What is the Horizontal Facility?

The Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (Horizontal Facility) is a three-year programme funded by the European Union and Council of Europe.

The initiative focuses on three themes: ensuring justice, fighting economic crime as well as combating discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups. It aims at assisting 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 will cover actions of the Council of Europe in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, North 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.



*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.


The Council of Europe is currently implementing the actions “Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Human Beings” in Serbia and North Macedonia as part of the European Union and Council of Europe programmatic framework “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey”. The projects support the national authorities in preventing and combating trafficking in human beings, by addressing the legislation, policy and practice in particular fields.

The actions intend to address the following objectives:

  • Improve detection and identification of, and assistance to, victims of trafficking in human beings for the purpose of labour exploitation by enhancing the adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach
  • Strengthen the framework for effective access to compensation for victims of trafficking
  • Facilitate safe return and reintegration of victims of trafficking

The actions started on 1 October 2016 and will finish on 23 May 2019.

 Action on trafficking in human beings in Serbia (also available in Serbian)

 Action on trafficking in human beings in North Macedonia (also available in Macedonian)