Montenegro benefits from co-operation initiatives implemented by the Council of Europe which have been supporting progress with its reform agenda to further comply with the obligations of Council of Europe membership and European Union standards in the framework of the EU accession process. The Council of Europe is represented in Montenegro by the Council of Europe Programme Office in Podgorica which was established for local implementation of the projects and ensures co-ordination between the Council of Europe headquarters and national, and international partners in the field.
Co-operation activities are currently being implemented to support the reform process in the following key areas: the reform of judiciary and human rights protection, the fight against economic crime, anti-discrimination including minority rights, education, and freedom of expression and freedom of the media. Six actions are currently being implemented within the third phase of the European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Türkiye, which assists the Beneficiaries in addressing the Council of Europe’s monitoring and advisory bodies’ recommendations and relevant European Union accession priorities. Under the Horizontal Facility, support to the judiciary includes interventions focusing on the accountability of the judicial system and protection of victims’ rights. In the area of prisons, the action focuses on human rights protection for detained and sentenced persons. Corruption, money laundering and the financing of terrorism are being addressed through the strengthening of national institutional capacities. Support is provided to the authorities to improve legislation relating to anti-discrimination, to combat hatred and intolerance. Additionally, actions of the programme allow for the promotion of a democratic school culture and strengthening the quality of education. In the field of freedom of expression, the Council of Europe supports increasing the awareness and effective application of media actors’ rights by the judiciary and law enforcement in accordance with European standards, as well as strengthening the legal and policy framework of freedom of expression and of media. Montenegro also plays a substantial role in the regional actions of the Horizontal Facility focusing on the following areas: achieving quality and sustainability of justice through the Council of Europe flagship initiative based on CEPEJ methodology “Dashboard – Western Balkans II”, the fight against economic crime, promotion of diversity and equality, as well as freedom of expression and freedom of the media. Additional regional actions focus on enhancing regional co-operation in managing violent extremism in prisons and strengthening women’s access to justice.
Moreover, Montenegro also benefits from three additional European Union/Council of Europe regional Joint Programmes in South-East Europe. The capacity of the authorities to search, seize and confiscate cybercrime proceeds, prevent money laundering on the Internet and secure internet evidence is further reinforced through the second phase of the regional programme iPROCEEDS 2, while support in promoting good governance and Roma empowerment at a local level is streamlined through the second phase of the ROMACTED regional programme. In addition, the recently signed Joint Programme on Roma integration, which will begin in May 2023, further enlarged the scope of this intervention in the region. Lastly, the regional HELP in the Western Balkans funded by the Human Rights Trust Fund aims to enhance the capacities and skills of legal professionals for the effective application of European standards in human rights.
Through the implementation of the aforementioned programmes and actions, the Council of Europe has contributed to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), notably SDG 3 (target 8), SDG 4 (targets 1, 5 and 7), SDG 5 (targets 1, 2, and c), SDG 10 (targets 2 and 3), SDG 15 (target 7) and SDG 16 (targets 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, a and b).
More information: Overview of the Council of Europe Contribution to the UN 2030 Agenda.