The countries listed below are included in the Neighbourhood Programme's contributions. For further information about the Danish contributions, please click on the specific country.
Denmark is providing the following support to Albania:
Agricultural production in Albania 2009-2013
In Albania, September 2009, a programme was initiated with the aim of promoting sustainable business developments and revenue creation. The aid is given in order to develop all levels in the selected value chains, which includes the entire ‘from earth to table’ process for food production, processing, storage, transport and marketing. The budget of the programme is 30 million DKK and lasts until 2013.
The programme focuses on the following value chains: 1) medical and aromatic plants, 2) apples and 3) goats and sheep farming. The programme includes a credit facility for the areas in focus. Geographically, the programme will focus on four regions in the particularly poor areas in the northern and eastern parts of Albania. The more marked oriented activities will, however, also take place in the city areas of Tirana and Durres, which have the strongest purchasing power. The programme will be implemented in collaboration with the Dutch development organisation SNV.
Support to human rights and good governance (2012-2015)
By means of technical and financial assistance, it is the overall purpose of this support to contribute to the Albanian Ombudsman’s endeavour to become the most prominent human rights institution in the country. The support is focused on three areas: (i) improved awareness and access to options to complain about maladministration, (ii) qualitative inspections of conditions in prisons and detentions and (iii) the establishment of a national human rights network and a partnership with the media. Support is also provided to formulate a multiannual strategic plan and an improved IT case management system.
During the second phase of the Neighborhood Programme, Armenia is highly prioritized and a new Development Programmes are currently being implemented.
Private Sector development in the rural areas of Armenia 2013-2017
The overall object of this programme is to reduce poverty by strengthening employment through economic growth in the rural areas of Armenia. The programme aims to secure access to credit and counselling to fruit producers who have a great commercial potential not being actualised at the moment due to the relatively long period between investment and outcome, among other things. This factor has reduced the granting of credit within this field of employment. The programme has a budget of DKK 25 million for the duration of 48 months (expected start is in the summer 2013-2017).
The programme mainly consists of credit to financial institutions (mostly banks but also micro finance institutions) on favourable terms with an aim to re-loan to fruit producers. Furthermore there has been allocated a limited amount of money to the formulation of profitability- and financial models for classifications and methods of cultivation for specific fruits and nuts with the purpose of establishing a solid foundation for extending credit. The Danish support is part of IFAD’s (UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development) and the government’s efforts within certification, standardisation, manufacturing and marketing to contribute to sale and export and thereby reducing poverty in the rural areas.
Support for democracy and human rights in Armenia 2013-2016
On the basis of the Council of Europe’s Action Plan 2012-14 on Armenia and in line with the Strategy for the Danish Neighbourhood Programme 2013-17 the overall objective of this programme is to support the Armenian reform efforts by promoting an effective and responsible public sector in the areas of human rights and local democracy. The programme is implemented by the Council of Europe and has a budget on 20 mio. DKK, and a running period from September 2013 – 2016.
The Programme operates in two complementing areas: Firstly, the programme will strengthen the application of European human rights standards in the Armenian court system by developing the capacity of the Court of Cassation to apply the European Convention on Human Rights in a comprehensive and systematic way. Secondly, the programme will support a consolidation of local democracy by a parallel implementation of both technical-legal advice on the formulation of the reform as well as capacity building activities towards both local authorities and local elected representatives.
Previous programme activities
The programme Pro-poor Rural Development aims at sustainably increasing rural employment levels through accelerated economic development, led by the private sector, and improved skills of the workforce. To achieve this objective, two components will be implemented, targeting investments toward improving rural incomes, productivity and employment generation through 1) rural private sector development and 2) improved employability of vocational education graduates.
The components are considered in relation to the Danish strategic priorities, the aid management capacity, as well as the indicative 3 years timeframe (2008 – 2011). The overall budget is DKK 29 million.
The first component aims at creating economic development in the rural districts by focusing on expanding a sustainable private sector. The second component aims at improving the quality of the vocational education. The main focus is to assist the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science to generate coherence between the educations that are offered and the needs of the local labor market.
Denmark has previously granted Armenia subsidies trough the regional Caucasus program. The programme was executed by the Danish Refugee Council focusing on migration prevention and the development of asylum systems.
In the second phase of the Neighbourhood Programme, Azerbaijan has the lowest priority, but Denmark still has focused activities in the country.
