Albania’s development and EU integration efforts were supported by the EU and other bilateral and multilateral donors.
Current projects supporting the integration processes of the country are as follows:
The Project: Support to accession negotiations in economic chapters of the acquis (SANECA)
The objective of the project is to strengthen competencies for conduction of accession negotiations in economic chapters. Therefore, its focus remains selected economic chapters of the acquis under the lead of the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MFE).
Chapters supported by the project are:
- Chapter 1: Free movement of goods;
- Chapter 3: Right of establishment and freedom to provide services;
- Chapter 20: Enterprise and industrial policy;
- Chapter 28: Consumer and health protection.
The project is funded by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Total value of the project is 2 million euros and implementation period is 3 years (from December 2019 to November 2022).
Within this project the concrete support will be rendered in:
- Capacity development and methodologies for equipping the negotiating structures of chapters 1, 3, 20 and 28 with the necessary knowledge and skills to conduct accession talks;
- Hand-on support for preparatory work to address potential opening/ closing benchmarks in these chapters; as well as
- Civil society engagement in the activities of the negotiating structures in charge for topical chapters.
The Project: EURALIUS V
EURALIUS is an EU technical assistance project which supports and assists key Albanian justice institutions to bring their performance closer to EU standards. The overall objective of the EURALIUS V is to strengthen the independence, transparency, efficiency, accountability and public trust in the Albanian justice system in line with the EU acquis and best practices. More specifically, the project aims:
- to improve the independence, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness of the Albanian justice system pursuant to a comprehensive reform strategy developed by the Albanian Ministry of Justice and other actors in the justice system;
- to improve the organizational, administrative, technical and resource management capacities, as well as the case management capabilities of the judiciary in order to improve efficiency and transparency of courts and to align the Albanian criminal, civil and administrative justice system with EU standards.
EURALIUS V started in April 2018 and is envisaged to last 3 years (until April 2021).
The EU project: “High Level Advisory”
It a short-term pilot project in the amount of 370,000 Euro. The project is implemented in the period January - September 2019. The objective of the project was the ad-hoc support in chapters 15, 23 and 24 and the preparation of Terms of Reference for a larger comprehensive follow-up project
(SMEI V) under IPA 2016.
This project cooperated with the GIZ implemented Project: Support to the pre-screening process of accession negotiations of Albania in the EU in assisting the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior to prepare the screening analysis for negotiating chapters 23 and 24.
In October 2019 the EUD in Albania approved the extension of the project until 28 February 2020. The project will continue to provide assistance to MEFA in strengthening its internal capacities to coordinate and plan the process of European integration, support and advice the negotiating structures on the process of bilateral screening.
The Project: Support to IPA management
It is a framework contract which started in February 2019 with a foreseen duration of 18 months. The overall objective of the project is to support the efficient use of EU assistance, in order to better prepare for EU membership. The project will be implemented with specific objective to strengthen the capacities of the National IPA Coordinator (NIPAC), NIPAC Support Office and other stakeholders and institutions in planning, programming, implementing, monitoring and evaluating EU assistance.
The Project: Support to food safety, veterinary and phytosanitary standards
This is an IPA 2016 project implemented with the main objective to establish the institutional and administrative capacities in line with the overall public administration reform agenda to ensure an increased protection of human, animal and plant health at every stage of the food production process (Chapter 12).
One of the specific objectives is to assist the restructuring of the administrative structures, ensure the building of capacities to implement policy measures and achieve strategic objectives in line with general public administration reform and the EU membership requirements. The Project started in January 2019 and is envisaged to last four years (until January 2023).
The Project: Supporting Albanian Negotiations in Environment, Chapter 27 (SANE 27)
It is a project funded by the Swedish Government with the main goal of providing assistance in negotiations in Chapter 27. The project envisages legal and administrative assessment in the chapter 27 and overall capacity building for the Ministry of Tourism and Environment and its subordinated institutions. The project started in May 2018 and is scheduled to last until May 2021.
