Page 1

ISSUE No. 69, Monthly Newsletter - April 2013 A Joint Effort of the Department of Strategy and Donor Coordination and the Donor Technical Secretariat www.dsdc.gov.al

www.aidharmonisation.org.al

 Photo: Launching of Multi-Donor Trust-Fund of Integrated Planning System phase 2 (from left to right) DSDC Director Valbona Kuko, Minister of Innovation and ICT Genc Pollo, Minister of Finance Ridvan Bode, World Bank Country Manager Kseniya Lvovski, Deputy Minister of Finace Nezir Haldeda and Deputy Minister of European Integration Grida Duma 

 Launching the Second Phase of the Integrated Planning System Multi-Donor Trust-Fund The Integrated Planning System Phase 2, a multiple donor trust fund, to be administered by the World Bank, was launched on 9 April 2013, following the signing of the Grant Agreement with the Government of Albania. The project will run for four years. It aims to improve the Government planning system, Public Finance Management system, policy coordination and aid management. The main areas that the IPS 2 multi-donor trust fund will support are: the monitoring

of the National Development and Integration Strategy (NSDI) 2007-2013, establishing of the new NSDI 2013-2020, and the development of the Information Management System for the IPS, public finance management and for the external assistance management. This is one of the best examples with funds from various donors, currently supported financially by Austria, Switzerland and Sweden, with a total of about 2.7 million Euro. Sweden is the biggest donor

with a contribution of 17 million Swedish crowns or the equivalent of 2 million Euros. The European Union is expected to join the IPS 2 with additional funding in 2014. The event was attended by the Albanian Minister of Finance Mr. Ridvan Bode, Minister of Innovation and ICT Mr. Genc Pollo, Deputy Minister of Finance Mr. Nezir Haldeda, Deputy Minister of European Integration Mrs. Grida Duma, Director of Department for Strategy and Donor Coordination Mrs.


April | 2

In this issue • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Launching of Integrated Planning System Multi-Donor Trust-Fund , 2nd phase Presentation of the Master Plan for the Water and Sewage Sector in Albania Meeting of the DEVELOPMENT and INTEGRATION PARTNERS Albania and Hungary intensify cooperation between them Italian – Albanian Dept for Development Swap Program (IADSA) - The first approved Projects Albania and France sign protocol on implementation of bilateral Readmission Agreement First Visit by the Speaker of Swiss Parliament Reconfirms Switzerland’s Support for Albania’s Progress towards EU Integration ‘Equal in diversity: Promotion of Roma Values Week’, EU supports the fight against money laundering in Albania Albanian Government Financial Information System Extension EU assists Albania to enforce Industrial Property Rights and to promote economic growth Ensuring Cost-Effective and Sustainable Provision of Water and Sanitation Services Raising awareness and understanding on Regionalization/Aggregation process for Water Sector in Albania, 2012-2013 – REC Rehabilitation of Berat Castle and Korça Bazaar through EU assistance Completion of the restoration of Babameto House, 1st category monument in Gjirokastra Inauguration of a Community Centre in the Paskuqan Commune Best Practices and New Methods in Local Governance Planning and implementing cross-sectorial actions to address malnutrition and food insecurity “Third National Communication of Albania to the UNFCCC” Albanian Corporate Social Responsibility Network launched Conference “Business towards Vocational Education” UNICEF and Trebeshina LTD Hari Lena Group join forces for early childhood in Albania Germany supports Cross Border Cooperation Roundtable on investigative journalism Launch of media monitoring project with Tirana University OSCE Presence trains police on their role in elections Presentation of findings and recommendations to improve civil trials Fostering cross-party co-operation among women parliamentarians TCJE.org provides balanced, bilingual coverage of Albania’s upcoming elections CEMSA - EU Funded Project - Environmental Monitoring Call for Proposals: Swiss Funding for Scientific Research Cooperation Between Switzerland and Albania

 Photo: Presentation of the Master Plan during the Sector Working Group on Water Supply and Sanitation.

Valbona Kuko, Ambassadors, Heads of international agencies and Albanian central institutions. They in turn addressed this event. Besides the representatives of the Albanian Government, the event was addressed by the Resident Country Representative of the World Bank, Mrs. Kseniya Lvovski.

 Presentation of the Master Plan for the Water and Sewage Sector in Albania During the Sector Working Group for water on 30 April 2013 the Master Plan on Water Supply and Sewage for Albania was presented. It has been financially supported by the German Financial Cooperation through KfW. Deputy Minister of Public Works and Transport, Ernest Noka who chaired the meeting, thanked the donor community for making possible the design of such an important projection tool while highlighting that the Master Plan would serve for a better planning of the investments in the water and sewerage sector in Albania. After two years of assessments on existing water infrastructure, water resources, water demand and wastewater generation in the entire country of Albania the Master Plan has been created as a unique tool. It defines a national investment plan up to 2040 containing over 1,700 projects and an investment sum needed of EUR 5 billion. Based on a large data tool the Master Plan contains a priority ranking of the single projects according to technical, financial, socioeconomic and environmental criteria which have been developed in a comprehensive consulta-

tion process with the main stakeholders in the sector to achieve a widely accepted prioritization concept. The Master Plan fills the gap between the water policy and sector strategy on the one hand and the selection and implementation of single projects on the other hand by an objective and transparent prioritization system for deciding where the next investments in the sector should be made. The participants of the sector working group discussed the advantages, impact and limitations of the Master Plan and broadly appreciated it as an excellent tool for investment planning which is well complementing and integrated in the water sector strategy. The working group came to the conclusion that the Master Plan should not stand only with the central Government and the donor community but be extended to the local governance and the private sector to secure a coherent and efficient investment planning.

 Meeting of the DEVELOPMENT and INTEGRATION PARTNERS On 10 April 2013, the Department of Strategy and Donor Coordination and the Donor Technical Secretariat held a meeting of the Development and Integration Partners (DIPs). This was the first meeting for 2013 and was co-chaired by the DTS Chair, Yesim Oruc (UNDP Country Director) and DSDC Director, Valbona Kuko. The meeting gave an update on the status of the NSDI 2013-2020 and schedule of the stakeholder consultations. The NSDI 2013-2020 is linking the policy cycle


April | 3 with the budget cycle (MTBP process) and it is coherent with the EU strategic planning frame, in line with new financial planning period of EU Assistance (IPA 2014-2020) and the Lisbon Strategy EU 2020. The national consultation process of the NSDI with stakeholders (Civil Society, Academia, business, Donors, Parliament) will be conducted in November 2013 till January 2014. It will include 4 consultations based on the 4 pillars of the NSDI as well as 4 to 6 regional workshops. Finalisation of NSDI 2013-2020 is expected in January 2014. The Development and Integration Partners meeting discussed also other issues, such as the Sector Working Groups (SWG) and consultation of the sector and cross-cutting Strategies through these groups during 2013, according to a SWG calendar. It approved the DTS Annual Workplan for 2013. During 2013, Chairmanship of the DTS will be held by UN (represented at the DTS by the UNDP). Two bilateral donors have volunteered to become members of the DTS for 2013: Austria (through its Austrian Development Cooperation) and Germany. The bilateral members of the DTS represent “the voice” of bilateral donors. More information about the DIP meeting held on 10 April 2013 can be found here.

 Albania and Hungary intensify cooperation between them On 9 and10 April 2013 the Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation between Hungary and Albania held its meeting in Budapest, Hungary. The Albanian delegation was led by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy, Florjan Mima, in the attribute of the Head of the Albanian party to the Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation and the Deputy of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, Edith Harxhi. The Hungarian delegation was led by Mr. Peter Szijjártó, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Economic Relations of Hungary, in the attribute of the Hungarian party to this Joint Hungary-Albanian Commission.