Through a regional media programme, the media situation in Europe’s neighbouring countries will be strengthened, as the countries still face considerable challenges in the area of democracy, such as freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Generally, the media in the countries can be characterised as weak and unprofessional, and violations of the freedom of the press are frequent. In Azerbaijan, the programme supports the media sector with a new, independent media centre, which provides resources for journalists and trains people from the press and public employees in areas such as freedom of the press and media development. The implementing partner of the Neighbourhood Programme in Azerbaijan is International Media Support (IMS).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has previously supported Azerbaijan through the regional Caucasus programme from 2005 – 2008. In Azerbaijan, where The Danish Refugee Council was the implementing partner, the efforts were focused on a better local integration as well as an enlargement of the income generating options of refugees.
Through the Danish Neighbourhood Programme, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark provides assistance to Belarus in order to promote democratic development and to prevent human trafficking. In the light of the current political situation in Belarus, Denmark wishes to support the democratic forces such as the civil society and free and independent media.
Independent media operate under difficult conditions in Belarus. The Neigbourhood Programme has included Belarus in a regional media programme covering Belarus, Ukraine, and the Western Balkans (40 mill. DKK for the period 2008-2011). In Belarus, the programme focuses on strengthening the few independent media and journalists and their ability to broadcast balanced information to the population. Danish organisations. Furthermore assistance will be provided to promote construction of independent and critical media, such as investigative journalism (SCOOP). International Media Support (IMS) is implementing the programme.
MFA's Programme Against Human Trafficking in Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine (29,5 mill. DKK for 2009-2011) focuses on preventive activities, law enforcement, and capacity building of authorities and civil society organisations. In Belarus, the two international NGO’s, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and La Strada, are implementing the programme in close cooperation with local organisations.
Finally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark is implementing a civil society programme in Belarus (13 mill. DKK 2008-2009). The objective of the programme is to promote democratic processes and respect for human rights through development of the civil society. The civil society is being strengthened by promoting the citizens’ participation in the development of society at all levels. Danish NGO’s are involved in partnerships with Belarusian civil society organisations.
Programme against Human Trafficking in Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, 2. phase 2009-2011
PROGRAMME AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN BELARUS, MOLDOVA AND UKRAINE, PHASE 2, 2009-2011Trafficking is unfortunately still a factor affecting a number of Eastern European countries undergoing economic and political transition. Against this back ground The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark implements a programme to combat human trafficking in Eastern Europe for the period 2009 – 2011 with a total allocation of 29,5 mill. DKK. Geographically, the programme focuses on Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova.
Trafficking in human beings has been described as a modern day form of slavery. Traffickers use threats, force, fraud and deception to manipulate their victims. Victims are exploited for the profit of the traffickers and are often forced to perform work with which they do not agree. This is particularly true in the case of sexual services. Links have also been found between criminal networks trafficking human beings and those trafficking narcotics and weapons.
The Danish anti-trafficking programme has four immediate objectives:
(1) Strengthened national counter trafficking strategies and mechanisms; (2) Streamlined and improved access to and provision of services for victims of trafficking; (3) Better targeted prevention activities effectively reach vulnerable groups, and (4) Strengthened international and regional co-operation on responses to trafficking.
The programme focuses both on preventive activities and on supporting the victims of trafficking. Preventive activities include information and communication activities, and building up the capacity of national authorities and organisations in implementing and develop further the national strategies and plans in this area. To support the victims the programme will in close cooperation with local organisation provide a number of services to the victims, such as medical service, counselling and a reintegration package. Finally, the programme aims at strengthening the regional cooperation, for example, through the implementation of regional activities and through experience-sharing.
Emphasis is placed firmly on local ownership. Accordingly, the programme will be implemented by a mix of organizations in each country, international and local non-governmental, coordinated through Country Steering Groups, in which the key implementing partners in each country will work together to design and implement the activities. A Regional Steering Group will facilitate the coordination of regional activities, including where relevant countries of destination in addition to the three programme countries. Meetings for all implementing partners will be held regularly to ensure strategic coordination and knowledge-sharing. Funds and reporting will be coordinated by IOM Kiev and technical assistance will be provided to ensure efficient use of resources and monitoring and adjustment of activities. Cooperation with other donors is a priority.
