The Secretary General of the Council of EuropeMarija Pejčinović Burić and European Union Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi launched on 27 February 2023 the third phases of the Partnership for Good Governance (PGG) and Horizontal Facility (HF). The PGG will continue providing tailor-made support to Eastern Partnership countries to bring their legislation and practice closer to European standards in the fields of human rights, rule of law and democracy. Progress in the EU accession agenda is in focus for Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, as are improved European perspectives for Georgia. The Partnership for Good Governance programme will continue supporting Armenia and Azerbaijan and is also foreseen to support co-operation with representatives of Belarusian democratic forces and civil society.
The PGG projects under Phase III build on the results of the previous phases of the Partnership for Good Governance (Phase I 2015-2018 and Phase II 2019-2023) in the fields of strengthening justice, countering economic crime, promoting equality and non-discrimination and advancing women’s access to justice and combating violence against women. The Council of Europe and the European Union presented the projects under this new phase in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.
Regional: two seminars with equality body representatives from Eastern Partnership countries and the Western Balkans [1, 2]. The first marked the international day to counter hate speech, giving an opportunity to raise awareness of the risks posed by hate speech to human rights, democracy and the rule of law and take collective action to implement the principles of the Council of Europe Recommendation on Combating Hate Speech. The second allowed for exchange on best practices and harmonisation of their approach in combating discrimination, hatred and racism, in particular their needs in view of the adaptation of local legislations and policies to align with European standards including the EU Anti-Racism Action Plan as well as relevant recommendations from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and other relevant standards.
Countering economic crime
Armenia: Workshop on risk-based Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regulation and supervision in the area of virtual assets aiming to support the representatives of the supervisory authorities of the financial sector of Armenia to discuss and enhance risk-based AML/CFT regulation and supervision of virtual asset service providers, and the area of virtual assets more broadly.
Azerbaijan: Workshop on the latest mechanisms for confiscation of proceeds from crime aiming to reinforce the judicial staff and law enforcement’s knowledge and skills on the types and techniques of confiscation as well as management of seized and confiscated assets.
Georgia: High-level conference “Criminal Justice legal framework: Areas for further improvement and ongoing reform in Georgia” on legislative and practical issues to be addressed for the further improvement of the criminal justice legislative framework, including outstanding issues requiring effective actions by the authorities in the context of the execution of judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.
Republic of Moldova: Launch of JUSTAT AIS, a tool that will help Moldovan authorities to improve efficiency and transparency of courts.
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The Venice Commission adopted the following legal opinions:
Twinning methodology (peer exchanges) in the field of violence against women and domestic violence", now available in English and Azerbaijani.
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