National IPA Programmes

The pre-accession Instrument (IPA) is a mechanism established by the EU to provide assistance to the Western Balkans and Turkey, as a support for the process of accession of these countries in the European family.

Principles and rules of programming of funds are defined in the document of the Framework Agreement of IPA II (2014-2020). For each new programming year, the NIPAC Support Office, in cooperation with the representatives of the European Commission, prepares a plan that defines the main steps and the respective deadlines.

Identification of ideas and priorities for financial support IPA II, in line with the National Strategic Document 2014 -2020, is done in cooperation between NIPAC Support Office, IPA units in the Ministries of Line and the EU Delegation. Following the identification of the ideas, the NIPAC Support Office, the EU Delegation and DG NEAR take the necessary steps to implement them.

Priority for providing financial assistance is given on sectoral basis (seven sectors identified in NSD), in order to ensure a longer, coherent and sustainable approach, to increase ownership, to facilitate cooperation between donors, to eliminate the publication of efforts and to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

Monitoring and Reporting on IPA financial assistance are mandatory activities for the Government of Albania, as established under the Framework Agreement between the Government of Albania and the European Commission, ratified through the national Law No 37/2015.

Under IPA II, the monitoring strategy is set up taking into account the Sector Approach. Sectors are established by the European Commission under the ‘Commission Implementing Decision amending Commission Decision C(2014)5770 of 18.8.2014 adopting the Indicative Strategy Paper for Albania for the period 2014-2020’, 3 August 2018, which is generally referred to as the ‘Revised ISP’ and are the following:

  • Sector 1: Democracy and governance
  • Sector 2: Rule of law and fundamental rights
  • Sector 3: Environment and climate action / subsector Water
  • Sector 4: Transport and Energy
  • Sector 5: Competitiveness and innovation,
  • Sector 6: Agriculture and rural development
  • Sector 7: Education, employment and social policies

The above sectors, and their respective sub-sectors, are considered for the purpose of organising Sectoral Monitoring Committees and also for reporting under the Annual Implementation Reports.

The coordination of Monitoring and reporting is ensured by the NIPAC - the National IPA Coordinator. The NIPAC is assisted by the NIPAC Support Office to carry the NIPAC functions.

The monitoring tools are the followings:

  • Gathering and Review of Semi-Annual Action Monitoring Reports prepared by IPA Units;
  • Organization of Sectoral Monitoring Committees Meetings;
  • Follow-up of Operational Conclusions of Sectoral Monitoring Committee Meetings;
  • Organization of Annual IPA Monitoring Committee Meetings;


IPA Multi Country Programmes

Since 2007 the Western Balkan countries and Turkey, are beneficiaries of the regional financial program of the European Union: IPA Multi Beneficiary. The aim of Multi-Country Programme is to help meet the targets identified in the Country Strategy Papers, through different means.

The Multi-Country Programmes are designed to be consistent with (i) the national strategies as set out in the Country Strategy Papers and (ii) to complement and enhance them by supporting regional and territorial cooperation, facilitating coordination and effective horizontal implementation mechanisms.

The total EU assistance for the period 2014-2020, for the whole region is €2.9 billion. This assistance will be delivered in four axes as below:

(i) Horizontal support;

(ii) Regional structures & networks;

(iii) Regional investment support;

(iv) Territorial cooperation.

For more information please refer to:

Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF)

The Western Balkans Investment Framework was established in 2009 as a joint initiative between the European Commission, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). This initiative was later joined by the World Bank (WB), the German Development Bank (KfW) and the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement-AFD).

WBIF is a regional instrument that supports EU enlargement and socio-economic development in the beneficiary countries of the Western Balkans: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. WBIF supports projects at maturity stages as well as investment projects.

Funding: WBIF is a coordinated effort for the preparation and selection of priority funding projects through the combination of:

  • Grants from the European Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and from 20 bilateral donors (Austria, Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, etc.);
  • Loans from participating financial institutions (CEB, EBRD, EIB, WBG, KfW);
  • National Finance.

