Review meeting on EU-CoE Horizontal Facility Actions in Montenegro

Podgorica, 11 May 2017. The first meeting to review the implementation of the joint programme of the European Union and Council of Europe “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey” (Horizontal Facility) was organised in Podgorica on 10 May 2017, on the eve of the 10th anniversary of Montenegro’s accession to the Council of Europe. The three-year Horizontal Facility (May 2016 – May 2019) aims to assist authorities in South-East Europe in achieving greater compliance with European standards in three key areas: ensuring justice, fighting economic crime as well as anti-discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups. The Horizontal Facility has a budget of 25 million euros, of which 20 million euros has been provided by the European Union and 5 million euros by the Council of Europe.

The meeting provided a platform for discussions on the implementation of the six Horizontal Facility Actions in Montenegro, namely Enhancing human rights protection for detained and sentenced persons in Montenegro, Fighting ill-treatment and impunity and enhancing the application of ECtHR case-law on the national level (FILL), Accountability of the judicial system in Montenegro, Action against economic erime in Montenegro, Strengthen integrity and combat corruption in higher education and Fostering a democratic school culture in Montenegro. The total funding envelope for these Actions amounts to 3.1 million euros.

The meeting was opened by Ambassador Zoran Janković, Acting State Secretary for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro, Ms Verena Taylor, Director of the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes, Council of Europe and Ambassador Aivo Orav, Head of Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro, who emphasised the importance of the Horizontal Facility in the context of the EU accession negotiations.

Representatives of key beneficiary institutions attended the meeting, including Mr Dragoljub Drašković, President of the Constitutional Court, Ms Vesna Medenica, President of the Supreme Court, as well as senior representatives of the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education, and the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption, who – together with representatives of the European Union and Council of Europe – demonstrated the constructive co-operation between the partner institutions in Montenegro, the European Union, and the Council of Europe in the implementation of the programme.

More information on the Horizontal Facility is available here.