On 18 September 2018, the Council of Europe and European Union launched the “South Programme III: Ensuring sustainable democratic governance and human rights in the Southern Mediterranean” in Strasbourg. This programme will build on the results from the past two programmes, and will have a new added objective to combat violence against women.
The South Programme III (2018-2020) has a budget of 3 million euros and is funded 90% by the European Union and 10% by the Council of Europe as the organisation in charge of its implementation.
The launch event was opened by Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni; Verena Taylor, Director of the Office of the Directorate General of Programmes of the Council of Europe, Katrin Kivi, Permanent Representative of Estonia to the Council of Europe and chairperson of the Rapporteur Group on External Relations of the Committee of Ministers, and a representative of the European Union. Khalid Afkir, General Consul of Morocco and Mohamed Trabelsi, Consul of Tunisia will also make opening remarks.
The South Programme III is open to Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine,* and Tunisia. The co-operation is driven by demand and is responsive to local and regional needs.
The co-operation will build on the achievements of South Programme II (2015-2017) which accompanied beneficiaries in the progressive creation of a common legal space through the development of new legislation and democratic governance structures, strengthening the institutional capacities of national bodies and fostering regional, inter-parliamentary and inter-governmental co-operation.
*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.
The South Programme III is a joint programme of the Council of Europe and the European Union, financed by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.