Since 2014, the WBIF has been at the core of the Berlin Process, an EU initiative aimed at revitalizing the ties between the Western Balkans and the EU Member States, as well as among the Western Balkan beneficiaries. This instrument supports projects in the following sectors: transport, energy, environment, social, digital infrastructure.

Beneficiaries: Line Ministries and other Central/Local Institutions.

The National Coordinator of Pre-Accession Instruments (NIPAC) is the focal contact point on the beneficiary side and plays a key role in coordinating the preparation and submission of WBIF applications. Apart from NIPAC, the preparation and implementation of the project is carried out by several other actors such as the National Investment Committees (NICs), which is composed by the Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economy and other technical ministers (line ministries). NIPAC is a coordinating structure for all the actors mentioned above and acts as the entry point for the WBIF. In Albania, the role of NIPAC is carried out by the Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

For more information on WBIF please refer to the link:

Union Programmes

Participation in Union (former Community) programmes is designed to enable partner countries to familiarize themselves with the methods and policies of the European Union (EU). In the case of the countries of the Western Balkans, this forms part of their European perspective and, more specifically, of the Thessaloniki agenda adopted in 2003, which expressly provides for such participation as an instrument in the stabilization and association process (SAP) and in the process of rapprochement with the EU, particularly as regards the adoption and implementation of the acquis.

Albania and Union Programs

lbania benefits from nine Union (former Community Programs) for the period 2014-2020, through the signing of agreements with the European Commission.

The overall national coordinator of the European Union Programs in Albania is the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument of the European Commission for the 7 years running from 2014-2020 with nearly €80 billion budget. The EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe implementing a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. It is the natural successor of FP7.

The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation was signed through an Agreement between Albania and the EU on 1st July 2014.

The Agency for Research, Technology and Innovation (ARTI) at the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth, is the contact point for the management of Horizon 2020.

For more information please refer to:


COSME (Programme for Competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises)

The Programme for the Competitiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises aims at strengthening the competitiveness and sustainability of the Union’s enterprises, including in the tourism sector, encourage an entrepreneurial culture, and promote the creation and growth of SMEs. It will engage a budget of 2.3 billion Euros for the period 2014-2020 in the following areas:

  • Facilitate access to finance;
  • Support the internationalization and access to markets;
  • Create an environment favourable to competitiveness;
  • Encourage and entrepreneurial culture.

The Agreement with Albania was signed on 3rd March 2015. The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MFE) is responsible for the management of COSME programme in Albania.

For more information please refer to:


ERASMUS + is the programme aiming at boosting skills and employability as well as modernizing Education, Training and Youth work. The Program has a budget of 14.7 billion Euros. It is a result of the integration of Lifelong Learning Programme, Youth in Action, Erasmus Mundus, Tempus, Alfa, Edulink and the programme for cooperation with industrialized countries in the field of higher education. The aims of Erasmus+ are:

  • To create possibilities to study, to be trained, acquire working experience abroad;
  • To enhance teaching quality in the EU and beyond;
  • To support Member States and partner countries in modernizing their education and vocational training systems;
  • To promote youth participation in society;
  • To support teaching and research on European Integration;
  • To support European grass-roots sport.

The Agreement with Albania was signed on 19th June 2014. The Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth, is the contact point for the management of Erasmus +. Furthermore, there is a National Office of Erasmus + in Albania.

For more information please refer to:

Creative Europe – Culture sub-programme and Media sub-programme

Creative Europe programme gives support to safeguard and promote the European cultural and linguistic diversity and support to strengthen the competitiveness of the sector. Creative Europe framework programme brings together the Culture and Media programmes. It has a budget of € 1.46 billion Euro for the period 2014-2020.The aims of the programe are:

  • To help the cultural and creative sectors seize the opportunities of the digital age and globalization;
  • To enable the sectors to reach their economic potential, contributing to sustainable growth, jobs and social cohesion;
  • To give Europe’s culture and media sector access to new international opportunities, markets and audiences.

Albania participates both in Culture sub-programme and Media sub-programme of Creative Europe: Culture sub-programme Agreement with Albania was signed on 20th June 2014 and Media sub-programme on 9th October 2014. The Ministry of Culture (MC) is responsible for the management of the Creative Europe Programme in Albania.

