The European Union (EU) is a main political and financial partner of the Council of Europe co-operation activities. A very close partnership has been built up over more than two decades to support activities founded on common values and goals in order to advance human rights, democracy and rule of law in Europe and beyond. The strategic approach to this partnership was strengthened by the signature of the “Statement of Intent for the co-operation between the Council of Europe and the European Commission in the EU enlargement region and the Eastern Partnership and Southern Mediterranean countries (EU Neighbourhood region)” in April 2014.
The Council of Europe and the European Commission have signed three comprehensive co-operation agreements to promote human rights, the rule of law and democracy:
Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey (HF), with a total budget: €25 million (May 2016-May 2019) for co-operation activities with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia, Republic of North Macedonia and Turkey. The 2nd Phase is under negotiation with the foreseen budget of €41 million (May 2019 – May 2022)
Partnership for Good Governance (PGG), Phase II, has a total budget of €17.5 million (2019-2021) for co-operation activities with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus. The first phase had a budget of €36 million for 2015-2018.
Ensuring Sustainable Democratic Governance and Human Rights in the Southern Mediterranean (South Programme III) has the total budget of €3.3 million (March 2018-February 2020) for co-operation activities in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine** and Tunisia. It is complemented by two European Union/Council of Europe Joint Programmes for Tunisia amounting to approx. €10.5 million, launched in January 2019. The South Programme II (2015-2017) had the budget of €7.4 million.
This framework of co-operation allows for increased co-ordination of actions and ensures more predictable and flexible long-term Council of Europe/European Union engagement.
The co-operation agreements are based on the Council of Europe “triangle” of standard-setting, monitoring and technical co-operation where applicable.
*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.
**This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of Council of Europe member States on this issue.