Phase 2 of the programme will build on Phase 1 which was implemented in the years 2006-2008. The first phase of the programme saw significant success in the development of National Referral Mechanisms (NRMs) aimed at identifying and comprehensively assisting trafficked persons and involving stakeholders from a number of government agencies in addition to civil society organizations. Legislative changes were seen during this period, which form the basis for tackling trafficking-related issues in the future. Changing trends were also noted during Phase I of the programme, most striking among them an increase in labour exploitation, a tendency towards southern and eastern countries of destination, and the emergence of Ukraine and Belarus as countries of destination. These are the reasons behind the decision to adopt a three-year programmatic approach for the new phase, as opposed to the year by year proposals developed during Phase I. This will allows the implementing organizations to take a broader, long-term view and be better equipped to deal with the changing realities on the ground.
For further information about the programme, please seethe website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark for the programme to combat human trafficking and the programme document.
By the end of 2009 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Neighbourhood Programme launched a programme to support private sector development and thereby increase employment and economic growth in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The programme is implemented by the German development institution KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) through support to the microcredit sector with a view to providing credit to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. The budget is 24 million DKK in the period 2009-2014.
In the ”Strategy of the Neighbourhood Programme 2008-2012”, Georgia has a high priority. At present, a programme to further good governance and human rights in Georgia and a project for internally displaced are being implemented, just as Georgia is included in a regional programme to promote free media.
The purpose of the programme to further good governance in Georgia (Reform Process Georgia) is to build-up the capacity of the Georgian authorities, enabling them to more effectively implement approved laws and reforms on the judicial and human rights area. The programme runs during 2008-2009 and the Danish contribution amounts to 15 mill. DKK. The programme is implemented in collaboration with the Council of Europe and the European Centre for Minority Issues.
The project to support the implementation of the national strategy and action plan for internally displaced in Georgia is aimed at supporting internally displaced and returnees from the Abkhazia conflict with sustainable solutions through local integration. The project runs in the period 2008-2009, has a budget total of 5 mill. DKK, and will be implemented in collaboration with The Danish Refugee Council (Internally Displaced in Georgia).
Through the Danish Neighbourhood Programme, Kosovo is benefitting from assistance aimed primarily at economic and business sector development:
Promotion of Employment in Kosovo 2008-2014
In 2008, the implementation of a private sector development programme was initiated. The main goal of the programme is to create sustainable growth and employment through (1) support to the horticulture value chains, (2) support to Kosovo's four agriculturally oriented Vocational Education and Training (VET) schools and (3) an improvement in access to credit in the rural areas provided through the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE). The overall aim of the assistance is to reduce the country’s massive unemployment. The total budget is 80 million DKK in the period 2008-2014.
Support to Kosovo’s Agriculture and Rural Development Plan (2012-2015)
Approximately 60% of Kosovo’s population is living in the countryside characterised by disproportionally high unemployment and poverty. By supporting the implementation of Kosovo’s national Agriculture and Rural Development Plan, it is the overall purpose of the support to improve living conditions, employment and integration of Kosovo’s agriculture sector with the EU. The support is provided through two components: (A) Investment capital to the national agriculture subsidy scheme and technical counselling for the purpose of improving the institutional capabilities of Kosovo’s Ministry of Agriculture and (B) Support to female entrepreneurs in the agriculture sector.
Furthermore, a number of smaller programmes are supported in Kosovo, including support for: (1) Rule of law and access to justice in Kosovo (in collaboration with UNDP), (2) A multi-ethnic educational institution in Northern Kosovo (Mitrovica) and (3) Population and agriculture census.
Through the Neighbourhood Programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moldova is assisted in fighting human trafficking.
In order to promote human rights for victims of trafficking, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs support a Programme Against Human Trafficking in Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova (29,5 mill. DKK for the period 2009-2011). The Programme focuses on preventive activities, law enforcement, as well as capacity building of authorities and civil society organisations. In Moldova, the programme is implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the international NGO La Strada.
For further information about the programme, please see the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark for the programme to combat human trafficking and the programme document.
The assistance to Montenegro, provided through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Neighborhood Program, focuses on development of organic agricultural production.
The overarching objective of the Danish support is to increase organic agricultural production for the benefit of the domestic market including the growing tourism sector. The activities cover the entire value chain within the various ranges of organic agricultural products. The concrete activities include training of agricultural advisors and experts, assistance to producer organisations as well as improved information about organic production. The private sector is benefitting from a grant facility, which provides economic support for organic production. An additional purpose of the support is to strengthen the competitiveness of Montenegrin organic products with a view to export.
