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The 4-year Council of Europe/European Union Joint Programme in the field of Rule of Law aims to promote efficient functioning of state institutions and public administration in accordance with European and other international standards, based on a demand-driven approach. The Programme is opened to all Central Asian countries wishing to benefit from the Council of Europe expertise and meeting the conditions for co-operation.

The Programme is implemented by the Venice Commission in close co-operation with national authorities in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Main objectives: 

  • to support the development of relevant legislation, aligned with international standards, adopted by the parliaments and enforced by relevant actors;

  • to support the development of new legislation in the field of administrative law and justice, including the reform of public administration and Alternative Dispute Resolution;

  • to increase efficiency of representatives of public administration and the judiciary.


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Since 2007, the Venice Commission has established a very good level of co-operation with national institutions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, in various fields with funding provided by the European Union as well as by voluntary contributions from some Council of Europe member states.

The Venice Commission has been assisting these countries in conducting reforms in line with international standards, notably in the field of the rule of law. It has an important tool in this field —The rule of law checklist, adopted in 2016, which provides a comprehensive list of criteria which could be used as reference in conducting reforms by the countries of the region. In the last seven years, the Venice Commission has prepared several opinions upon request from the national authorities of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, for example;  

The Programme will consider the opinions/recommendations of the Venice Commission as well as the results of the activities implemented in the framework of the Rule of Law Platform (in particular on constitutional, criminal and administrative law and on legal training). The Programme will target not only the institutional support but also some of the crucial human rights issues (such as access to justice, right to a fair trial, etc.), which are essential for the rule of law. In partner countries where legal and judicial reforms are well under way, in an effort to build synergies with initiatives funded by the European Union or other international and national donors, the Programme will seek the engagement of civil society and professional communities to assess the on-going reforms and recommend measures to improve their implementation.

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