 Photo: Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy, Florjan Mima and Minister Peter Szijjártó, the Prime Minister’s State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Economic Relations of Hungary during the ceremony of signing the cooperation protocol between Albania and Hungary

 Photo: Albanian delegation that participated in Hungary-Albania Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation meeting held in Budapest on 9-10 April 2013

The Albanian delegation included also representatives from DSDC, the Ministers of Finance, Agriculture and Tourism, as well as representatives from AIDA and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among others. On 10 April 2013 the Albanian delegation signed the Protocol of the First Session of Hungary-Albania Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation, Memorandum of Cooperation between the Albanian Investment Development Agency (AIDA) and the Hungarian Investment and Trade Agency (HITA). Also, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Tirana signed a Cooperation Memorandum with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Joint Commission’s meeting focused on various areas of cooperation such as economy, trade, business development and SME development, energy, agriculture, telecommunication, transport, environmental protection and water management, tourism, legal cooperation, protection of classified information,

money laundering, public administration development, etc. The very good political relations between the two countries date back long ago. Hungary supports Albania’s aspiration to join the EU, but intensification of economic ties is equally important. In the first meeting, both parties identified the energy management as a key priority in the bilateral economic cooperation and called for enhanced bilateral relations in energy management. Also, cooperation in agriculture is crucial for both countries and could be extended with mutual benefits. The next meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission will be held in Albania in 2014.

 Italian – Albanian Dept for Development Swap Program (IADSA) The first Call for Proposal: approved Projects The current Italian-Albanian Development Cooperation Programme includes


Korrik - Gusht April | 4

 Photo: The public ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance, on 24 April 2013, to award the first successful projects that will be benefiting from the Italian – Albanian Dept for Development Swap Program (IADSA)

an innovative instrument of financing, the Debt for Development Swap Program (IADSA), which is meant to support the implementation of projects in the social sector proposed by the concerned Albanian Public Institutions. In response to the first IADSA call for proposals, launched on 10 December 2012, there were submitted 92 project proposals from all over Albania, for a total requested funding of almost 18 million Euro. Projects aiming at strengthening vocational training and primary education in underserved areas, basic health services and preventive medicine, Initiatives to support socio-economic inclusion of vulnerable groups and integrated rural development in deprived and marginalized areas, were the main subjects of the project proposals. The entire country has participated in this first Call. There were 15 project proposals submitted by several Ministries, 16 by Regional Councils and over 40 proposals were submitted by Municipalities and Communes, most of them from disadvantaged rural areas. The Albanian civil society, Italian local authorities, international organizations and NGOs that have a long-term collaboration with the Albanian Authorities supported the public institutions in preparing their project proposals. This high level of responses to the IADSA Programme confirms the demand for social development in the country. The level of participation, the interest shown by the Albanian public institutions, the quality of the projects, jointly selected by the Italian and Albanian parties according to the criteria indicated in the Call, demonstrate the full effectiveness of the debt for development swap

instrument, which converts the debt owed by Albania to Italy into development projects in favour of the Albanian population.

of the protocol on the implementation of the bilateral Readmission Agreement on the prevention and fight against illegal migration.

On 24 April 2013, during a public ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance, the Italian Ambassador in Tirana, Massimo Gaiani, and the Albanian Minister of Finance, Ridvan Bode, awarded the 13 successful projects for a total amount of 4,5 Million Euro. Out of the selected projects 2 are of national, 1 regional and 10 local level. The list of the 13 successful projects and relevant information are available at: www.iadsa.info. The next Call is expected to be launched by the end of 2013.

In his remarks, Minister Noka said that the signature of the protocol with the Republic of France will facilitate the work of migration bodies during the return process and consolidate the excellent bilateral cooperation in all the areas. “The Albanian government considers the conclusion of implementing protocols of readmission agreements not only a commitment under the visa-free travel regime in the Schengen area, but also as fulfilment of standards required to adhere to the big European family”, Minister Noka stated.

A   lbania and France sign protocol on implementation of bilateral Readmission Agreement On 8 April 2013, the Minister of Interior, Flamur Noka and the Ambassador of the Republic of France in Tirana, Ms Christine Moro, during the signing ceremony

The French Ambassador in Tirana, Ms Christine Moro noted that visa liberalization has been a very important step welcomed with great joy by Albanians. “France has supported this freedom earned by Albanians which further strengthened the Franco-Albanian ties over all the fields”, Ambassador Moro said. “Taking stock of the excellent coop-

 Photo: Minister of Interior, Flamur Noka and the Ambassador of the Republic of France in Tirana, Christine Moro, during the signing ceremony of the protocol on the implementation of the bilateral Readmission Agreement


Korrik - Gusht April | 5 eration in place between the police forces of our two countries, this protocol will make the readmission procedure more accurate, more systematic and quicker”, Ms Moro concluded.

 First Visit by the Speaker of Swiss Parliament Reconfirms Switzerland’s Support for Albania’s Progress towards EU Integration A visit to Albania by members of the Swiss National Council – the equivalent of a country’s Parliament – took place from 4 to 6 April 2013. The delegation was headed by the Speaker of the National Council, Ms. Maya Graf, and included representatives of several main Swiss political parties. The visit included meetings with President Nishani, Prime Minister Berisha and the Speaker of the Albanian Parliament, Jozefina Topalli. “Given the painful history that the Albanian people have left behind we see with great pleasure what has been achieved within a short time frame such as the last 20 years”, stated Ms. Maya Graf at a press conference organised jointly with her guest, the Speaker of Albania’s Parliament, Jozefina Topalli. Both Speakers expressed appreciation for the positive relations between the two countries and during earlier talks discussed opportunities for further economic cooperation. Assembly Speaker Topalli mentioned that the ongoing program in vocational training is an area of particular interest for further cooperation between the two countries. Whereas Prime Minister Berisha stated during his meeting with the Swiss delegation that Swiss businesses and potential investors would find fiscal facilities and low taxes if they invested in Albania e.g.in the sectors of energy and tourism. Ms. Graf stated that Switzerland is willing to assist and to continue to support Albania in the above-mentioned sectors; she emphasized that for the vocational education sector, Switzerland is particularly well-positioned to share experience due to its excellent dual educational system. “It is very important that the youth who are the future of this country receive education and become good professionals”, said Ms Graf.

 Photo: The Speaker of Swiss Parliament during the meeting with President BujarNishani

 Photo: Members of the Swiss National Council visit Lezha recycling centre

During the visit, the Swiss delegation stopped by several locations where Swiss Cooperation projects have been implemented, including a local governance project in Lezha and Kallmet and an economic development project in Tirana. The aim was to identify and evaluate the effectiveness of Swiss development programmes in Albania and to inform the Swiss National Council accordingly. This was the first time that a Swiss Parliament Speaker visits Albania and also the first time that such a large delegation of

Swiss Members of Parliament participate in a visit to Albania. Switzerland has actively supported programmes and projects in local governance and economic development in Albania since 1997.

 EU supports the fight against money laundering in Albania A 24 month-long project in support of Albania’s fight against Money Laundering, funded by the European Union continues at pages 10-11>>>

 Photo: Closing ceremony of the EU-funded project in support of Albania’s fight against Money Laundering, on 19 April 2013


Korrik - Gusht April | 6

‘Equal in diversity

Promotion of Roma Values Week’ O   ne week festivities to promote Roma values and urge their greater inclusion Every April events surrounding the Roma community become prominent and this emerging group becomes slightly more accepted and visible in the eyes of the Albanian public. It may have started with the 8th of April, the International Roma Day, but now it has expanded into a full week and month of activities and media reports that manage to shed a positive light into the public perception about this marginalized group. This April (2013) saw a series of well-coordinated efforts and events during the Week for Promoting Roma Values between 8 and 12 of April 2013. Backed by central and local government structures, and international and local organizations, including Delegation of European Union, UN and Swiss Cooperation, the week brought a unique mix of activities that included conferences, fairs, a public march, music, theatre, exhibitions, artefacts and many more contributions from the Roma community. At the same time it raised the debate on the social and economic conditions that have shaped histories, development and the current state of affairs.

