Reform initiatives in a majority of EU member States have already been reinforced by the growing co-operation between EU/EC DG REFORM and the Council of Europe.
These reforms so far concern 20 EU member States and the areas of human rights, rule of law, democracy, good governance/public administration. Fourteen joint projects are currently underway, each time tailored to the needs of member States’ citizens.
Four successive cooperation framework agreements have been signed between the two institutions since 2019. Between 2018-23, DG REFORM and the Council of Europe also carried out six projects through individual agreements. This makes a total of 52 projects so far, worth a total of approximately € 25 million.
Status of co-operation
The Council of Europe is currently implementing the following projects under the different framework and individual agreements:
- Croatia - Implementing the Barnahus model in Croatia
- Finland – Ensure child-friendly justice through effective operation of the Barnahus-units in Finland
- Finland - Building an inclusive integration approach in Finland
- Italy - Supporting an efficient national mechanism of recognition of refugees' qualifications
- Italy - Reinforcing multi-level policy coordination for integration in Italy
- Ireland - Support the implementation of the Barnahus model in Ireland
- Malta - Supporting Malta in the design and implementation of a new National Anti-Trafficking Strategy
- Slovenia - Ensuring the best interests of the child in civil court proceedings in Slovenia
- Spain - Strengthening child-friendly justice through effective co-operation and coordination among different Barnahus-type services in the regions of Spain
- Croatia - Digital by default: Optimization of efficiency and quality of judicial services and transparency of judicial decisions
- Bulgaria - Establishing a balanced workload distribution in the judicial system
- Latvia – Strengthening access to justice in Latvia through fostering mediation and legal aid services (Phase II)
- Malta - Attorney General and State Advocate in Malta – Implementation of action plan of offices re-organization
Fight against Economic Crime
- Austria - Enhancing quality of public administration and cooperation, prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing
- Bulgaria - Enhancing the capabilities for risk-based AML supervision and financial intelligence in Bulgaria
- France - Development of FIU’s expertise focused on digital finance and virtual assets
- Lithuania - Strengthening risk-based AML/CFT supervision in Lithuania
- Poland - Strengthening the risk assessment mechanisms and the AML/CFT strategic analysis function of the Polish Financial Intelligence Unit
- Multiple Countries - Effective implementation of the sanctions regime and enhanced cross-border cooperation in EU Member States
Governance and Public Administration
- Cyprus – Building structures for intercultural integration in Cyprus
- Bulgaria - Developing fiscal decentralisation and improving local financial management in Bulgaria
- Finland - Delivering good governance and balanced local economy in Finland
- Hungary - Local government public finance development and municipal capacity building in Hungary
The Technical Support Instrument (TSI) is the EU programme that provides tailor-made technical expertise to EU Member States to design and implement reforms in a broad range of areas, such as green and digital transition, diversity, public and private finance, migration, business environment, health, Rule of Law and education. The support is demand driven and does not require co-financing from Member States.
On 12 May 2023, on the occasion of the 3rd Technical Support Instrument annual conference, the Commission launched a new call within the Technical Support Instrument (TSI) 2024 cycle.
“We are grateful to DG REFORM for reinforcing the co-operation with the Council of Europe. The framework agreements we have together put in place, allow the Council of Europe to deliver concrete results together with the European Commission and the respective EU member States. Through this work we enhance jointly our member States’ capacity to carry out structural reforms in the field of rule of law, human rights protection, and democratic governance. These programmes have already produced tangible results for our citizens. We are looking forward to further contribute to change in key areas where we have a particular added value.”
Claus Neukirch, Director of Programme Co-ordination
“Our valuable cooperation with the Council of Europe strives for more effective and efficient reforms in the European Member States. In particular the work in the areas of justice, governance in central and local administration, anti-corruption and anti-money laundering allowed us to launch more structural and sustainable reforms” - Mario Nava, Director General of DG REFORM.