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 several comprehensive co-operation agreements to promote human rights, the rule of law and democracy.
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.
Total budget: €41 million (May 2019 – May 2022) for co-operation activities with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia, Republic of North Macedonia and Türkiye. The first phase had a budget €25 million (May 2016-May 2019). The programme is co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.
*All references to Kosovo, whether the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations' Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.
The programme "Protecting human rights, the rule of law and democracy through shared standards in the Southern Mediterranean" (South Programme V) has a total budget of € 5,556,000 (2022-2025) for co-operation activities in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine** and Tunisia. The programme is co-funded by the European Union (90%) and the Council of Europe (10%) and implemented by the Council of Europe.
**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.
The "Central Asia Rule of Law Programme” (2020-2023), with a total budget of €8.9 million, covers all five countries of the region – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – and is in line with the Council of Europe Policy for Neighbourhood Regions.
The European Commission’s DG REFORM (formerly SRSS) supports growth-enhancing reforms by mobilising EU funds and expertise. DG REFORM and the CoE have in 2019 increased their cooperation and concluded a Framework Agreement to support reforms based on CoE standards and expertise. The main aim of the Agreement is structural reform implementation in EU Member States in judicial, institutional and other administrative domains.
DG Reform EU web page (CoE page will be available soon)
2021 CoE contributions by Donors
- €207.4 million: Global financial volume of EU/CoE Joint Programmes active in 2021
- Co-funded by EU at 86.7%, by CoE at 13.3%
- 15 new Joint Programmes negotiated in 2021 for a total of €23.3 million