Intercultural Artisans Fair organized on International Roma Day On 8 April 2013, Tirana citizens celebrated International Roma Day and joined other activities organized as part of the “Roma Values Week”. The activities organized by the donor partners highlighted the challenges faced by Roma and Egyptian communities and urged for their greater inclusion in the development mainstream. The events also conveyed a key message: Roma have great values and they should be promoted. An Intercultural Artisans Fair organized in Murat Toptani Street brought together Roma artists across the country. An extensive collection of craft pieces and handmade products displayed by talented Roma artists and artisans attracted many visitors. The Deputy Mayor of Tirana Jorida Tabaku, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun, representatives from the Delegation of the European Union and government also participated at the fair. Deputy Mayor of Tirana Tabaku noted that the Municipality of Tirana has a major plan to support Roma youth who want to attend school and those looking for a job. “The Municipality of Tirana will take concrete policies to support Roma

enterprises in the future. We will implement these policies through the office of Anti-Discrimination Commissioner in the Municipality of Tirana and they will be followed at the same time with civil registration, education, and housing initiatives.” UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Zineb ToumiBenjelloun, amongst others highlighted: “On the occasion of International Roma Day, we call upon all relevant parties to strengthen the social and political climate wherein the rights and the culture of Roma are further respected and celebrated at all times. We would also like to call upon Roma and Egyptian

communities to continue to strive for effective inclusion in the development drive”. A roma craftsman, who was displaying his hand-made pieces amongst others said: “This is such an excellent opportunity for me to be here and display my works. Thanks to this fair, many people ordered a number of products. This will generate some income for me and my family who are faced with so many difficulties. I was touched by the respect people showed towards my works and I am full of hope”. The intervention is provided in the framework of two projects: Supporting Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptian

 Photo: UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun and the Deputy Mayor of Tirana Ms. Jorida Tabaku visiting the Artisan Fair organized on International Roma Day in Tirana, Albania.


Korrik - Gusht April | 7 Communities (SSIREC) Project funded by the European Union and Empowering the Vulnerable Local Communities in Albania (EVLC) funded by United Nations Human Security Trust Fund. These projects are implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. UNDP is working in seven regions of Albania (Tirana, Durrës, Elbasan, Fier, Vlora, Korça, Berat) to promote social inclusion and empower Roma and Egyptian communities through encouraging participatory planning for infrastructure development; strengthening capacities of Roma and Egyptian civil society organizations; promoting employability and entrepreneurship; assisting the implementation and monitoring of the National Decade Action Plan for Roma, as well as fostering respect for human rights and cultural diversity.

Goodwill Ambassadors call for greater inclusion of Roma communities, respect for their values and cultural diversity On 7 April 2013, UNDP Albania announced nine prominent personalities form the world of art, literature, academia and media as UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors for Cultural Diversity in Albania. The selected personalities will use their popularity, status to reach diverse audiences and help influence decision makers, political leaders, and development partners to support the social inclusion agenda of the Roma and Egyptian communities. Goodwill Ambassadors together with Role models from the roma community came together in a festive evening to convey a great message: Respect for roma values, respect for cultural diversity and greater inclusion in the development mainstream. Goodwill Ambassadors were selected among a wide range of personalities based on their contributions stance and demonstrated commitment towards social inclusion of Roma and Egyptian communities. The well known Maestro Zhani Ciko, Director of the Albanian Opera House, selected as one of the Goodwill Ambassadors amongst others said: “I am very

 Photo: Ceremony of announcing the UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors for Cultural Diversity in Albania, on 7 April 2013.

honoured to have been selected as one of the Good Will Ambassadors to give voice to the voiceless. This community needs all our support, needs all our attention, and needs all our encouragement... There will be no integration of Albania without the social inclusion of this community”. Other selected Goodwill Ambassadors include: Ms. Arbana Osmani - A popular TV and radio host in Albania who has been promoting Roma values during her work at Top Channel TV. Mr. Ermal Hasimja, Professor – University Professor at New York University. Has contributed in providing access to Roma students in higher education. Mr. Florian Kondi or Doctor Flori - A well known Albanian singer. He has composed the popular song “Life is not black and white” performed jointly with a Roma band Mr. Gazmend Paja - Actor. In his roles, Mr. Paja has been inspired by Roma culture and style. Mr. Kujtim Çashku, Film Producer Founder of Marubi Film School/Cinema. Marubi has been transmitting Roma movies and documentaries every year on internationally marked days Mr. Marin Mema - Investigative journalist. He has produced documentaries focused also on social inclusion of Roma minority Mr. Mina Qirici, Writer – Writer of several books on Roma culture Mr. Pandi Laco, Writer and TV producer – Producer of Nights of Roma Music at Klan TV UNDP also selected 15 Roma Role

Models, successful individuals from the roma community, to serve as models to be followed by the community members, but also to the society as a whole. UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Zineb ToumiBenjelloun noted: “We are particularly excited to introduce tonight a number of well-known personalities from all walks of life in Albania who have accepted our invitation to be UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors for Cultural Diversity in Albania. They have graciously accepted to use their reputation and profile to advocate for the social inclusion of the roma and Egyptian communities and to further raise awareness about the great values they possess”, - the UNDP Resident Representative said. Head of the European Union Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi, amongst others said that the Roma community lives in extremely difficult condition that contributes to them being still often excluded from social life. Ambassador Sequi added that the Roma community will win this battle only when the state institutions and the society will increase their efforts to respect their human rights. He stressed that the human rights of the Roma community are a very important issue on the EU agenda and that they are being constantly supported with funding to be integrated in social life and to improve their education and opportunities. The event was organized by UNDP as part of “Supporting Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptian Communities” project, funded by European Union and implemented by UNDP.

continues at pages 8-9>>>


Korrik - Gusht April | 8

‘Equal in diversity

Promotion of Roma Values Week’ O   ne week festivities to promote Roma values and urge their greater inclusion <<< continues from pages 6-7

Roma Values presented through the renowned drama “Les Miserables”

the Roma and Egyptian communities as well as preservation and development of their identity as an integral part of the national cultural heritage. An impressive part of the drama was the manner in which Roma culture and tradition were made present. The director had incorporated not only Roma music but also other elements such as traditional Roma costumes. The drama was conducted by Mr. Ram Hadroj, an Albanian Roma Student, who graduated from Andrews University Michigan with a Bachelor of Sciences in Behavioural Sciences (2010) and was directed by Mrs. Aneta Malaj a well-known professor at the University of Arts. In his opening remarks Mr. Hadroj highlighted the powerful message of the drama: “There is nothing like a dream to create the future”. Mr. Hadroj emphasized the fact that by putting on stage the drama in Albanian he realized one of his longstanding dreams.

One other event in the framework of the Roma Values Week was the production and performance, on 11 April 2013, of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables” by a group of young Roma students who initiated the idea and carried it over to a successful performance at the University of Arts. The impressive performance of talented Roma and Egyptian youth and University of Arts students earned a standing ovation and was greatly applauded by over 300 attendees, who included representatives of the local organizations, donor community and Roma community. The performance served as a means for reducing prejudice and improves the image of Roma and Egyptians. The multidimensional composition of the crew brought forward the powerful message that besides diversities they were all equal in terms of skills and quality of performance. The performance served also as a tool of promoting the cultural values of

The drama was put on stage with the support of the EU Delegation to Albania, UNDP Albania, Swiss Cooperation and other local and international partners. The UNDP support fall in the framework of “Supporting Social Inclusion of Roma and Egyptian Communities” project, funded by European Union and implemented by UNDP. While the ‘Help for Children’ Foundation, an Albanian NGO supported by Swiss Cooperation, coordinated the design and implementation of the play and provided logistical and financial support to the students’ group. It was the first time Roma values are promoted in an integrated and coordinated event such as this one. The same spirit accompanied the celebration of the diversity week in the districts of Korça, Elbasan and Berat.

EU supporting Roma Social Inclusion The European Union in Albania has placed Roma social inclusion high in the Union’s political agenda, and is backing it up with funds to address the many layers of the Roma plight. The EU demands inclusion and equal opportunity in very concrete terms – equal access to education, healthcare and all public services, equal citizenship and equal employment opportunities. In Albania, the EU has provided more than 3 million Euros to support Roma and Egyptian inclusion. In addition, the regional project implemented by ODIHR “Best practices for Roma integration”, funded by the EU with 3 million Euros, targets all countries in the Western Balkans. Furthermore, the EU has provided funding for two more regional minority rights projects currently implemented by the Council of Europe in the Western Balkans (including Albania) – by a total value of 8.7 million Euros. Through the funds under the EUfunded project implemented by ODIHR, the EU supports: (i)Training courses for Roma cultural and linguistic mediators, as well as for teachers; (ii) Access to social services and birth registration; (iii)Better roads, water and sanitation systems and healthcare for Roma and Egyptian communities; (iv)Job promotion for


Korrik - Gusht April | 9 Roma youth; (v) and it also seeks to strengthen central and local authorities to go beyond political will and take concrete measures for Roma social inclusion. The funds provided by the EU for different projects, reach many Roma and Egyptians in the country, in Tirana, Korça, Vlora, Berat, etc. On International Roma Day in the framework of ‘Equal in diversity: Promotion of Roma Values Week’, the Head of the EU Delegation in Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi, joined the festivities at the Romani Baxt Community Centre. In his remarks, Ambassador Sequi highlighted: “To raise awareness of Roma culture amounts to complicating the simple truths of exclusion and discrimination. By bringing to the public fora the many contributions and struggles of your community, we are standing against a black-and-white understanding of history and development – we are denouncing the black-and-white understanding of the state of affairs today.” In the framework of the ‘Equal in diversity. Promotion of Roma Values Week’. on 8 April 2013, the EU Ambassador to Albania Ettore Sequi and UNDP Albania Resident Representative Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun; participated at the Conference “With Roma for Roma”, along with Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Spiro Ksera, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Halit Shamata, President of the Union of Albanian Roma Amaro Drom Skënder Veliu Ombudsman Igli Totozani, and other representatives from the government and donor community. In his remarks, Ambassador Sequi said: “We have worked together with government and civil society to determine priorities to focus the work of the authorities and the work of us all on combating exclusion. These priorities include civil registration, education, employment, health care and housing for Roma and Egyptians. But the success of all these efforts and the fruits of all these funds highly depend on the ability of us all to change minds. Every fight for equality begins in our minds.”

