Montenegro benefits from co-operation initiatives implemented by the Council of Europe which have been supporting progress on its reform agenda to further comply with Council of Europe and European Union standards in the framework of the EU accession process.
Co-operation activities are currently being implemented to support the reform process in the following key areas: the judiciary, 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 second phase of the European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey (2019-2022), in continuation of the results achieved under the first phase of the programme (2016-2019). Under the Horizontal Facility, support to the judiciary includes interventions focusing on the accountability of the judicial system and improvement of procedural safeguards in judicial proceedings. 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 strengthening the national institutional capacities. Support is provided to the authorities to improve legislation relating to anti-discrimination, to combat hate speech and promote equality. Additionally, actions of the programme allow for promotion of a democratic school culture and the quality of education. In the field of freedom of expression, authorities, media actors and regulatory authorities benefit from awareness raising and capacity development while the Council of Europe also provides expertise to align media legislation with European Standards.
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”, legal certainty, 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 addressing radicalisation in prisons, human rights education for legal professionals (HELP) and the evaluation of the results of judicial reforms.
Moreover, Montenegro is a beneficiary of two additional European Union/Council of Europe regional Joint Programmes in South East Europe: "Promoting Good Governance and Roma Empowerment at Local Level (ROMACTED)" and "Targeting crime proceeds on the internet in South Eastern Europe and Turkey, iPROCEEDS".
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.