State Secretary of the SEA, Ana Blazheska had a working meeting on 13.04.2016 with the director of the Office of the Directorate General for Programmes of the Council of Europe, Verena Taylor.
The validity of the agreement between the European Union and the Council of Europe on the Horizontal programme for the Western Balkans and Turkey, which is first of its kind, was emphasised at the meeting A number of measures and activities shall be implemented through this agreement: Providing justice, combating corruption and promoting anti-discrimination and protection of vulnerable groups.
The technical and legal expertise of the Council of Europe will be made available,through this horizontal programme which is planned to last three years. This is a positive example of mutual cooperation in providing support in order to overcome the challenges for the Western Balkans and Turkey in the fields of rule of law, democracy and human rights.
It was stressed that this programme was discussed at the half yearly consultations of experts from the SEA within the cycle of consultations in different countries and before the adoption by the European Commission.
Also, this three- year plan was discussed with all relevant institutions in the Republic of Macedonia. Part of the activities which are provided are activities related to realisation of previous projects of the Council of Europe, supported by IPA. These projects are closely related to some areas of the Urgent Reform Priorities and short- term priorities from the Progress Report of the Republic of Macedonia from the European Commission for 2015.