South Programme I (January 2012 - December 2014)

"Strengthening democratic reform in the southern Neighbourhood"

In 2012, based on their established long-lasting partnership, the Council of Europe and the European Union launched a new joint initiative, the South Programme I, with the objective to support the Southern Mediterranean region (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine* and Tunisia) in the process of its democratic reforms, tackling challenges related to human rights, the rule of law and democracy.


South Programme II (January 2015 - February 2018)

"Towards strengthened democratic governance in the southern Mediterranean"

Building on the success and lessons learned from the South Programme I, the South Programme II further promoted the creation of a common legal space between both shores of the Mediterranean by supporting beneficiaries in their accession to Council of Europe instruments and enabling the progressive harmonisation of their legislation with European standards, based on their demand.


South Programme III (March 2018 - February 2020)

"Ensuring Sustainable Democratic Governance and Human Rights in the southern Mediterranean"

The South Programme III aimed at ensuring the sustainability of earlier results by further contributing to reinforcing human rights, the rule of law and democracy in the Southern Mediterranean region based on European and other international standards and following a demand-driven approach. With the transversal priority of combating violence against women, the programme focused on raising-awareness on European standards and practices, and providing institutional support and capacity building to relevant stakeholders in the area.


South Programme IV (March 2020 - August 2022)

"Regional Support to Reinforce Human rights, Rule of Law and Democracy in the southern Mediterranean"

The South Programme IV in continuity with the three previous phases of the programme will continue to support the ongoing democratic reforms and their successful completion. To reach its objectives, this phase of the programme will place an even greater emphasis on regional co-operation, which is fundamental in achieving sustainable, peaceful and resilient societies, where strong democratic systems are anchored in independent rule of law, human rights standards and good governance building. In particular, it will strengthen its actions on preventing and combating violence against women and girls and on combating economic crime, not only by working at country level, but also by focusing on the regional dimension of the issue.



* This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of Council of Europe and European Union member States on this issue.