 Photo Exhibition at Rromani Baxt Center, Tirana

 Photo: Head of the EU Delegation in Albania, Ambassador Sequi at Rromani Baxt Center, Tirana

 Photo: Conference “With Roma for Roma”. EU Ambassador to Albania Ettore Sequi; Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Spiro Ksera; Deputy Minister of Education and Science Halit Shamata; President of the Union of Albanian Roma Amaro Drom Skënder Veliu; UNDP Albania Resident Representative Zineb Touimi-Benjelloun; Ombudsman Igli Totozani.


Korrik - Gusht April | 10 <<<continues from pages 4-5

with 1.5 million Euro, has come to a successful end. The project has brought EU know-how from the Spanish Institute of Fiscal Studies and the Bulgarian Financial Intelligence Department, to assist the Albanian authorities in improving enforcement of the Anti-Mafia Law and related laws. The project offered the expertise of Member States in detection, investigation and prosecution of money laundering, in the confiscation and administration of assets of crime, and in effective coordination between law enforcement agencies. The EU-funded Project was tailor-made to the needs of Albania, focusing on strengthening law enforcement, and a manual on the ways on how to conduct money laundering investigations was presented. During the closing ceremony, on 19 April 2013, the Head of the European Union Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi noted that: “Albania has in place a solid and modern legal framework in accordance with EU standards, but often laws are not duly implemented. The anti-mafia law should be amended and correctly implemented in view not only to seize but also to confiscate assets and therefore recover huge amounts of money that, being generated as a result of illicit activity, can be used by the Government, and can be by doing so, be restored to the civil society”. Ambassador Sequi emphasized the need of cooperation between all stakeholders. ”Considering that money laundering is constantly based on new techniques to better hide the different steps of this offence, police and judicial corporation have to be deepened”, concluded Ambassador Sequi.  

 Albanian Government Financial Information System Extension The Ministry of Finance and the IPA 2008 Project on “Support and Expansion of the Albanian Treasury System (SETS)” have been working closely since April 2011 on expanding the treasury system to enable direct access to line Ministries and other budget institutions. Since November 2012, five pilot institutions are directly linked to the Treasury

  Photo (from left to right): Head of Operations II at the EU Delegation in Albania, Francois Begeot, Deputy Minister of Finance Nezir Haldeda and Head of the Austrian Development Agency , Astrid Wein at the ceremony of awarding certificates to 21 Ministry of Finance officials, who have qualified as trainers of the government financial information system, organised on 17 April 2013.

  Photo: Ceremony of awarding certificates to 21 Ministry of Finance officials, who have qualified as trainers of the government financial information system, organised on 17 April 2013.

System, now called the “Albanian Government Financial Information System”. These institutions are executing transactions on-line in one single system without having to visit the Tirana Treasury District Office. The Financial Information System is fully integrated with the Bank of Albania and commercial banks. The computerised Albanian Government Financial Information System is very important for the country’s public financial management, such as monitoring and managing government liquidities, accurate accounting of all government transactions and preparation of consolidated financial reports for the government. The public will also benefit from the extended Financial Information System as it ensures transparency throughout the entire State budget execution processes. Project impact With the pilot project implementation, the SETS Project’s assistance has helped

so that 26% of the total state budget is already executed directly from the above-mentioned institutions, and that information about the financial situation of 373 subordinate expenditure units is received and/or sent effectively. Another ten to fifteen line ministries and other budget institutions, including the Municipality of Tirana will gradually be added to the Government Financial Information System by April 2014. This will require the training of another 60 to 140 public officials on the financial information system. With this action, the majority of the State Budget will be administered directly through the Albanian Government Information System improving financial governance and transparency. Establishing “in-house” expertise On 17 April 2013, the Ministry of Finance and the SETS Project, in cooperation with the Training Institute of the Public Administration, awarded certificates to 21 Ministry of Finance officials,


Korrik - Gusht April | 11

 Photo: EU assists Albania to enforce Industrial Property Rights and to promote economic growth

who have qualified as trainers of the government financial information system. These trainers are now both fully conversant in the extended treasury system, now formally called the “Albanian Government Financial Information System”, and ready to share their knowledge of and expertise in the system’s functions and reporting. The Ministry of Finance is now able to sustainably extend its financial information system to more users in the future. The Project on “Support and Expansion of the Albanian Treasury System (SETS)” is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Austrian Development Agency.

 EU assists Albania to enforce Industrial Property Rights and to promote economic growth On 18 April 2013, the EU-funded project with 1 Million Euro, to strengthen Industrial and Intellectual Property rights (IPR) in Albania came to an end. Since May 2011, the European Patent Office has supported the General Directorate of Patents and Trademarks (GDPT) to better implement existing laws and has raised awareness of the importance of IPR to businesses and consumers alike. Respecting the work of others, be it a book, a CD, software, or a brand name, is key to fair competition, creativity and innovation. To protect fair competition, honest business and creativity, the EU has taken action to protect IPR through legislation and enforcement mechanisms. The same is expected of countries aspiring for membership, like Albania. The IPA 2009 project ‘Developing the Industrial Property Rights System in Albania’, implemented by the European Patent Office, strengthened administrative and

operational capacities in the IPR sector and implemented actions defined by the National IPR Enforcement Strategy 2010-2015. The project contributed to the harmonisation of the national IPR legal framework with the EU Acquis and to building of capacities of the GDPT and national IPR enforcement institutions. In addition, teaching materials on IP for the high-schools and universities have been prepared in the framework of the project and also significant progress towards establishing the first centre of scientific and technical information in Tirana has been achieved. The project also increased awareness through a broader public relations campaign underlining the importance of intellectual property rights and their respect by the general public. Speaking at the closing event, the Head of the EU Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi emphasised the need to step up efforts to improve legislation and enforcement mechanisms, pointing specifically to the clarification of the inspectorates that are mandated with

carrying out inspections on IPR - “An effective system of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection and their enforcement play a key role in supporting innovation, stimulating investments and economic growth and therefore should be strengthened in Albania´s domestic agenda”. Since 2008, the EU has dedicated about 7.7 million Euro to IPR and copyrights, for consumer protection, for metrology and calibration, and for market surveillance – all issues related to economic and social growth.

 Ensuring Cost-Effective and Sustainable Provision of Water and Sanitation Services The Government of Albanian has completed the decentralisation process within the water and sanitation sector. With the support of the EU and Austria, Albania has now launched a national program to ensure the cost-effective and sustainable provision of water and sanitation services.

  Photo: Launching of the national program on “Technical Assistance to the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector of Albania” on 17 April 2013


Korrik - Gusht April | 12 The Ministry of Public Works and Transport and the Austrian Development Agency jointly launched a major national program on “Technical Assistance to the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector of Albania” on 17 April 2013 in Tirana. This programme is jointly funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation and the European Union. The total cost of this programme is 4.2 million Euro. Water Is Life! Albania is blessed with plentiful water resources, however the provision of 24 hours access to safe water to its citizens is still not guaranteed. While access to water has considerably improved in recent years due to international and national financing, the most persistent issues remain such as the non-revenue water, areas of poor service coverage for water and sewerage, high water losses, unsustainable financial performance, and overall ineffective management and performance of water supply and sewerage utilities. The Government of Albania has completed the decentralisation process by transferring ownership of utilities and ownership of fixed assets of water and sewage facilities from central to local government. However, most of these water utilities are unable to ensure adequate access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation services due to low managerial, financial and technical capacities. Building Capacities at Both Local Level and Central Level The launched Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (WASSP) envisages addressing these weaknesses by building capacities at local and central level, and supporting the aggregation/regionalisation process of water utilities to ensure cost-effective, sustainable provision of water and sanitation services. Water supply and sanitation constitute a special focus area for the Austrian Development Cooperation in Albania, not only because ADC recognises the human right to water and sanitation, but also because we believe this sector is critical to other social and economic sectors, such as health, food security, rural development, environment and energy.

