusive societies and to invest in those who seek to reinvent and revitalize democracy.


Tirana, Albania

Brussels, Belgium

The Brussels office focuses on ensuring that EU policy, laws, and funding uphold human rights and reflect open society values.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tblisi, Georgia

Berlin, Germany

In 2018, in response to the increasingly oppressive political environment in Hungary, the Open Society Foundations transferred operations and roughly 100 staff from Budapest to a new regional headquarters in Berlin, Germany.

Skopje, North Macedonia

Chisinau, Moldova

Belgrade, Serbia

Barcelona, Spain

The Barcelona office is home to the Open Society Initiative for Europe.

Dnipro, Ukraine

The Dnipro office is a satellite of the International Renaissance Foundation.

Odesa, Ukraine

The Odesa office is a satellite of the International Renaissance Foundation.

Kharkiv, Ukraine

The Kharkiv office is a satellite of the International Renaissance Foundation.

Lviv, Ukraine

The Lviv office is a satellite of the International Renaissance Foundation.

Kyiv, Ukraine

London, United Kingdom

The London office is a base for both regional and global work on issues ranging from education to investigative journalism to economic advancement.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Pristina, Kosovo

By the Numbers

$154.3M 2022 expenditures for Europe and Central Asia
11.7% Percentage of global expenditures
2.5% Average annual change in expenditures since 2016

Expenditures by Year

Our Work

A woman holding a baby at a desk
A woman holding a baby visits an aid center in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, on June 30, 2022. © Dmytro Smolyenko/Ukrinform/Getty

Open Society-Europe and Central Asia works in a diverse range of countries that encompass some of the most mature democracies in the world as well as aggressive authoritarian regimes.

War in Ukraine

Two people at a desk in an office
Journalists work in the coworking space of a shelter for displaced Ukrainian journalists run by Lviv Media Forum in Lviv, Ukraine, on April 18, 2022. © Artur Zajac/Lviv Media Forum

Building on more than three decades of work in Ukraine, our Europe and Central Asia region is at the forefront of Open Society’s response to the conflict. 

In addition to supporting the continuing work of our Ukraine-based International Renaissance Foundation, Open Society has launched the Ukraine Democracy Fund, to support human rights organizations, independent journalists, and other civil society groups in the country. Together with other private foundations and funders, the fund has raised over $45 million since its launch.

Strengthening Europe’s Global Role

Three people seated on a stage
A panel discussion to explore the findings of a report on climate change at the Open Society Foundations in Berlin, Germany, on July 5, 2022. © Jacobia Dahm/Redux for the Open Society Foundations

With our research and advocacy, Open Society supports efforts by the European Union and likeminded European countries to play a stronger role globally—standing their ground in the face of sharpening conflict between authoritarianism and democracy, as well as uncertainties about Washington’s role in the world. We support European policy groups and think tanks that help policymakers assess their options and envisage new possibilities. Drawing on Open Society’s global network, we also seek to connect the Global South to Brussels and Strasbourg as we seek to engage Europe’s political leaders and legislators with their global responsibilities.

Building a Democratic, Inclusive European Future

A group of people seated at a conference table
Open Society Foundations directors meet to discuss European integration with the Republic of Moldova's president in Chisinau, Moldova, on October 12, 2022. © Schimbator Studio for Soros Foundation Moldova

Healthy democracies involve citizens in decisions that affect them at all levels—not just during national elections. In Brussels, Open Society works to ensure that open society values lie at the heart of what the European Union does, both inside and outside EU borders. Across the region, we support civil society initiatives that strengthen citizen engagement in government. Outside the EU, we have worked closely with governments in the Western Balkans and elsewhere to support their efforts to move toward EU membership, while promoting the EU’s role.

Promoting Economic Equity

A seated man holding a hammer and a piece of copper
A coppersmith, who has received business support from the Roma Entrepreneurship Development Initiative, in his workshop in Sibiu, Romania, on June 15, 2021. © Cosmin I. Argeseanu for REDI

Wealth inequality in Europe has increased dramatically across Europe over the past 30 years from Italy to France to Germany to Poland. We support innovation and activism to address a range of key issues affecting how Europeans live, including digital exclusion, the social impacts of climate change, migration, and declining and aging populations.

Information and Expression

Two people standing behind lecterns on a stage
European Union commissioners announce the Digital Markets Act in Brussels, Belgium, on December 15, 2020. © Alexandros Michailidis/Bloomberg/Getty

The free flow of information and the right to privacy are fundamental elements of any open society. Our work in Europe and Central Asia includes supporting independent journalism and media outlets, particularly in countries where media is largely controlled by government interests, together with support for journalists’ right to report freely without threat or harassment. In addition, we support groups working to increase access to internet services and information, together with counterbalancing efforts to protect individual privacy and to ensure accountability of digital platforms.


Woman giving documents to a woman
A French language teacher gives documents to Syrian refugees destined for France in Athens, Greece, on October 18, 2016. © Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty

Since 2015, the Open Society Foundations have increased our support for groups in Europe that work to ensure the safety of newly arrived migrants and refugees, and to ease the challenges of integration.

Our work has included supporting aid efforts by local groups in Greece, Italy, and the Balkans, as well as human rights groups that ensure that migrants and asylum seekers are treated fairly and with dignity.

Our History

A young girl in a museum stands next to a row of sculpted heads.
A young girl visits an exhibition at the Soros Centre for Contemporary Art in Almaty, Kazakhstan on February 13, 2007. © Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters/Newscom

Our work in Europe and Central Asia builds on the visionary investments of founder George Soros, who opened his first foundation in Communist Hungary in 1984 and expanded his efforts to support democratic development and civil society following the fall of the Soviet Union. Our work across this region is tailored to national contexts but shares a common focus: ensuring that everyone should have a voice in the decisions affecting them, in a society based on the rule of law and grounded in human rights. We have offices in Berlin, Brussels, and London, and national foundations in the Western Balkans, Ukraine, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan. 

Highlights of Our Work in the Europe and Central Asia

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