Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey
On 11 April 2016, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, and the European Union’s Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, announced a new co-operation initiative of the two organisations aimed at supporting South-East Europe and Turkey in their efforts to comply with European standards. The initiative is called the European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey (Horizontal Facility). It is a three-year programme (May 2016 – May 2019), focusing on three themes: ensuring justice, fighting corruption, economic crime and organised crime; as well as combating discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups. It has a budget of €25 million, of which €20 million has been provided by the European Union and €5 million by the Council of Europe.
Through the Horizontal Facility, the European Union and the Council of Europe will assist beneficiary countries to comply with Council of Europe standards and the European Union acquis in the framework of the enlargement process, through a complementary two-fold approach of technical co-operation and the provision of expertise. 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, which highlight areas where improvements are needed in legislation and policies of the beneficiaries to comply with the Organisation’s treaties and other standards.
The actions that are being implemented in Albania are listed hereunder.
- Strengthening the Quality and Efficiency of Justice in Albania (SEJ2)
- Action against Economic Crime
- Fighting Bullying and Extremism in the Education System in Albania
- Enhancing the Protection of Human Rights of Prisoners in Albania
- Supporting Effective Domestic Remedies and Facilitating the Execution of ECtHR Judgments (D-REX)
- Preventing and Combating Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in Albania
- Strengthening the Protection of National Minorities in Albania
- Strengthening Local Government Structures in Albania
- Reinforcing Judicial Expertise on Freedom of Expression and the Media in South-East Europe (JUFREX)
- Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Albanian System of Human Rights Protection and Anti-discrimination
- ROMACTED: Promoting Good Governance and Roma Empowerment at Local Level