  Photo: National Kick off Meeting on Raising awareness and understanding on Regionalization/ Aggregation process for Water Sector in Albania on 16 April 2013

 Raising awareness and understanding on Regionalization/ Aggregation process for Water Sector in Albania, 2012-2013 – REC On 16 April 2013, a National Kick off Meeting on Raising awareness and understanding on Regionalization/Aggregation process for Water Sector in Albania was organized with the aim at providing information to the stakeholders, which would be interested later on the field activities. The activity was headed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Water Administration and its Minister Mediu, who ensured the maximum interest by the government structures and other identified stakeholders. The event saw participation of a number of institutions, such as prefects, Qarks, Water Council and Agencies, NGOs, experts, Central and Local Governments and International Agencies. In his opening remarks Minister Mediu, highlighted the increased role of the ministry. He focused on the difficulties faced by this sector, human capacities, the organization, financial difficulties, etc, pointing out that the implementation of the Water Framework Directive will cost around 5.4 million Euro, in the 5 years to come. Minister Mediu concluded by appraising the role of all stakeholders in facilitating the development of the sector. On the donor side, the Head Of Austrian Development Cooperation Agency, Astrid Wein, stressed the importance the

Austrian Agency gives to water as a natural and economic value. She said that the new legal framework is very promising and the need for the exercise of powers clearly and strictly by all stakeholders is a must. Here, she emphasized the role of civil society as an important actor in assistance to institutions and consumer care. She mentioned that Austrian Development Cooperation has assisted the reform process in the water and sanitation sector in Albania for the last 20 years by providing technical expertise and financial support to the responsible respective institutions. Ms. Wein stressed that water supply and sanitation have constituted a special focus area for Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC) in Albania not only because ADC recognises the human right to water and sanitation, but also because we believe this sector is critical to other social and economic sectors, such as health, food security, rural development, environment and energy. Later Mr. Mihallaq Qjro, Director of REC Albania, made a detailed presentation of the program that will support the river basin councils in 6 basins of Albania, through intensive meetings in river basins Drini - Buna, Mat, Ishëm - Erzen, Shkumbin, Seman and Vjosa. He said, we expected a good participation at the meetings and we expect this process to bring clarity to the legal framework and the role of everyone in this regard. The meeting ended with discussions of the participants, with an emphasis on the discussion of (i) the multidimensional challenge the sector faces and the importance of clari-


Korrik - Gusht April | 13

 Photo: Inauguration of rehabilitated streets of the Berat Castle, rehabilitated through EU assistance, on 19.04.2013

building our future. Memory is crucial, because if we don’t know where we have been, how could we know where we are going”. “If there is one major aspect of heritage that creates attraction, it is the notion of authenticity. The cultural heritage objects are not modern Disneyland creations. The preservation and care for this very authenticity of the Castle of Berat, is the responsibility of all of us. For Albania, it shouldn’t be a once upon a time story, but a story to be continued in the road towards the integration”, concluded Mr Begeot. Dedicated to the preservation and promotion of sites of historical and cultural importance, the EU will to support the rehabilitation of infrastructure of such sites as well in the future.  Overall the EU assistance to Berat region amounts to almost EUR 6.5 million. 

fying the roles of each stakeholder and actor; (ii) the role of civil society in the sector and the lack of coordination in water management; (iii) all speakers appreciated the support provided by this program, which also limited in financial resource has identified a very practical need. This program is expected to continue with the field activities, where the first meeting is expected in Shkodra, where different actors will sit together to discuss the technical and institutional coordination framework.

 Rehabilitation of Berat Castle and Korça Bazaar through EU assistance The Delegation of the European Union to Albania, together with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports and the respective municipalities, inaugurated the rehabilitation works related to a project focusing on preserving Albania’s cultural heritage, respectively in Berat on 19 April 2013 and in Korça on 26 April 2013. In Berat, the EU has provided 2.0 million Euro for the rehabilitation of the streets of the Castle. The rehabilitated streets and the new street lighting not only changes the face of the Castle, but also stays true to its historical values while enriching the life of Berat’s inhabitants as well as the experience of domestic and foreign tourists. During the inauguration ceremony in Berat, the Head of Operations section II of the Delegation of the European Union to Albania, Mr François Bregeot, emphasized that: “One of the strengths of the EU lies in our ability to help preserve our past as a way of

In Korça, the European Union has supported the rehabilitation of the Korça Bazaar with EUR 0.7 million. The rehabilitation of the Bazaar with the stone paving of the streets and the main square, the improvement of almost the entire infrastructure (sewerage, power and telecom) and the supply and installation of a new street lighting, adds value to this quarter, which is now expected to attract more tourists and improve the trading conditions.

 Photo: Inauguration of Korça Bazaar rehabilitated through EU assistance (on 26.04.2013)

During the Korça inauguration ceremony, the Head of Operations of the Delegation of the European Union to Albania, Luigi Brusa, pointed that strengthening democracy, human rights and the rule of law, implies also promoting a relationship with culture. Mr Brusa emphasised the need for Albanian authorities to follow up on the products of this assistance, noting that “the Municipality, with the support of the central Government, must


Korrik - Gusht April | 14

BEFORE

AFTER

  Photo: Babameto House, 1st category monument in Gjirokastra, before and after the completion of restoration

now make sure that the necessary funds are found to rehabilitate the façades of the Old Bazaar in order to better protect the cultural heritage and further enhance the attractiveness of this historic quarter. In the European Union we have proven that tourism related to cultural heritage creates growth and prosperity in the regions or cities concerned. Korça with its natural and cultural heritage sites still not sufficiently exploited in terms of tourism can benefit from gains made by investing in its own cultural and natural treasures”. He concluded that “Respect for heritage is vital, so you develop not only a European identity, but as well share you common cultural legacy, so you can experience growth and economic prosperity”. Overall the EU assistance to Korça region amounts to almost EUR 7.3 million. The EU has long assisted Albania in preserving culture heritage. The EU-funded projects rehabilitating the Berat Castle and the Old Bazaar in Korça are part of a larger assistance of the EU of EUR 9 million dedicated to Albanian culture heritage in Berat, Elbasan, Himara, Korça, Kruja, Shkodra and Tirana. In Shkodra, the rehabilitation of Gjuhadol street will be inaugurated on 08 May 2013 by the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi.

category monument in Gjirokastra. Babameto House was restored by Cultural Heritage without Borders, a Swedish organisation and its partners in Albania the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Regional Directorate of National Culture, Gjirokastra, the Office for Administration and Coordination of the Historic Core of Gjirokastra and the Gjirokastra Conservation and Development Organization. The restoration was funded at large by Sweden. The process of surveying, documenting and developing the future restoration project took place from 2009-2011 and was implemented as a training process for several young Albanian conservation architects. Restoration works on the building started in 2012 and ended up in 2013.. Babameto House, 1st category monument was built in 1885/1887by a father for his two sons, where each would have a three-floor wing, facing out on a court-

yard with wells. Quite typical for the year of its construction and the regional characteristics, the walls of the ground floor and first floor were built of stone, while the second floor was made of a lighter wooden construction. The building will be used as a hostel with semi-public spaces to be rented for cultural activities. In his speech, Mr. Svensson said that the view that the house was offering was quite impressive, either on the outside or the inside. He also mentioned that the house would be a good asset in the revitalization of the entire city. He also said that he felt proud of the work that CHwB had carried out in Albania, contributing also to the education of hundreds of young architects from Albania and the region. The ceremony saw the participation of Chargé d´Affaires  a.i.  Embassy of Swe-

 Inauguration ceremony of completion of the restoration of Babameto House, 1st category monument in Gjirokastra On 6 April 2013, Chargé d’Affaires a.i of the Embassy of Sweden in Albania, Patrik Svensson, participated in the inauguration of the Babameto House, 1st

  Photo: Chargé d’Affaires a.i of the Embassy of Sweden in Albania, Patrik Svensson, participating in the inauguration of the Babameto House, 1st category monument in Gjirokastra.


