The South Programme II (2015-2017): focus on democratic governance
Programme's objectives: ambitious but realistic and measurable
The overall objective of the South programme II is to contribute to reinforcing human rights, the rule of law and democracy in the Southern Mediterranean partner countries in accordance with European and other international standards, based on a demand-driven approach.
The South Programme is more specifically aiming to:
- Support constitutional processes in the Southern Mediterranean countries, the development of new legislation and the setting-up and functioning of human rights institutions and democratic governance structures.
- Promote the creation and the consolidation of a common legal space between Europe and the Southern Mediterranean by raising awareness on key Council of Europe conventions and other European and international standards as well as to strengthen human rights, good governance and democratic values in the Southern Mediterranean region.
- Promote the exchange of best practices between Europe and countries of the Southern Mediterranean region and within the region with a view to supporting and consolidating on-going democratic reform processes, in particular through the creation of formal and informal networks.
Expected results of the South Programme II: from activities to long-term impact
- Improved level of compliance of new/revised partner countries legislation in the fields of human rights, the rule of law and democracy with European and other international standards;
- Strengthened institutional capacities for new/existing democratic governance structures, the judiciary, human rights institutions and democratically-elected representative bodies in the Southern Mediterranean, thereby ensuring endorsement of democratic reforms by them and sustainability of key programme’s outputs
- Enhanced level of intergovernmental and interparliamentary cooperation in the field of human rights, the rule of law and democracy between the two shores of the Mediterranean;
- Consolidation and expansion of the common legal space between Europe and the South Mediterranean through the progressive accession by partner countries to Council of Europe conventions, thereby strengthening human rights, the rule of law and democracy in the region.
- Enhanced level of regional cooperation through the creation of and/or support to formal and informal networks linking the two shores of the Mediterranean and/or countries of the Southern Mediterranean region and focusing on the exchange of best practices in the field of human rights, the rule of law and democracy.
Flexibility and delivery of expertise through the demand-driven approach
Following the requests from participating countries the South Programme is exploring to its full potential the transfer of expertise “from East to South” along with the exchange of best practices and transfer of expertise “North-South” and “South-South”. The South Programme II brings on board the specific Council of Europe experience from the transitional democratic processes in Central and Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. The Organisation possesses a unique experience in accompanying the transition to democracy processes and the establishment of democratic institutions across Central and Eastern Europe.
Therefore the Council of Europe is well placed to continue spreading in the Southern Mediterranean values that both the European Union and Council of Europe member states consider to be universal. Besides, the Council of Europe will continue to adapt its intervention to the specificities of the ongoing democratic processes in the Southern Mediterranean and to respond adequately to the partners’ needs.