This action offers assistance in improving the record of fighting discrimination, hate speech and hate crime in North Macedonia Combating discrimination and hate speech are essential in protecting human rights and are also very closely connected to the EU assession processes. This action offers unique approach to tackling these areas and supports the strengthening the capacity of the key beneficiaries and stakeholders to better address issues related to anti-discrimination, combating hate speech and protecting rights of LGBTI persons in line with the standards and recommendations set by the Council of Europe – especially those of the European Commission on Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), as well as to support North Macedonia's alignment to European standards in the field of fundamental rights.

What are the objectives of the action?

The main objectives of the action are:

  1. To support institutions’ efforts and reforms to develop harmonised institutional approach to tackle discrimination and hate speech
  2. To increase the awareness of the general population in North Macedonia regarding the dangers of hate speech and the different tools that can be used to prevent and combat it

Who benefits from the action?

Public institutions and related actors in the field in North Macedonia will benefit from the technical assistance and raising awareness initiatives, so they can contribute towards improving the anti-discrimination policies, and policies addressing hate speech and hate crime, as well as its redress mechanisms.

The action final beneficiaries are the people of North Macedonia and the vulnerable communities such as LGBTI, smaller ethnic groups,  etc., whose protection of human rights will be improved.

How will the action work?

The action builds on the work done and results achieved under the previous phase of the Horizontal Facility programme in line with the focussed points in the field of racism and intolerance in Europe as outlined in the Annual Reports of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).

The action provides capacity building initiatives adapting existing tools and methodologies of the Council of Europe, technical support as part of North Macedonia’s EU accession process, and awareness raising on combatting discrimination and promoting diversity towards youth and the general population

The action is working with Government representatives in charge of combating discrimination and hate speech; Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination; law enforcement officials, judiciary and legal professionals and civil society organizations and youth activists.

What do we expect to achieve?

  • Public institutions improve their record of reforms to combat discrimination, hatred and racism in line with European standards

  • Equality Bodies and relevant institutions in North Macedonia improve their capacity in combating discrimination in line with ECRI standards and recommendations and EU anti-racism action plan.

  • North Macedonia’s central and local level institutions improve the fight against hate speech and hate crime and strengthens victims’ protection

  • The people in North Macedonia and in particular vulnerable groups are more aware of the dangers of hate and racism to cohesion of societies and the way to address them.

What is the budget of the action?

The total budget of the actions is 450,000 Euros.

The budget allocated to the overall Horizontal Facility programme amounts to ca. 41 million EUR (85% funded by the European Union, 15% by the Council of Europe)


About the Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye

The “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” is a joint initiative of the European Union and the Council of Europe that enables the Western Balkans Beneficiaries and Türkiye to meet their reform agendas in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy and to comply with the European standards, which is also a priority for the EU enlargement process.



Duration: 48 months (January 2023 to December 2026)

Beneficiaries :

► Citizens of North Macedonia

► Public institutions, especially equality bodies

► Law enforcement, public prosecutors and judiciary sector
► Civil society organisations engaged in promoting and protecting human rights

Funding: The European Union and the Council of Europe

Budget: 450,000 Euros


Marija Andreeva                  Project Officer                               +389 2 3100 322                      contact