Rule of Law Regional Network

The rule of law forms the backbone of common EU values. Strengthening rule of law across the Western Balkans is therefore one of the priorities within the EU accession process. Under the fundamentals first approach, both Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and Chapter 24 (Justice, Freedom and Security) of the European acquis have been placed at the very heart of this process.The rule of law forms the backbone of common EU values. Strengthening rule of law across the Western Balkans is therefore one of the priorities within the EU accession process. Under the fundamentals first approach, both Chapter 23 (Judiciary and Fundamental Rights) and Chapter 24 (Justice, Freedom and Security) of the European acquis have been placed at the very heart of this process.

Reflecting the importance the Netherlands attaches to this policy area, in 2014 a regional rule of law unit was formed. The Netherlands’ embassies in Belgrade, Pristina, Sarajevo, Skopje and Tirana were enlarged to include dedicated rule of law policy advisors to develop a broader and more in-depth view on the rule of law situation in the region and to further regional cooperation and Dutch bilateral contributions in this field.

Regional Rule of Law Coordinator
Dicky Methorst:  dicky.methorst@minbuza.nl

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Albania
Hemion Braho:  hemion.braho@minbuza.nl

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lara Obrenović: lara.obrenovic@minbuza.nl

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kosovo
Venera Ramaj: venera.ramaj@minbuza.nl

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in North Macedonia
Gjakush Kabashi: gjakush.kabashi@minbuza.nl

Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Serbia and in Montenegro
Aleksandar Momirov: aleksandar.momirov@minbuza.nl

Projects and funding possibilities

Reforms aimed at strengthening the rule of law are supported by the Matra program. The name Matra derives from the Dutch words for societal transformation – ‘maatschappelijke transformatie’. The overall goal of Matra is furthering a plural democracy, grounded in the rule of law, with room for dialogue between the government and civil society; building capacity and strengthening the institutions of civil society and government, and strengthening bilateral relations. There are two decentralized funding options for projects aimed at strengthening the rule of law in the region:

Matra Embassy Fund – More  information on Matra and funding possibilities can be found in the Bilateral Co-operation Programmes section of our website.

Dedicated Regional Rule of Law Matra Fund – this fund was established in addition to the respective existing Embassy Funds of the six eligible countries and aims to support common regional initiatives in

the six Western Balkans countries. Applications to this fund should:

a. have a distinct regional component, either through a cross border component in two or more of the eligible countries, or by replicating a regional best practice in a specific eligible country;

b. pertain to a relevant rule of law topic (Chapters 23/24);

c. be submitted through this application form;

d. have a minimum, pecuniary value of €25.000.

For queries regarding application or for more information, please contact the relevant Rule of Law Network member for your country.