Eastern Partnership Facility
The Council of Europe and the European Union developed a programme – officially known as a 'Facility' – to carry out cooperation activities on democracy, good governance and stability in the EU Eastern Partnership countries. With European Union funding of €4.8 million, the Facility ran from March 2011 until December 2014. This website is an archive of the work that was carried out through this programme which has now finished.
The Facility has been followed by the Programmatic Cooperation Framework for Eastern Partnership countries (PCF) which will be implemented in two phases: 2015‑2017 and 2018-2020.
The aim of the Facility was to provide support to reform processes in the six EU partner countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus) and bring them closer to Council of Europe and European Union standards in core areas such as public administration and electoral standards; judicial reform; fighting cybercrime and corruption, and promoting good governance.
It provided a framework for addressing issues raised by Council of Europe monitoring and advisory bodies, for mobilising expertise and peer advice, and for facilitating exchanges of best practice among participating countries. It sustained the momentum for the process of reform in each country and provide technical assistance and advice through regional co-operation and activities organised at a multilateral level. It was divided into four projects:
Project 1: Supporting electoral standards
The Facility supported partner countries in the areas of pre-electoral assistance, professionalism of election observers, women’s participation in political and public life, raising young voter awareness, establishment of voters’ lists and registers, settlement of electoral disputes, which ensured interaction between electoral management bodies.
- improved electoral process organisation;
- reinforced the roles of the Central Election Commissions and electoral administrations;
- strengthened NGOs involved in observing elections by improving the professionalism of local observers;
- created a network promoting voter participation and critical attitudes toward campaigns and the electoral process.
More information can be found on the electoral standards project page
Project 2: Enhancing judicial reform
The Facility supported judicial reform by promoting best practices amongst the judiciary in EaP countries. For example, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova moved closer to Council of Europe standards by amending their legislation on judicial self-governing bodies and judges’ status and training.
- analysed legislation and practices of independent, professional and efficient judiciaries;
- addressed deficiencies in each participating country;
- created a regional network of judicial and legal professionals;
- prepared four reports on the following topics;
- the independence of the judiciary and individual judges;
- the role of the bar, access to the legal profession, lawyer training and ethical standards, and disciplinary proceedings against lawyers;
- initial and on going training for judges;
- the efficiency and performance of the judicial system.
More information can be found the enhancing judicial reform project page.
Project 3: Support measures against serious forms of cybercrime
The Facility helped criminal justice authorities fight cybercrime and bring partner countries in line with European and international instruments and practices, including the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.
The partner countries:
- defined priorities in the fight against cybercrime;
- assessed strategies for cybercrime prevention and criminal justice;
- prioritised activities to ensure a comprehensive response to cybercrime and other offences involving electronic evidence;
- participated more actively in anti-cybercrime efforts.
- provided tools to combat cybercrime and gave advice on strengthening the legal framework;
- assessed legal provisions for compliance with international standards, in particular the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime;
- identified legislative deficiencies and encouraged partner countries to undertake reforms;
- discussed legislation, public and private information sharing and analysis, obstacles to effective investigation (such as criminal money flows on the Internet), co-operation between law enforcement and Internet service providers, and the use of specialised high-tech crime units;
- improved international co-operation and efficiency of 24/7 points of contact in all partner countries, as they are parties to the Budapest Convention.
More information can be found on the cybercrime project page
Project 4: Good governance and the fight against corruption
The Facility supported good governance and reinforced the public administration and criminal justice sectors in the fight against corruption.
- developed anti-corruption policy and strategy;
- published an anti-corruption policy handbook;
- reviewed money-laundering cases in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine;
- provided expertise for the National Action Plan (Pilot Azerbaijan);
- provided expertise for the Anti-Corruption State Programme (Pilot Ukraine);
- developed e-governance methodology (Pilot Azerbaijan);
- assessed a political finance draft law and prepared it for submission to Parliament (Pilot Republic of Moldova);
- assessed corruption risks and drafted a risk assessment typology study;
- developed training manuals on economic crime and legal personnel liability;
- drafted a manual on verifying asset declarations;
- drafted training materials and trained ethics instructors;
- trained civil servants on prevention of corruption (including for Belarus).
More information can be found on the good governance and fight against corruption project page.
A CoE EaP Facility Steering Committee was created and enabled all the main partners involved (i.e. the CoE, the EU and the national authorities) to be provided with updated information on the projects’ implementation progress and to assess the impact of the CoE EaP Facility’s projects in the targeted areas.
The mission of the CoE EaP Facility Steering Committee was to assess and guide the CoE EaP Facility’s projects’ implementation, in order to: ensure that the deliverables meet the requirements which were set for the CoE EaP Facility, advise on decisions on the requirements for the CoE EaP Facility’s projects, assess the monitoring and audit results, and supervise a communication campaign following the visibility guidelines concerning, notably, acknowledgement of EU financing.
The CoE EaP Facility Steering Committee was composed of: European Union representatives, CoE EaP Facility National Co-ordinators for each EaP country and the CoE MAE’s involved in the CoE EaP Facility’s projects.
Three CoE EaP Facility Steering Committee meetings were organised during the last implementation period, with the aim of evaluating the CoE EaP Facility’s projects’ implementation, assessing the results achieved, reviewing and adjusting (if necessary) the work log frame for the CoE EaP Facility’s projects’ implementation.
The final CoE EaP Facility Steering Committee Meeting was held on 27 October in Brussels. The aim of this Meeting was to provide key stakeholders with updated information on the CoE EaP Facility implementation results and achievements for the period June - October 2014, and more importantly, to provide an overall and comprehensive assessment of the CoE EaP Facility’s results and achievements (2011-2014).