Korrik - Gusht April | 15 den Tirana, Mr Patrik Svensson, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr Visar Zhiti, Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Spiro Ksera, CHwB  chairwoman, Christine von Arbin and CHwB Albania, Lejla Hadzic. At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Svensson handed over a small plaque to the owners of the house. The event was widely covered by the media.

 Inauguration of a Community Centre in the Paskuqan Commune in the outskirts of Tirana On 12 April 2013, Chargé d’Áffaires a.i. Patrik Svensson and the Head of the Commune of Paskuqan, Fatos Rexha attended the inauguration of a community centre in Paskuqan. This Community Centre is established as a cooperation between Association for Integration of Informal Areas and Commune of Paskuqan with The Olof Palme Centre support, through funding from the Swedish Government. It will be a space to respond to some of the needs of the community, by providing a variety of activities for the community, including: activities which enable dialogue between citizens and local governors on local planning and policy making; extra - curricular activities for young people;  implementing social and economic empowerment programs for women; conducting awareness activities against domestic violence; cultural and leisure activities for elderly people. In his greeting remarks Mr. Svensson highlighted: “The establishment of this community centre is a very good example of how a local government unit is carefully looking at the problems of the community, listening to what they have to say and provide them with a service that is very much needed, thus demonstrating that commitments are not just a rhetoric to use when convenient. In addition, this is an excellent example of how cooperation between civil society actors and local governments could work”. Paskuqan is one of the biggest communes in Albania with around 60.000 inhabitants. Swedish government support through Olof Palme Centre to this commune dates since 2009 and has focused on bringing citizens and local governors to act together in order to improve the life of the people living in this area.

 Photo: Inauguration of a community centre in the Paskuqan Commune in the outskirts of Tirana

 Best Practices and New Methods in Local Governance Promoted Among Local Authorities, Government Representatives and Donors On 8 April 2013, representatives from local government, line ministries and international organisations got together at a conference in which the Swiss Cooperation’s decentralisation programme (DLDP) shared best practices and promoted new methods for strengthening local government in Albania. The conference brought together about 180 participants including Swiss Ambassador, Alexander Wittwer, Minister of Interior, Flamur Noka, Minister of Innovation and ICT, Genc Pollo, Deputy Minister of Finance, Nezir Haldeda and Deputy Minister of Environment, Taulant Bino. “The organisers of this conference have thought of a unique way of making best practices visible: award some of the local government units from Shkodër and Lezhë with prizes and recognition”, said Ambassador Wittwer during his speech. He mentioned some of the programme’s previous achievements including improved provision of services among several communes and municipalities, increased capacities for strategic and financial planning, and the establishment of innovative models for waste management and information & communication with citizens. The opening of the conference was greeted also by Mr. Jens Engeli, Senior

Representative of Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation, the organisation that implements the decentralisation programme. “The best practices developed by DLDP should contribute to the wider decentralisation and development strategies”, said Mr. Engeli during his speech. Anne Savary, Deputy Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office, said during her speech that decentralisation is a process that should continue. “ I see progress and achievement, as expressed in some of the projects and practices presented in this conference”, said Ms. Savary, adding that “to advance the decentralization process an integrated support is needed in the form of vertical integration, stronger partnerships and dialogue, and strengthened coordination between donors.” During his speech Minister of Interior Flamur Noka focused on the reforms undertaken by the government of Albania at the decentralisation aspect. “Today in this conference, it is time to consider the achievements, findings and successes of this program, which really made​​this program successful,” said Minister Noka. One interesting aspect of the conference was the announcement of competition winners for Best Project and Best Practices opened up for local government units in Shkodër and Lezhë Qarks along themes like Information and Communication, Waste Management, Financial Management, Strategic Planning, and Inter-municipal Cooperation. All winners (communes and municipalities) received prizes in the form of financial contribution to municipal budgets and a certificate of award that were handed over to them by the relevant


Korrik - Gusht April | 16 government representatives. The award ceremony was accompanied by an exhibition featuring best project and best practices multimedia presentations. During the second part of the day, participants were divided into 4 rooms where thematic roundtables took place with a focus on e-governance, fund access, budget planning and waste management. At these roundtables programme staff and local government representatives unfolded the methodologies and discussed their validity and feasibility for wider use at national level. Final recommendations from these sessions include some possible solutions to the many challenges faced by the local government.

 Sustaining local government capacities and expanding best practices in planning and implementing crosssectorial actions to address malnutrition and food insecurity Recognizing the importance of intersectoral interventions for nutrition, coordination structures are established at national and district levels in the target intervention areas of the Joint Nutrition programme. The programme is implemented by the Albanian government, supported by UNICEF, WHO, FAO and financed by the Spanish Government. A recent Participatory Capacity and Needs Assessment of local authorities in target areas indicated that malnutrition and food security issues are not adequately prioritized by the local governments. To address this gap, Partners for Development Foundation developed a step-by-step empowering approach combining theoretical and practical inputs. 230 representatives of local governments in 15 communes, health sector, agriculture sector, social assistance sector, and various civil society organizations participated in the training sessions. They thus obtained a better understanding of malnutrition and household food insecurity and how to plan multi-sectorial actions to address them. Local coordination structures were established in 15 Local Government Units. The units were supported by a team of experts, to assess the local

  Photo: Recognizing the importance of intersectoral interventions for nutrition, coordination structures are established at national and district levels in the target intervention areas of the Joint Nutrition programme.

needs and develop their Local Management Plans for Nutrition and Food Security. These interventions have contributed to strengthen the leading role of local governments in coordinating nutrition and food security interventions, increase the responsibility and the responsiveness of other actors to the nutrition and food security issues, clarify the roles and responsibilities among various local actors, introduce a practice of periodic meetings and reporting on nutrition and food security issues.

 Albania launches “Third National Communication of Albania to the UNFCCC” to fulfill its obligation as a Party to the Climate Change Convention On 5 April 2013,Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Water Administration in collaboration with UNDP Cli-

mate Change Programme embarked today on a new initiative called “the preparation of the Third National Communication of Albania to the UNFCCC”. As a non-Annex I Party to the Climate Change Convention, Albania is eligible for expedited financing for the preparation of its National Communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the core focus of which are (i) the preparation of the Green House Gases emissions inventory, (ii) vulnerability and adaptation analysis based on the climate change scenarios, and (iii) mitigation analysis, i.e. formulation of sector measures to reduce the GHG emissions from relevant sectors within a defined timeframe. Albania has already submitted the Initial and the Second National Communications respectively in 2002 and 2009. The Second National Communication, extended the inventory of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals to the period 1990-2000, with 2000 be-

  Photo: Albania launches “Third National Communication of Albania to the UNFCCC” to fulfill its obligation as a Party to the Climate Change Convention


Korrik - Gusht April | 17 ing the base year, considering six main greenhouse gas emitting sectors: i) energy, ii) industrial processes, iii) agriculture, iv) waste, v) land use change and forestry, and vi) solvent and other product uses. The inventory was the basis for the greenhouse gas mitigation analysis, which was extended to 2025 and had a pronounced focus on energy and transport (the main emitting sectors). On the other hand, the assessment of vulnerability and adaptation options focused on the Drini River Cascade (area from Kukës up to the Lezha Plain), considering three time horizons: 2025, 2050 and 2100 and coming up with a list of adaptation options up through 2025 for the agriculture, water resources and livelihoods to adapt to the expected climate changes. Albania has started the process for the preparation of the Third National Communication to UNFCCC with the Self Assessment exercise, finalised in October, 2011 and the endorsement of the Project Document on the Third National Communication in June, 2012. The major objectives are to update the annual Albanian Inventory of Anthropogenic greenhouse gases to the period 20002005, focusing on the sectors/gases that have a significant share of greenhouse gas emissions such as the transport and industry sectors. The downscaled global models will be developed to regionalize climatic forecasts and apply these new forecasts in vulnerability and adaptation assessments that are focused on the entire coastal region; state-of-the-art greenhouse gases mitigation modelling frameworks will be used to developed a national low carbon development strategy. Albania’s description of national circumstances will be updated, as well as the steps to be taken or envisaged to implement the Convention. The project will also work to strengthen institutional capacity for implementing the Convention in Albania including undertaking activities related to climate change education and awareness.

