Strategic co-operation documents

The Europe Division of the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes (ODGP), in close collaboration with the Directorate of Political Advice and the operational directorates general, produces Country Programming Documents. This is carried out in close co-operation with national authorities by means of bilateral consultations and meetings with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the specialised ministries and other stakeholders. Likewise, in-depth consultations with other national and international players, including the donors, are conducted to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the co-operation delivered on the ground.

These strategic documents set out a series of priority actions in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy to assist member states in aligning their legislation, institutions and practices with European standards. The Council of Europe member states have a duty to honour their undertakings and the statutory obligations entered into by virtue of their accession. Accordingly, the master documents for co-operation provide practical solutions to support the efforts of member states in that respect.

The projects defined in co-operation documents receive funding from multiple sources, notably from the Council of Europe ordinary budget and voluntary contributions by donor countries and other donors such as international organisations. A specific number of projects pertaining to the co-operation documents are implemented via joint programmes between the European Union and the Council of Europe.

In order to make the implementation of the action plans effective, a monitoring mechanism is established for each member state and involves the Council of Europe, national authorities and the principal donors. The mechanism makes it possible to assess how the projects in hand, which have been approved and financed, are going ahead. This follow-up is particularly valuable in that it affords a perception of the accomplishments and the outcomes of implementing the co-operation documents.

Lastly, the Council of Europe and the beneficiaries of the projects work closely together to update and adjust co-operation documents according to needs.

*All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nation's Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.