What is the Horizontal Facility?
The European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (Horizontal Facility) is a co-operation initiative of the European Union and Council of Europe for South East Europe. It is 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 Horizontal Facility will cover actions of the Council of Europe in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” as well as Kosovo*. Turkey will not be recipient of technical assistance but may benefit under this Facility from the Council of Europe legislative expertise under the Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism.
How long will the Horizontal Facility last?
The Horizontal Facility is a three-year programme, which is being implemented by the Council of Europe from May 2016 over a period of 36 months.
How much will the Horizontal Facility cost?
The envelope of this facility amounts to 25 Million EUR (80% funded by the EU, 20% by the CoE).
What will the Horizontal Facility do?
Through the Horizontal Facility, the European Union and the Council of Europe will assist beneficiaries in South-East Europe to comply with Council of Europe standards and European Union acquis in the framework of the enlargement process. 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.
Themes covered by the Horizontal Facility include:
- Ensuring justice;
- Fighting economic crime;
- Combating discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups (including LGBTI, minorities and Roma).
All the themes are key priorities of the two Organisations in the Western Balkans region.
All Horizontal Facility actions will address cross-cutting issues such as gender mainstreaming, protection of minorities and vulnerable groups and foresees the engagement of civil society organisations in the implementation of the Horizontal Facility.
* 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.