CoE, EU provide EUR 4 mln to Ukraine for human rights protection, penal reform, fight against corruption
The Council of Europe (CoE) and the EU are providing EUR 4 million to Ukraine for projects to improve the observance of human rights, implement penal reform, fight corruption, and support elections in the country.
"We urge the Ukrainian authorities to fulfill their duties to the [Ukrainian] public and we're helping them with this," Special Advisor to the CoE Secretary General Christos Giakoumopoulos said at a press conference in Kyiv on Tuesday.
He said that the key driver of any reform is civil society, and civic organizations are involved in every cooperation program with the CoE and the EU.
The total budget for the implementation of these projects is EUR 4 million. The funds will be allocated to realize four programs over the next two years. These projects are all generally aimed at reinforcing human rights observation, especially the work of the Verkhovna Rada human rights ombudsman.
In April 2014, the CoE and the EU agreed to coordinate their cooperation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus – the EU's Eastern Partnership countries, which will be carried out under the 'Programmatic Cooperation Framework' (PCF) program. This cooperation will strengthen the capacity of Eastern Partnership countries, which are also member states of the CoE with the exception of Belarus; to implement domestic reforms to bring them closer in line with the standard of the CoE and the EU regarding human rights, democracy, and the rule of law. The PCF program will be implemented in two phases: 2015 2017 and 2018-2020. The budget for the first implementation phase (2015-2017) is EUR 33.8 million.