As part of the second phase of the European Union and the Council of Europe co-funded cooperation framework “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey” (Horizontal Facility II), the Council of Europe implements a Regional Action on “Enhancing penitentiaries capacities in addressing radicalization in prisons in Western Balkans”. The Action is implemented in close cooperation with the Ministries of Justice and the P/CVE coordination bodies of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Republic of Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia…. The Action includes a wide spectrum of other national stakeholders and civil society organizations active in the penitentiary field and countering violent extremism and radicalisation in prisons.

The main aim of the Action is to enhance regional security by improving the inter-institutional exchange of knowledge and good practices in the region in respect of radicalization in prisons, with a view on providing penitentiary system staff with necessary standards, tools and instruments needed to respond appropriately. Another important goal is to empower in-county multi-agency coordination to counter radicalization in prison and to provide adequate post-penal support to released violent extremist offenders.

The Action will also assist the national authorities to ensure that the application of the tools and mechanisms on national level with regards to addressing radicalisation in prisons further strengthens in light of the identified good practices in the region.

The Action’s duration is set at 36 months and it is expected to be completed by 23 May 2022, with an overall budget of 2,000,000.000 Euros.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

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