Presentation of the HELP online course in Macedonian language

North Macedonia 23 February 2021
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Presentation of the HELP online course in Macedonian language

Lawyers, legal professionals, and also citizens interested in the field of fighting discrimination and protecting human rights from North Macedonia attended the online presentation of the new HELP Course on Anti-Discrimination in North Macedonia. An initiative of the action “Promotion of Diversity and Equality in North Macedonia” and the European Programme for Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) in the framework of the European Union and Council of Europe joint programme "Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey 2019-2022", this online course aims to provide a detailed, yet easily accessible, educational resource to promote the understanding among legal and other professionals in respect of the international and European standards in the field of non-discrimination.

During the online presentation, the participants were welcomed by Ms Lejla Dersvisagic, Head of Operations of the Council of Europe Programme Office in Skopje: “We see a growing interest for more anti-discrimination activities and the need to strengthen the efforts and cooperation with all relevant actors in order to move forward with the reforms in the field of nondiscrimination in line with the international and European standards.”

Ms Sanja Frkovic Gelevska, Programme Manager from the EU Delegation to Skopje addressed the European framework for nondiscrimination, which is in the core of human rights. “Solid legal ground is only the beginning, and the European Commission gave itself three more goals to ensure promotion and protection from discrimination: 1) uniformed implementation of the laws of the EU; 2) support to the effective policies in the fight against discrimination and 3) activities for change in the opinions and attitudes. “

Mr Ljubomir Mihajlovski, the President of the BAR Association of North Macedonia talked about the strong collaboration with the Council of Europe and its HELP programme, adding that these courses create a new European spirit, new knowledge and information is being spread, which could be transferred to the new generations that can bring changes in life and in the overall society.

Representatives from our main partners in this activity, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry for Labour and Social Policy also supported the event and confirmed their commitment to the fight against discrimination and the reforms in this area.

The event was joined by Mr Jovan Ilievski Judge in respect of North Macedonia in the ECHR, who acquainted the participants with the work of the European Court for Human Rights (EChRT) in combating discrimination. “Article 14 forbids discrimination based on race, colour, language, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property or birth”, said Judge Ilievski, stressing that ECHR also takes in consideration whether the same principles were applied in different situations or if different principles were applied in same situations and examines the reasons for these decisions.”

In her remarks, Ms Elena Mihajlova Stratilati, ECRI member in respect of North Macedonia, focused on ECRI’s monitoring work and the key ECRI recommendations on North Macedonia stating that the national legislative for protection and prevention from discrimination is necessary for an effective fight against discrimination.

With the support of EU and Council of Europe joint programme Horizontal Facility II, the HELP Course on Anti-Discrimination is now available in Macedonian as part of the e-learning platform - Human Rights Education for Legal Professionals (HELP) Programme of the Council of Europe – covering more then 36 online courses in the field of human rights.

The HELP course on anti-discrimination can be accessed for free online and the participants who successfully complete the course will receive HELP certificates issued by the Council of Europe.

What is the Horizontal Facility II?

The European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (Horizontal Facility II) 2019-2022 is a co-operation initiative of the European Union and Council of Europe for the Western Balkans and Turkey. It is one of the results of the Statement of Intent signed on 1 April 2014 by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe and the European Union Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, in which both Organisations agreed to further strengthen their co-operation in key areas of joint interest.

The first phase of the programme included various Beneficiary-specific and regional initiatives and ran from 2016 to 2019. The second phase of the programme (worth €41 million between 2019 and 2022) keeps building on the results of the phase I and broadens the thematic areas to new topics crucial for the Western Balkans region and Turkey – freedom of expression and media.

The second phase of the programme covers Actions in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia as well as Turkey and the regional dimension of the programme is strengthened. The Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism that provides legislative expertise and policy advice within the Council of Europe system remains an important part of the programme available to all Beneficiaries.


How long will the Horizontal Facility II last?

The Horizontal Facility is a three-year programme, which is being implemented by the Council of Europe from May 2019 over a period of 36 months. 


How much will the Horizontal Facility II cost?

The envelope of this facility amounts to ca. 41 Million EUR (85% funded by the EU, 15% by the CoE).


What will the Horizontal Facility II do?

The Horizontal Facility enables the Beneficiaries to meet their reform agendas in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy and to comply with the European standards, including where relevant within the framework of the EU enlargement process. The Horizontal Facility relies on the Council of Europe’s unique working methods, whereby tailor-made technical co-operation activities are based on conclusions and recommendations of the Council of Europe’s monitoring bodies highlight areas where improvements are needed in legislation and policies of the Beneficiaries to comply with the Organisation’s treaties and other standards.

Themes covered by the Horizontal Facility include:

  • Ensuring justice;
  • Fighting economic crime;
  • Combating discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups (including LGBTI, minorities, Roma and victims of trafficking in human beings) and
  • Freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

All the themes are key priorities of the two Organisations in the Western Balkans region and Turkey.

All Horizontal Facility actions address cross-cutting issues such as gender mainstreaming, protection of minorities and vulnerable groups and foresees the engagement of civil society organisations in the implementation of the Horizontal Facility.

This website has been produced using funds of a Joint Project between the European Union and the Council of Europe. The views expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Union or the Council of Europe.

*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.