The Project: Support to the pre-screening process for the accession negotiations of Albania in the EU
This project was an 11-month short-term project (January-November 2019) totalling € 280,000, funded by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The focus of this project has been to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs as the national coordinator for European integration, to provide methodological support and to enable proper coordination of the screening process.
The project has developed standards and provided methodological support to the structures responsible for conducting negotiations in the country through:
- Drafting and supporting the consultation and adoption phases of the by-laws on the establishment and functioning of structures responsible for accession negotiations (inter-institutional working groups, the European integration partnership platform, inter-institutional working group technical committee, etc.);
- Conceptualisation of key steps for preparations for the conduction of the explanatory screening and bilateral screening process;
- Hartimit të një manuali për përgatitjet për procesin screening, i pajisur me modele, shembuj e instrumente të tjerë metodologjikë për zhvillimin e procesit screening (kodifikim i hapave në proces bazuar në standardet më të mira të vendeve të anëtarësuara më parë dhe atyre të rajonit);
- Establishment of a Document Management System (DMS) which preserves the institutional memory created during the negotiation process, which enables direct access to the necessary documents drafted during the process and enables monitoring of the status of preparations of responsible structures in the process;
- Training of over 400 members of inter-institutional working groups to follow key steps for screening preparations.
This project also specifically supported the negotiation structures for five selected acquis chapters, such as chapters 5, 19, 23, 24 and 32, in preparation for the conduction of the screening process
- The inter-institutional working groups for the above chapters have been supported during the drafting of legal gap analysis for the chapters concerned (over 200 acquis acts have been analysed and as many tables of concordance have been drafted);
- IIWGs have also been supported in drafting preliminary drafts of presentations on the level of approximation of legislation for bilateral screening;
- Advice on how to manage, monitor and report on the screening process is also provided.
This project has also improved the visibility of the screening process through:
- Developing a new web subdomain design for accession negotiations;
- Drafting and disseminating information materials on the negotiation process and screening process;
While MEFA and the negotiation structures have a manual for communicating the negotiation process, as well as a set of recommendations for enhancing the quality of information on integration processes, increasing visibility and impact on the public and other stakeholders.
The Project: Harmonization of Economic and Trade Legislation with EU Acquis
The project was financed by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The Project term was 4 years (January 2015 – December 2018), with a financial volume of 2 Million EUR.
Its objective was to strengthen the competences for the harmonisation of legislation, its implementation, and conduction of EU accession negotiations in the areas within the Ministry of Finance and Economy’s responsibility, namely those pertaining to chapters 1, 3, 6, 20, 28 and 30 of the acquis.
The project has provided support in three complementary areas:
- Legislation and interpretation of the EU acquis, by advising on better policy and law-making aspects and supporting harmonisation of specific EU legal acts;
- Implementation of harmonised legislation with EU acquis, by supporting establishment and strengthening of key implementing institutions;
- Preparation of accession negotiations for EU membership, by developing IIWG-specific strategic and working instruments for a planned and proper preparation and advising on better coordination and consolidation of IIWGs
For the three above-mentioned areas, the project has closely cooperated with the Albanian School of Public Administration (ASPA) in developing the necessary training curricula and programmes and build on innovative teaching methods for legislation relevant to the EU acquis (e-Learning).
Key project results are the following:
- Drafting of 20 legal acts (law and bylaws) for the purpose of harmonisation of EU legislation, as well as regarding establishment and functioning of implementing institutions;
- Preparation of 2 regulatory impact assessments (RIA) in the area of consumer protection (Chapter 28) and export credit insurance (Chapter 30), which assured informed and evidence-based decision making on needed legal interventions;
- Establishment of the Market Surveillance Inspectorate (in 2016), preparation of strategic instruments for its management/functioning, equipment of inspectors with knowledge, and development of the web page to assure transparency and access to information;
- Establishment of the National Business Centrestreamlining of business registration and licencing procedures, strengthening of competencies of NBC staff, expansion of licensing procedures in all 35 services windows (from 12 initially) – business satisfaction rate is increased from 68% (2017) to 91% (2018);
- Strengthening of Consumer Protection Commission, preparation of Guiding Manual to professionally handle consumer complaints, development of the web page to assure transparency, accountability and access to information; consumer awareness raising campaigns;
- Increase of competences of IIWGs members regarding preparations for bilateral screeningpreparation of fully-fledged guiding documents (Task Plans) to get prepared in a structured way, finalisation of Legal Gap Analysis, preparation of chapter-specific methodologies and working instruments to screen barriers to trade for goods and services and mapping of stakeholders in selected chapters.
