What is the Fund?

The ERA Fund for the Western Balkans and Ukraine is an initiative of the Friends of ERA Association to support capacity-building and greater access to EU law training for all legal practitioners in the countries next in line to join the European Union, i.e. both the candidate countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) and potential candidate country (Kosovo*) in the Western Balkans, as well as the candidate countries of Moldova and Ukraine.

Why is it needed?

The countries targeted by this Fund have experienced – or are still experiencing – war, economic hardship, corruption and other challenges.

The prospect of joining the European Union offers a ray of hope. Yet the process is long, and it is important that legal practitioners in the countries concerned acquire the understanding and tools to prepare for accession, as well as the perspective that this process will reach a successful conclusion.

Equally, respect for the rule of law must become embedded in the legal culture of these countries, which requires a high level of knowledge, mutual trust and accountability in the legal system.

Kosovo (*) - This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.