Denmark has provided substantial assistance to Russia since the early 1990s. In view of the economic development in Russia, Danish assistance has been relatively limited in recent years. In 2010, an economic development programme in the Baltic Sea regions of Kaliningrad and Pskov was terminated.
With respect to development of civil society and respect for rule of law, there are still a number of challenges in Russia. Therefore, in recent years limited assistance has been provided to Russian civil society organisations within the framework of the Danish Foreign Ministry Neighbourhood Programme, i.a. via the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Council of Europe. Furthermore, assistance has been provided to indigenous peoples in Northern Russia, via Danish and international NGOs. In view of Russia’s considerable economic development, Danish assistance to Russia will remain a low priority in coming years.
The general purpose of the civil society assistance is to promote respect for human rights and rule of law in Russia via assistance to Russian civil society organisations. Priority is given to supporting Russian NGOs that seek to implement activities in cooperation with Russian authorities. So far assistance has been provided to projects concerning i.a. improved access to legal aid, advise and support for detained persons, enhanced court transparency, cooperation with local police about respect for human rights, and capacity-building of Russian civil society organisations.
The general purpose of the indigenous peoples assistance is to promote rights of indigenous peoples in Northern Russia. Assistance has been provided i.a. to the most important indigenous peoples interest group in Russia – RAIPON – and to local grassroots organisations under RAIPON. Assistance has been provided to projects that focus on strengthening rights of indigenous peoples in Russian laws. Moreover, assistance has been provided to informing indigenous peoples about their rights, using international human rights instruments to promote rights of indigenous peoples, and legal assistance in concrete cases concerning rights of indigenous peoples.
Private Sector Programme in Southern Serbia 2010-2014
Through the Danish Neighborhood Programme a private sector programme in Southern Serbia was launched in 2010. The overarching goal of this program (DKK 40 million, 2010-2014) is to contribute to sustainable economic growth and employment in the private sector through strengthened productivity, competitiveness and export of fruit and berry products. The Program has two components: (1) Capacity building of producers/businesses and support for innovation, quality control and certification and (2) A facility for financing investments in new crops, equipment and machinery, storage, processing and sales. The agricultural sector and related industries figure prominently in the strategy for Serbia’s approach to the EU and Serbia is co-financing the finance facility. An international advisor has been recruited to lead a programme office from the town of Nis (Southeast Serbia). You can find more information about the programme here.In cooperation with the World Bank, Denmark is also supporting a multi donor fund aiming to reform the judicial sector in Serbia (DKK 2.5 million).
Turkey acquired the status of a EU candidate country in 1999 and opened negotiations with the EU on accession in 2005. Denmark provides assistance to Turkey’s preparation for EU accession in the field of human rights. The assistance is made available through a bilateral programme of 23 mill. DKK which is being implemented during 2006-2009. A second phase is under preparation and is expected to be launched in summer 2009.
The programme consists of two components. The first component concerns competence development of those senior inspectors at the Turkish Ministry of Interior Affairs who monitor the observance of human rights of the police and the gendarmerie. The competence development will take place i.e. through training of the senior inspectors in complaint management procedures, inspection and the implementation of investigations, drafting of handbooks and manuals for the inspectors’ work with securing human rights, the establishment of a homepage for information on human rights and the opportunities for injured parties to complain.
The second component focuses on strengthening of the Turkish civil society organisations in the field of human rights. Aid has been given to the establishment of a network of the human rights organisations, which have contributed to the strengthening of these organizations’ participation in the public decision-making process. Furthermore, the network gives the participating organizations the opportunity to strengthen their capacity in a number of fields of both administrative and vocational nature.
Under the programme funding had originally been set aside to assist Turkey in establishing an independent Turkish human rights institution in accordance with the UN principles on this field. However, the work in Turkey with implementing the necessary legislation for establishing an independent human rights institution proceeds very slowly and is not expected to be accomplished during the programme’s lifetime.
The programme is implemented by the Danish Institute for Human Rights in close cooperation with relevant Turkish authorities, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and civil society organisations in the area of human rights. Furthermore, the programme is coordinated with the EU Commission and other countries’ assistance to Turkey.
Moreover, Denmark participates in activities under EU’s Twinning Programme, where Danish authorities and organisations participate in projects aiming at preparing the Turkish administration for EU membership.
For further information on the programme, click here.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Neighbourhood Program supports a number of initiatives in Ukraine with the aim of supporting the on-going reform process within democracy and human rights as well as creating economic growth and improving energy efficiency. It includes support to a strengthening of free and independent media, development of civil society, judicial reforms, energy efficiency and private sector development in the rural areas in the Western part of Ukraine. Ukraine is a priority country in the Neighbourhood Programme 2013-2017.