The Project: Support to the Ministry of European Integration I (SMEI I), CARDS 2005
“SMEI I” sipas CARDS 2005 ishte një projekt me vlerë 2 milion euro, duke ofruar mbështetje teknike për një periudhë mbi 28 muaj. Projekti synonte forcimin e kapaciteteve për zbatimin e MSA-së dhe veçanërisht përmirësimin e mekanizmave të koordinimit ndërmjet ministrive të linjës dhe ish Ministrisë së Integrimit Evropian. Për më tepër, ka synuar të riorganizojë dhe forcojë sistemin e administrimit, planifikimit, koordinimit dhe zbatimit si dhe monitorimin e ndihmës së Komunitetit. Mbështetja shtesë për ish Ministrinë e Integrimit Evropian sipas të njëjtit program CARDS 2005 përfshinte sigurimin me pajisje dhe programe kompjuterike, pajisje zyre, si dhe dy automjete me katër rrota për monitorimin e programeve ndërkufitare të financuara nga BE. Projekti përfundoi në korrik të vitit 2009.
The Project: Support to the Ministry of European Integration II (SMEI II), IPA 2008
Duke u bazuar në rezultatet e “SMEI I”, qëllimi i projektit ishte të mbështeste dhe forconte aftësinë administrative të Shqipërisë për të zbatuar MSA-në si dhe përgatitjen për integrimin e mëtejshëm të vendit në BE. SMEI II u zbatua në bazë të Marrëveshjes të Delegacionit nga GIZ. SMEI II mbështeti ish Ministrinë e Integrimit Evropian si ministria me përgjegjësinë kryesore për procesin e integrimit, dhe koordinatorin e ndihmës financiare të BE-së. Një ndihmë e vlefshme u dha në lidhje me përgatitjen e përgjigjeve të Shqipërisë për Pyetësorin e KE-së për dhënien e vendit të statusit kandidat. Gjithashtu një kontribut është dhënë në procesin e planifikimit dhe monitorimit të harmonizimit ligjor, duke synuar një sigurim të qëndrueshmërisë së reformave të BE-së. SMEI II u zbatua gjatë periudhës gusht 2009 – shtator 2011.
The Project: Support to the European Union Integration Process-Phase III (SMEI III), IPA 2010
SMEI III was a technical assistance project dealing with the horizontal issues of management of European integration in Albania. The overall objective of the project was to achieve adequate progress in the EU Integration process of the Albanian government based on a long-term strategy before accession. SMEI III especially supported strengthening legal approximation, capacity building via training and improvement of institutional and inter-institutional management of European integration demands and finally public information about European integration. SMEI III started in January 2012 and was finalised in February 2016. The budget of the project was approximately 1.5 million euro.
The Project: Support to the European Union Integration Process-Phase IV (SMEI IV), IPA 2014
SMEI IV was a technical assistance project focusing on: support to the implementation of the obligations deriving from the SAA; support to the alignment and implementation of the acquis into the Albanian legislation; strengthen the capacity building of the responsible civil servants to enhance their role in the EU legal harmonisation, screening and accession negotiation processes; and support to the implementation of the Albanian government’s Communication Strategy. The budget of the project was approximately 2 million euro. The project was started in February 2017 and was suspended in June 2018 and finally terminated in September 2018 due to issues related to tendering process of the project back in 2016. First the merge of the Ministry of European Integration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and later the suspension of the project prevented the project to achieve its goals. In particular, the suspension of the project interrupted the training programme that was to be initiated for the staff of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs on accession negotiations.