 The Albanian Corporate Social Responsibility Network launched How can we inspire Albanian companies to go beyond their minimum legal

  Photo: Launching of the Albanian Corporate Social Responsibility Network

obligations in favour of their workers, environment and society at large? How can we generate commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? How do we make businesses see the benefits of embracing CSR principles? In the frame of its ongoing support to the promotion of CSR in the country, UNDP backs the members of the Albanian business community that are laying the foundations of the CSR Network. Companies like AMC, Antea Cement, Bankers Petroleum, BKT Bank, Intracom Telecom Albania, Kalo & Associates, ProCredit Bank and Vodafone Albania launched on 11 April 2013, the Albanian CSR Network in a ceremony organized at the National Historical Museum. The Network was created to promote and support the sustainable development of the private sector in Albania through the promotion of CSR. This is an initiative of eight leading companies that share the same ambition, to serve as a resource base of CSR in support of a competitive and sustainable enterprise and market economy. The essence of this open Network is partnership, and it calls for the participation of not only pioneering larger companies, but also SMEs. The activities of the CSR Network will include: Dissemination of information on CSR; Building cross-sector partnerships; Capacity building for businesses and SMEs; Policy support on CSR; Establishment of Annual CSR Awards. Head of the Competitiveness Department at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, Mr. Bashkim Sykja

underlined that the implementation of CSR principles is important for every enterprise, because it increases its competitiveness. It brings benefits from the perspective of risk management, cost reduction, access to capital, customer relations, human resources management and development of innovative capacity. UNDP Programme Analyst, Eno Ngjela, indicated that increasing the number of enterprises that integrate CSR principles is a collective objective of the Government, the CSR Network, UNDP and many other stakeholders. Similarly, raising awareness and building private sector capacities is everyone’s collective challenge. In addition he added: “We all know that CSR cannot be imposed. In Albania, we need to build the case for corporate social responsibility on sound economic and social arguments, and not just moral pressure. No one can better build the business case for CSR, than business itself”. The President of the CSR Network, Adamantios Frantzis, General Manager of Antea Cement, added: “We will try to share knowledge and to design customized actions to improve the CSR competences of our members taking into account the degree of CSR maturity of each one of them. Our first priority is to build capacity; to raise awareness, engaging into activities that will make CSR a concept recognized by society and which will help us attract new members. We would like to assist companies and especially our business partners along the value chain, our cus-


Korrik - Gusht April | 18 tomers and suppliers, large enterprises or SMEs, share the same values with us and apply them in their operations”. Mr. Frantzis concluded by emphasizing once more that the Network will align its work with ongoing efforts and seek to embrace further initiatives like the Global Compact and the Global Reporting Initiative.

 Conference “Business towards Vocational Education” On 9 April 2013, K-education office in Tirana (representative office of KulturKontakt Austria), organized the Conference “Business towards Vocational Education” in the frame of project “Albiz – Reform of economic vocational education in Albania 2009 – 2013”, financed by Austrian Development Cooperation. The conference aimed at emphasizing the importance of the role that vocational education has, not only for businesses as future employers of the pupils, but also for the relevance that education has for the whole economic development of the country. The half day conference was organized in two sessions. The first session brought together ministers, vice ministers and representatives from Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour, Social affairs and Equal Opportunities and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy, as well as representatives from Austrian Chamber of Commerce and European Vocational Training Association. The second session was reserved for the businesses coming from all regions of the country. Their opinion and perspective was requested to be reflected in round table discussions on issues concerning both, business and school such as: apprenticeships, youth employment, qualified future workers, etc. A very important input of the conference in the second session was the presentation of the best practices of collaboration between school and businesses. Raiffeisen Bank, Megatek (retail in Do it yourself) and Sigal Uniqua Group Austria presented their experience in collaborating with the schools of their region and underlined in turn the benefits of working with pupils of vocational education. ALBIZ supports the Albanian Economic Schools to become more attractive, in-

  Photo: Conference “Business towards Vocational Education” in the frame of project “Albiz – Reform of economic vocational education in Albania 2009 – 2013”

crease their quality and link their training to the labour market. The aim of this project, which focuses on secondary business education, is to enhance the quality and attractiveness of this education in Albania. An important aspect therefore is to strengthen cooperation between schools and their environment. This is primarily being achieved by developing a better and more intensive communication and cooperation with representatives of the business sector.

 UNICEF and Trebeshina LTD Hari Lena Group join forces for early childhood in Albania On 30 April 2013, at Trebeshina premises,Trebeshina LTD Hari Lena Group and UNICEF launched a joint communication initiative for Children in Albania. The campaign focuses on the early childhood development and wellbeing of young children. Trebeshina LTD Hari Lena Group will distribute water


Korrik - Gusht April | 19 bottles which will carry important messages for parents and public at large education and awareness on the early year’s importance for the future life of children. The messages will be displayed on an estimated 25 million bottles of water that Trebeshina LTD Hari Lena Group is expecting to sell during the next 12 months. “This is significant for children in Albania as early childhood development andwellbeing is not only a state affair. All forces –government, private sector, civil society, everybody has to play a role’ says UNICEF representative in Albania, Detlef Palm. “Trebeshina’s company strongly believes that everyone can contribute to provide a better start for the children’s lives” said Harri Lena, representative of Trebeshina LTD. The messages will help parents, families, caregivers and even grandparents to pay attention to the importance of the first three years of a child. The first message to be printed on each bottle is: Talk, play and read to your child! A series of media communication for behavior change events will follow the launch of this message funded by Trebeshina. The collaboration of Trebeshina LTD Hari Lena Group and UNICEF is also considered to encourage corporate social responsibility, to the benefit of children and the community.

 Germany supports Cross Border Cooperation The German Government, continues its support - through GIZ Open Regional Fund South East Europe - Legal Reform (ORF LR) - to the strengthening of the cross border cooperation in South East Europe. Currently, the German GIZ is supporting the initiative of the Ministries of Justice on signing a mutual convention. A draft convention “On Jurisdiction and Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters” will further promote mutual trust and direct cooperation of judicial authorities between countries and enhance possibilities to build collaboration with the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters.

  Photo: Chair of Albania’s Union of Journalists, Aleksandër Çipa, speaking at the roundtable on investigative journalism, 19 April 2013. (OSCE/Elton Tahirllari)

On 12 April 2013, at a Ministerial Conference in Belgrade, all participating countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia) signed the letter of Intent, which gives a green light to the signature of the convention in September 2013.

 Roundtable on investigative journalism Prominent journalists, editors and media experts in Albania gathered on 19 April 2013 in a  roundtable organized by OSCE Presence in Albania to discuss on the current situation and future challenges of investigative journalism in the country. Discussions focused on main difficulties hampering investigative journalism in Albania, reporting corruption as a mean to prevent it and ethics issues

and dilemmas during reporting. Use of new media and social media in promoting investigative journalism was also among the topics. Journalists discussed also on the regional situation and opportunities to enhance development of investigative journalism. The roundtable was organized in the framework of the project “Strengthening adherence to professional and ethical standards” implemented by OSCE Presence in Albania.

 Launch of media monitoring project with Tirana University On 15 April 2013, the Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania and the Dean of Faculty of Philology as well as the Head of the Department of Journalism of Tirana University signed a memorandum of understanding launching a media monitor-

  Photo: The Head of the OSCE Presence, Ambassador Eugen Wollfarth, and Dean of the HistoryPhilology Faculty Shezai Rrokaj sign the agreement on media monitoring project, 15 April 2013. (OSCE/Elton Tahirllari)


Korrik - Gusht April | 20 ing project related to the upcoming parliamentary elections. The Head of Presence highlighted the important role media have to play in the on-going electoral process in providing information for citizens. “That can be about programmes of political parties or candidates’ platforms, to name just two examples. Through objective and balanced reporting, they can contribute to the consolidation of democracy in Albania.” As part of the project, the Department of Journalism will conduct an academic content analysis to produce a report detailing to what extent news output of the major media outlets in Albania is shaped by public relations efforts of political and economic interest groups. The outcome of this effort will be to identify shortcomings and provide a basis for developing measures to address them.

