The Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey (2016-2019), joint programme of the European Union and the Council of Europe, has been developed as a co-operation initiative to assist Beneficiaries in the Western Balkans and Turkey to comply with European standards and, where relevant, the European Union acquis in the framework of the enlargement process.

The first phase of the programme was implemented as a three-year programme worth 25 million EUR and 36 actions have been implemented in this period. The programme has been focused on three themes:

  • Ensuring justice;
  • Fighting corruption, economic crime and organised crime;
  • Combating discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups.

The Horizontal Facility Beneficiaries during this period were Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, while Turkey’s involvement was limited to selected regional activities. All Beneficiaries were able to use the Expertise Co-ordination Mechanism, through which the Council of Europe has been providing legislative expertise and policy advice in response to requests.


*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.