Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye
The joint European Union/Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” (Horizontal Facility III) is a co-operation initiative and one of the results of the Statement of Intent signed on 1 April 2014 by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the European Union Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, in which both Organisations agreed to further strengthen their co-operation in key areas of joint interest.
The programme is ongoing since 2016 and the third phase begun in January 2023 for a period of 48 months. The third phase of the programme (worth €41 million (85% funded by the EU, 15% by the CoE) keeps building on the results of the previous phases and it combines Beneficiary-specific and regional actions.
It enables the Beneficiaries to meet their reform agendas in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy and to comply with European standards, which is also a priority for the EU enlargement process.
Themes covered by the Horizontal Facility include:
- strengthening justice
- fighting corruption, economic crime and money laundering
- promoting anti-discrimination and protection of the rights of vulnerable groups (including LGBTI, minorities and Roma) and
- promoting and protecting freedom of expression and media
The Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism that provides legislative expertise and policy advice within the Council of Europe system remains also an important part of the programme available to all Beneficiaries.
The Horizontal Facility relies on the Council of Europe’s unique working methods, whereby tailor-made technical co-operation activities are based on conclusions and recommendations of the Council of Europe’s monitoring bodies highlight areas where improvements are needed in legislation and policies of the Beneficiaries to comply with the Organisation’s treaties and other standards.
Which Horizontal Facility actions are being implemented in Kosovo*?
In Kosovo, the following actions are currently being implemented:
- Strengthening the quality and efficiency of justice in Kosovo (KoSEJ III)
- Combating discrimination and hatred
- Protecting freedom of expression and of the media (PRO-FREX-K)
*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.