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Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022: “Improved procedural safeguards in criminal proceedings in Montenegro”

The rule of law, respect for human rights and democratic governance are at the heart of the EU accession process. To support reform processes in these areas, the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe (CoE) have been closely cooperating in the Western Balkans and Turkey through the Horizontal Facility for many years.

Access to justice is an integral part of the rule of law and an important prerequisite for the protection and promotion of all other human rights. This project facilitates equal access to justice for everyone and contributes to further alignment of procedural rights of suspects, accused persons and victims in criminal proceedings with EU legislation and relevant case-law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). It also seeks to reinforce judicial dialogue in the field of human rights, specifically focusing on the issues of violence against women, prohibition of ill-treatment and the right to personal freedom and security.

One of the project objectives is to improve the free legal aid system with a view to ensuring access to free legal services for vulnerable and marginalised groups. In close cooperation with law schools, the project supports human rights education of new generations of legal professionals through human rights legal clinics.

More about the Horizontal Facility Programme

The first phase of the programme ran from 2016 to 2019, while the second phase covers the period from 2019 to 2022. The total value of the facility is approximately €41 million (85% funded by the EU, 15% by the CoE). In the first phase of the programme, there were six beneficiary-specific actions for Montenegro, with a total budget of €3.33 million. In the second phase, €4.7 million have been allocated for seven actions, covering all the key areas of the Horizontal Facility such as: justice reform, human rights protection, prison and police reform, fight against economic crime, fight against discrimination and inclusive education.

Project name:

Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022: “Improved procedural safeguards in criminal proceedings in Montenegro”


Start time:


End time:







Council of Europe (CoE)
Partners: Association of Law Students of Montenegro (ELSA), Women’s Rights Centre (WRC), SOS telephone for women and children victims of violence Podgorica, NGO Juventas

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Additonal materials:


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