 OSCE Presence trains police on their role in elections Thousands of police officers have received training to prepare them for their role in the electoral process through a programme organized by the OSCE Presence in Albania and the State Police ahead of the June elections. The training programme, which continued until the end of April, started on 26 March at the strategic level, with a session dedicated to senior police officers. Following the training of 150 trainers, sessions were cascaded through the operational and tactical levels for all police personnel that will be engaged in election-related duties. Lecturers include experts from the police academy, the Presence, the Central Election Commission, and the Prosecution Office. The Presence is also preparing an information booklet regarding the special role of the police in the electoral process that will be distributed to the approximately 7,000 police officers involved. The assistance is part of the Presence’s on-going support to the state institutions to help ensure successful technical administration of the electoral process.

 Presentation of findings and recommendations to improve civil trials

  Photo: OSCE Presence trains police on their role in elections

On 27 March 2013, the OSCE Presence in Albania, together with the Minister of Justice and the Deputy Chair of the High Council of Justice, presented a report on the Albanian civil justice system. The report, “Towards Justice”, which is based on observations made in more than 140 court hearings in four district courts, assessed the civil justice system for compliance with international fair trial standards and also provided recommended measures to further increase the efficiency, fairness, transparency and accessibility of the justice system. The Head of Presence praised advances made in the functioning of the Albanian judiciary over the last two decades, but noted the report showed there is still scope for improvements to bring the justice system fully in line with international standards. Following launch of the report, the Presence engaged in consultations throughout April with a wide range of justice professionals, internation-

al partners and civil society organizations involved in justice reform, in order to turn the general recommendations identified in the report into more specific suggestions for legislative and practice amendments. In a positive development, some of these general recommendations have already been taken on board by the Ministry of Justice as proposed amendments to the Civil Code and Civil Procedure Code.

 Fostering cross-party cooperation among women parliamentarians On 26 March the Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Eugen Wollfarth, hosted a working lunch for women parliamentarians to highlight achievements in promoting the role of women in political life and encourage the further increase of women’s representation in the new legislature. He stated that


Korrik - Gusht April | 21 the Presence has been a staunch supporter of increased participation of women in political and public life, voicing his hope and expectation to see a number of women in ‘good’ positions on the party lists, in line with the spirit of the gender quota. This would not only send a strong signal of the parties’ commitment to gender equality, but also serve as further encouragement to participation of under-represented groups in Albanian political life. A number of women parliamentarians participated in the event, where they continued efforts todevelop more formalized cross-party political support for women’s full participation in political and public life in Albania. The Presence’s activities to promote women in governance build on the OSCE’s regional experience in supporting the efforts of state and non-state organizations to implement more ambitious genderequality objectives.

 TCJE.org provides balanced, bilingual coverage of Albania’s upcoming elections

  The website of Tirana Centre for Journalistic Excellence TCJE.org

Albania’s young democracy needs independent media to thrive as the country progresses toward European integration. Enjoying legislative freedoms and little regulation, the Albanian media environment is rich in numbers, but often poor in balance and quality. Many media outlets are designed to push the agenda of the political and economic actors behind them. Others give in to political and economic pressures to survive. In such an environment, independent coverage that is free of bias is hard to

  Photo: Socialist Party Member of Parliament Arta Dade (l) and Democratic Party Member of Parliament Albana Vokshi interact during the working lunch hosted by the Head of the OSCE Presence, 26 March 2013. (OSCE/Joana Karapataqi)

come by, which is why a group of young journalists and civil society experts came together to create the Tirana Centre for Journalistic Excellence, or TCJE.org. Operating as a nongovernmental and nonprofit organization, TCJE.org aims to improve the quality of journalism in Albania by providing and commissioning professional content and independent media coverage. TCJE.org focuses on providing coverage in key areas for Albania’s future, such as strengthening democracy and rule of law, which why its current top project aims to provide comprehensive independent coverage of the June 23 parliamentary elections in Albania. With funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC), TCJE.org has created an online platform to provide news, analysis and background information related to the elections. The bilingual platform – in English and Albanian -- aims to serve anyone interested in the Albanian elections with the sort of impartial and quality updates they have come to expect by from top international news organizations. “The elections-related project is particularly important, as these polls are seen as a key test of Albania’s progress toward building a consolidated democracy and moving forward its EU bid. Providing accurate and impartial information on the process is vital,” says Andi Balla, TCJE’s executive director. “The project also fits our main mission in Albania, to help improve the quality of media coverage and

strengthen the public’s trust in the media. We are very grateful to the Austrian Development Agency for its assistance in the elections’ project.” In addition to covering the events related to the next parliamentary elections, TCJE is also working on projects relating to better explaining the EU integration process as well as providing coverage on topics for-profit media usually ignore, such as the rights of vulnerable communities. Visit http://tcje.org/ for more information.

 CEMSA - EU Funded Project Environmental Monitoring From 25 to 27 April 2013, more than 20 Albanian experts on air, water, soil and biodiversity participated to an integrated environmental monitoring expedition organized by the EU-funded project CEMSA. These experts were members of different Albanian Institutions (National Environmental Agency, Albanian Geological Survey, Institute of Public Health, University of Tirana and Faculty of Agriculture). A movie has been realized during this expedition, and will be broadcasted to explain the need of a real and efficient environmental monitoring in Albania. As preliminary results, this is the first time ever that data on bats in the area of Orikum have been collected. Also rare species of algae were identified. Soil and


Korrik - Gusht April | 22

water samples have been collected inside and outside the Vlora bay. All the collected data will be added to the National Database on Environment developed under the CEMSA project.

 Call for Proposals: Swiss Funding for Scientific Research Cooperation Between Switzerland and Albania The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)have announced a call for proposals under the framework of funding for joint research projects between Switzerland and Eastern Europe. A fund of approximately 13 million Euros has been made available to finance scientific research projects that involve research institutions from Switzerland and Eastern European countries. Albania is part of the first category of eligible countries. The funding is part of a programme titled ‘SCOPES: Scientific Cooperation BetweenEastern Europe and Switzerland which has been running since 1990 as part of Switzerland’s efforts to increase cooperation with and to assist the scientific development in this part of Europe and the former Soviet Union. The programme aims at increasing performance and integrating research institutions and individuals into the international and European scientific community. Compared with previous waves, the SCOPES 2013-2016 will offer the same funding instruments that include conference grants, joint research projects, preparatory and valorisation grants. In addition, the funding will emphasise capacity development especially among young and female researchers. Thematic coverage is open to all scientific

disciplines ranging from humanities and social sciences to technology, medicine and natural sciences. However three main criteria must be considered: 1. Relevance for transition; 2. Capacity Building; 3. Partnership Approach. Part of the programme’s philosophy is the utilisation of scientific research for the purposes of improving policymaking and development strategies in the country. Researchers who work at research institutions in Switzerland and Albania are eligible for funding provided that the main applicant is employed at a Swiss research institution. Albanian research institutions that may benefit from the programme include universities, academic institutes, public research institutions, and other research institutions that do not conduct research for com-

mercial purposes. The period of application has started on 2 April and will run until 20 September 2013. Applications must be done online by the main Swiss co-applicant through the SNSF websitewww.mysnf.ch. Further information is available at SNSF website: http://www.snf.ch/E/funding/calls/Pages/calls. aspx?NEWSID=1950&WEBID=F6B532FB64ED-466F-8816-193D4DE8DC94 or at the website of Swiss Cooperation in Albania: http://www.swiss-cooperation.admin.ch/ albania/ Contact person: Elda Bagaviki, National Programme Officer. Swiss Cooperation Office in Albania Elda.bagaviki@sdc.net

As of 1 January 2013 until 31 December 2013, the UN (UNDP) is the Chair of the Donor Technical Secretariat. All comments regarding Government-Donor Dialogue are warmly welcomed! Want to contribute? If you would like to contribute, send your text to the Donor Technical Secretariat (DTS) Office (nevila.como@aidharmonisation.org.al) or the Department of Strategy and Donor Coordination (DSDC) (koordinimi@km.gov.al) by the 5th of every month. An ideal word count for submissions is around 100 words. Frequency Each edition will be sent to you on the 15th of every month. Who are the donors in Albania? To find out who are the donors operating in Albania please click here. To unsubscribe: Please send an e-mail to Nevila Çomo (nevila.como@aidharmonisation.org.al)

The Government-Donor Dialogue Newsletter is supported by the UN in Albania

Government donor dialogue issue no 69 april 2013  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you