In order to strengthen the civil society, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is implementing a civil society program in Ukraine, which also has activities in Belarus and Moldova (65 million DKK in the period of 2012-2016). The purpose of the program is to support the development of a sustainable civil society with a rights based approach. Through the program, the local civil society organisations are empowered with capacity building and know-how. The UNDP is in charge of the implementation of the projects in Ukraine.
Free and independent media outlets in Ukraine can generally be characterized as weak and is furthermore experiencing increasing pressure. Through a new media program (2012-2016, 50 million DKK) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports the Ukrainian media’s capabilities to play an active, constructive and professional role through capacity building and reform legislation. The program also operates in Belarus, Azerbaijan and Turkey.
Support to judicial reforms in Ukraine - 2012-2015
Through the Council of Europe, the Neighbourhood program contributes to a project with the purpose of supporting juridical reforms in Ukraine with special focus on supporting implementation of a new law on criminal procedure and drafting of a new law on the Office of the Public Prosecutor. The activities are based on the experiences of the Council of Europe and its work in supporting the judical sector in Ukraine as well as its on-going work in maintaining a political dialogue between the Council of Europe and Ukraine on the compliance with European standards. From an overall point of view, the present criminal justice system in Ukraine is a prosecutor-dominated system marked by inefficiency, corruption, lack of independence and transparency. The project aims to address a number of these issues. The activities will, among others, include judicial experts´ recommendations in relation to the implementation of legislation and the creation of new legislation as well as capacity building of various actors (prosecutors, judges, lawyers, government officials, the institution of the Ombudsperson and representatives from civil society) through seminars, round table discussions, conferences and study trips. The project will be implemented in the period of 2012-2015 with an estimated budget of 14 million DKK. Read more about the program here http://coe.kiev.ua/projects/cjr.html
Support to energy efficiency in Ukraine 2011-2014
The Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environmental Partnership (E5P) is a multi-donor fund established in 2010. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development acts as secretariat for the fund. The purpose of the fund is to ensure an effective delivering of international financial support, which primarily will be used to improve energy efficiency as well as improving the environment within EU’s Eastern Partnership countries. The fund will initially contribute to activities in Ukraine, however at a later stage it is expected also to include other Eastern Partnership countries such as Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. By investing in energy efficiency and in the environment significant savings in energy as well as in CO2 reduction and greenhouse gases can be achieved. The fund provides financial support to technical aid or financial support, which can be supplied with loan finance from EBRD, the European Investment Bank, the Nordic Investment Bank, the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Denmark contributed with 39 million DKR to the fund in the period between 2011-2014. Other donors include Sweden, the European Commission, the United States, Norway and Finland to mention a few. Ukraine also contributes to the fund with 10 million Euros. The fund has received 100 million Euros in total.
Private Sector Programme in Ukraine 2009-2013
Danida supports growth and employment in the rural areas of Ukraine (40 million DKK, 2009-2013). The programme consists of two parts; technical and economic aid to small and medium- sized enterprises within the food sector and aid through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in order to increase the bank finance for the development of small and medium-sized enterprises within Ukraine’s agricultural sector. During the first part of the programme the focus is to develop relations between agricultural producers, processing companies and suppliers within the dairy sector as well as the fruit – and vegetable sector in the Lviv-region of Ukraine. The value chains ‘from earth to table’ are yet to be strengthened. Despite of a great potential within the agriculture production, Ukraine is still facing problems being self-providing with dairy products, fruits and vegetables all year around. Approximately 80% of the Ukrainian milk production comes from small-holders who have 2-3 cows each.
Reform of the public sector in Ukraine 2008-2011
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports Ukraine’s reform program of the public sector with 28,8 million DKK in the period of 2010-2013. The purpose of the Danish support is to contribute with good governance and to further democratic decision-making processes in Ukraine’s public administration, thus supporting the country’s effort in approaching the EU. The objectives of the program are to promote an effective and transparent public administration based on the principle of the rule of law. This will be done through capacity building of the public institutions with the involvement of Western experiences (hereby including Danish experiences as well). The programme will be implemented in Ukraine’s central administration in collaboration with the Ukrainian administration management and other relevant authorities in Ukraine. Furthermore, through the European Council, decentralization will be supported.