For more information please refer to:  

Europe for Citizens

Europe for Citizens aims to encourage cooperation between citizens and organizations from different countries and facilitate the development of a sense of belonging to common European ideals and to promote the process of European Integration. It has a budget of 185 468 000 Euro for the period 2014-2020. The main objectives of the Program are:

  • Giving the citizens the opportunity to interact and participate in constructing “an ever-closer Europe to citizens”;
  • Strengthen the European identity, based on common values;
  • Developing a sense of belonging to the Union;
  • Enhancing mutual understanding and tolerance between European citizens, while contributing to intercultural dialogue.

The Programme consists of the following 2 strands:

  • Remembrance and European Citizenship seeks to support organizations to promote debate and activities on European integration and history at a transnational level.
  • Democratic Engagement and civic participation: seek to develop citizens' understanding and capacity to participate in the Union policy making process and to develop opportunities for solidarity, societal engagement & volunteering.

The agreement with Albania was signed on 26th of February 2015. The Ministry of Culture (MC) is responsible for the management of Europe for Citizens Program in Albania.

For more information please refer to:  

Customs 2020

Customs 2020 supports the cooperation between customs authorities in the EU to help maximize their efficiency and avoid mismatches in their work, which could hinder the functioning of the Customs Union. Customs 2020, with a budget of 547.3 million Euros, makes a substantial contribution in helping to raise revenue for the EU and Member States' budgets every year and delivers considerable benefits to EU citizens and business, whether it is through blocking unsafe or illegal imports or facilitating trade.

The Programme supports cooperation between customs authorities. The agreement with Albania was signed on 27th of July 2014. The Albanian General Directorate of Customs (GDC) is responsible for the participation and management of the Customs 2020 programme in Albania.

The Customs 2020 program is an invaluable tool for capacity building and experience sharing for the Albanian Custom Administration. The previous program, Customs 2013, has achieved significant result toward the capacity building of Albanian customs officers who have participated in the activities under this program.

For more information please refer to:

Fiscalis 2020

Fiscalis 2020, with a budget of 234.3 million Euro, will support cooperation between tax authorities in the EU to help maximize their efficiency and avoid mismatches in their work, which could hinder the functioning of the Internal Market. Operational objectives and priorities of the programme are:

  • Implement, improve, operate and support the European Information Systems for taxation;
  • Support administrative cooperation activities;
  • Reinforce the skills and competence of tax officials;
  • Enhance the understanding and implementation of Union law in the field of taxation;
  • Support the improvement of administrative procedures and the sharing of good administrative practices.

The Programme supports cooperation between tax authorities. The agreement with Albania was signed on 23rd November 2014. The General Directorate of Taxation (GDT) is responsible for the participation and management of the Fiscalis 2020 Programme in Albania.

For more information please refer to:

EaSI, Programme for Employment and Social Innovation

EaSI programme will support government initiatives and strategies, to modernize the labour markets, social security systems increase the rates of employment, in particular among young people, supporting job creation, promoting a highly skilled workforce, encouraging adaptation to change and the anticipation of restructuring, enhancing geographical mobility and promoting social innovation. EaSI brings together three EU programmes managed separately between 2007 and 2013: PROGRESS, EURES and Progress Microfinance. The total budget for the period 2014-2020 is 919,469,000 Euro.

The agreement with Albania was signed on 9 March 2015. The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MFE) is responsible for the management of this programme.

For more information please refer to:

Justice Programme

The Justice Program contributes to the development of a European area of justice based on mutual trust and appreciation. The main objectives of this Program are:

  • Facilitating and supporting judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters;
  • Supporting and encouraging judicial training, including language training in legal terminology, with a view to fostering a common legal and judicial culture;
  • Facilitating effective access for all to justice, including promotion, support for victims of crime, as well as respecting at the same time the rights of the defence.

The budget for the period 2014-2020 is 378 million Euros.

The agreement was ratified by the Albanian parliament in February 2017. The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the participation and management of Justice Program in Albania.

For more information please refer to:

Download Multi Country Strategy Paper