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EU Assistance in Albania: Activities

03 February 2010
by Ina Dimireva -- last modified 03 February 2010

EU Assistance is available in all EU candidate states and potential candidates for membership. The assistance of the EU in Albania include activities in the following areas: Strengthening of public administration and judiciary, Police and public order, Customs, and Development of infrastructure, etc.


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Activities

The Delegation is particularly involved in the following areas:

Strengthening of public administration and judiciary

Helping Albania develop a modern judiciary compatible with EU standards. A joint programme with the Council of Europe has supported the reform of the Albanian judicial system. Legal and regulatory frameworks have been put in place, assistance has been provided to the Ministry of Justice and other judiciary institutions and training programmes have been organised in the School of Magistrates.

Improving court facilities, and providing support for the rehabilitation of the prison system, in order to improve its quality and standards of incarceration.

Enhancing the professionalism of the civil service with the aim of establishing an efficient self-sustaining public administration in line with EU standards.

Police and public order

Providing strategic advice, training and equipment to the Albanian police. An effective Albanian police force has an essential role to play in enforcing the rule of law and providing internal security.

Customs

Working with the Albanian Customs service to secure revenue collection and to improve customs management and procedures. A Customs Assistance Mission in Albania (CAM-A) has been deployed and is achieving valuable results in terms of revenue collection, prevention of smuggling and corruption and reinforcement of the service. The computerisation of the customs system is financed out of the 2000 programme.

Statistics

Providing assistance to INSTAT the national statistical institution, to organise a population census in the year 2001. Due to major changes since the last census in 1989, the government lacks a clear picture of the current geographical distribution of the population and its composition. The population and housing census was successfully carried out in April 2001.

Development of infrastructure

Improving energy, transport and water networks are crucial to economic growth in Albania. Public services and infrastructure are generally scarce and of low quality. Improving access to many villages and remote urban districts is critical to improve standards of living and to increase the potential of the communication network inside Albania as well as in the region and with the EU.

 

The EU is:

  • Financing several sections of national roads under the East-West corridor and North-South national axis, and rehabilitation works in the main ports.
  • Preparing a Transport Master Plan, encompassing road, rail, civil aviation and maritime networks.
  • Preparing designs for two sections of road between Qaf'Thanes and Korca in the East-West Corridor (n°VIII) and between Fier and Tepelene in the North - South axis, as well as the Durres Ferry Terminal.
  • Playing a key role in stimulating and co-ordinating donor intervention in the water sector, as well as in the implementation of construction and rehabilitation works. This is a very important area for infrastructure development in Albania. The government has developed a clear strategy for improving the water supply, which requires significant financial support from donors.

Local community development

Through its local community development programme, the EU provides funding for hundreds of projects at local community level in Albania. Projects aim to build or repair public infrastructure to be further operated by the beneficiary local governments.

The main objective is to improve access to remote areas, improve public services such as water, primary education and health, and to achieve higher standards of living by improving the urban environment. Projects include training in regional planning for local government staff.

Agriculture

The agriculture sector has undergone a radical reform process in the past years, focused on land distribution and market liberalisation. Much progress has been achieved in this sector, but major challenges remain such as the enforcement of the new legal framework and the development of marketing services in order to promote exports and fully use opportunities provided by the new EU trade preferences.

The EU provides support for land mapping, fishery sector, veterinary control, and policy advice.

Cross-border co-operation

The EU cross-border co-operation programme has offered a further opportunity to open up the country and to develop closer links with its immediate European Union neighbours, Greece and Italy.

The Albanian-Greek border region is isolated, rural and mountainous. The main economic activity is agriculture and the region suffers from labour market problems and unemployment, and consequently there is a high level of emigration to Greece. The Cross-border co-operation programme provides support to overcome the socio-economic gap between the bordering Albanian and Greek regions.

The Albanian-Italian Cross-border co-operation focuses on the regions of Albania that have a common maritime border with Italy, in order to improve and expand transport infrastructure.

Education

At university level, Albania takes an active part in the EU inter-university exchange programme TEMPUS. Albanian universities are collaborating with their EU counterparts in joint projects, and individual mobility grants for students and professors are being provided.

Democracy and Human rights

The EU provides assistance to NGOs working in the field of democracy and human rights under its European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights. Projects include raising awareness on the role of human rights in building a civil society, production of radio and TV programmes promoting understanding and tolerance, supporting journalist networks, etc.

Civil Society

The Delegation is keen to review its relations with Albanian Civil Society. A number of initiatives and calls for proposals will be publicised in the coming months in the local press and on this website.

Source: EC Delegation to Albania

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