Back Empowering Legal Professionals from North Macedonia to safeguard journalists and freedom of expression

Gevgelija 29 March 2024
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Empowering Legal Professionals from North Macedonia to safeguard journalists and freedom of expression

To uphold the principles of freedom of expression and protection of journalists, a capacity-building initiative was organised in Gevgelija gathering legal professionals from various backgrounds including judges, prosecutors, and lawyers. They worked together during the three-day training course towards building their capacities as trainers and aligning their practices with the European standards and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights.

Under the guidance of leading consultants of the Council of Europe, the training sessions blended actual case studies with interactive discussions. Participants delved into the complexities of Article 10 of the European Convention for Human Rights, exploring strategies to address the underlying principles and conditions for limitations on the freedom of expression, defamation and insult, hate speech and threats faced by journalists while upholding the values of democracy. By utlising specific peer-to-peer training methodology, legal experts are not only enhancing their capacities as future trainers but also contributing to a democratic society by applying European standards on freedom of expression and freedom of the media in the domestic context.

During the 3 days they had the opportunity to get equipped with a deeper understanding of legal principles and practical tools, to transfer further their knowledge to their peers and uphold the fundamental right to freedom of expression, ensuring that democratic values remain robust and resilient in North Macedonia.

This activity was organised under the joint European Union and the Council of Europe action “Protecting freedom of expression and of the media in North Macedonia” (PRO-FREX), which is a part of the programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye.


Horizontal Facility III

The joint European Union and Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye” (Horizontal Facility III) is a co-operation initiative, running from 2023 until 2026.

The programme covers actions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Türkiye. It enables the Beneficiaries to meet their reform agendas in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy and to comply with European standards, which is also a priority for the EU enlargement process.

The third phase of the programme is worth €41 million (85% funded by the European Union, 15% by the Council of Europe).

This website was produced with the financial support of the European Union and the Council of Europe. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of either party.

*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.