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Partners Albania Center for Change and Conflict Management QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER

EDITION NO. 53

JANUARY - MARCH 2014

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

In this number: -THE ALBANIAN CROWD, an interactive platform for civil society organizations in Albania page 1 Presentation of the report on Monitoring Matrix on the Enabling Environment for civil society page 2-3 -Green Ideas 2014 Competition -Essay on Philanthropy Competition page 4 -Making Labor Market Work for Young People in Albania -Empowerment of School Governments in Librazhd page 5 -Towards an Alternative Tourism page 6

-Increasing Transparency and Accountability in Public Electronic Procurement at Local Level -Building local capacities for urban governance page 7

-Joint Citizen Action for a Stronger, Citizen-Friendly Union -Enhance dialogue and interaction among citizens and European institutions toward social inclusion page 8

Participation in International Events -Euclid Conference “Chartering Into the Future” -European Commission Conference “Social Entrepreneurs: Have your say! -Social Innovation Forum -The development of democracy and institutional reforms in Eastern Europe: EU enlargement in practice -Social Innovation Laboratory Board meeting page 9-10

THE ALBANIAN CROWD, an interactive platform for the non-forprofit sector in Albania THE ALBANIAN CROWD, is an interactive platform aiming to provide information on the civil society sector organizations in Albania. Through this interactive platform, civil society organizations will be able to: SHARE with the public information on their location, scope of work, areas of activity, beneficiaries, services they offer and projects they are working on; INFORM about activities, events and programs attracting audience, volunteers and supporters; NETWORK with other organizations part of this platform and beyond; PARTICIPATE in online surveys and monitoring related to the enabling environment for the development of the civil society organizations in Albania. Beside the civil society sector, this platform will serve the institutions and individuals from the public sector, the business community, media etc. who will find in it dynamic and comprehensive information on civil society organizations and their activities. To become part of the platform, please complete the online registration form at this link: http://www.thealbaniancrowd.org/ aplikimi/ The Albanian Crowd platform follows Partners Albania work as a resource center on the civil society organizations. Since 2002 Partners Albania created, published and continuously updated the Albanian NGOs Directory, providing comprehensive information on the civil society organizations sector. This project is implemented by partners Albania and supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tirana.

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Presentation of the Report on the Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in Albania

On the round-table were presented and discussed the monitoring findings of the enabling legal and practical framework for the development of civil society organizations in Albania, as well as some of the main preliminary findings from the monitoring of Matrix in eight countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey. Mrs. Lisa Fredriksson, Head of Development Cooperation, Deputy Head of Office of Swedish Embassy stressed that by acting in an enabling environment, the civil society will be empowered to engage in lobbying and advocacy actions, and have more opportunities to establish a functioning cooperation with local authorities. Mrs.Fredriksson also recommended the use of monitoring matrix as a strategic dialogue tool between civil society, government and parliament, as well as in the dialogue between civil society and donors. Mrs. Albana Vokshi, MP and Head of the Parliamentary Commission of Labor, Social Affairs and Health and Mr. Gentian Elezi, Deputy Minister of European Integration, spoke at the round-table on the role of the state ( parliament and government ) in the creation of enabling legal framework for CSOs and the initiatives undertaken by the relevant institutions in this regard. Mrs. Tanja Hafner Ademi, Executive Director of BSCDN Network presented a general overview of the environment in which CSOs in the Balkan countries and Turkey operate, based on preliminary findings from monitoring in each of the states. Findings indicate that in general the legislations in all countries involved are in place and in line with international standards but their implementation remain the problem. The fiscal regime and cooperation with state are two bottlenecks that CSOs in the region face. During the event, representatives of civil society organizations, public institutions, donor community and international organizations further discussed on the report findings, and presented recommendations for improvement of the monitoring in the upcoming years. Mr. Stefano Calabretta, Program Manager at the EU Delegation in Albania, highlighted that considering also the recent developments, it is increasingly required a more organized civil society, more able to have an active role in the policy dialogue and better interact with public institutions. The findings and recommendations of each country report will serve to prepare the Regional Monitoring Report which will be presented on May 2014 at the General Department of Enlargement in the European Commission. Its information will contribute to monitor the progress of each country in support of civil society, in accordance with the EU Guidelines for Civil Society Support in Enlargement Countries, 2014-2020. Click the link below to read about the monitoring reports of the Matrix in all participating countries: http://monitoringmatrix.net/ Based on the findings of the Report for Albania, Partners Albania will advocate together with local organizations on enabling legal and practical environment for CSO activity. The round-table was organized with the support of the European Union and of the Olof Palme International Center in Albania through Swedish government funds. On the next page are presented some of the main findings and recommendations of the Monitoring Report of the Matrix for Albania. To download the full report click this link: http://www.partnersalbania.org/Albania_Country_Report.pdf

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Partners Albania organized on 28 February 2014 a round-table to present the first report of the Monitoring Matrix on Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development in Albania, in framework of the regional initiative “Balkan Civil Society Acquis - Strengthening Advocacy, Monitoring Potential and CSO Capacity�, implemented by the Balkan Civil Society Development Network, of which Partners Albania is a member.


Key Findings Top 6 findings from the report.

Reference

1

Area Tax benefits are not available on various income sources of CSOs. There is confusion in the legal framework regarding the exemption of grants from tax, leading to different interpretations in Sub-Area practice.

2

Area Nuk ka përfitime tatimore për burime të ndryshme të të ardhurave të OSHC-ve. Ka konfuzion në kuadrin ligjor në lidhje me përjashtimin e granteve nga tatimi, që çojnë në interpretime të Sub-Area ndryshme në praktikë.

1 1.1 1 1.1

Area The Public Benefit Status (PBS) is regulated through a decision of Council of Ministers and does include a limited number of working areas (only three areas of work) of CSOs. Sub-Area Area Public funding is available only for the past three years through state agency Civil Society Support Agency (CSSA). It does not support institutional development and co financing of EU projects. Sub-Area Grants and non-financial support are limited and available only at big municipalities.

2 2.1 2

3

5

Area There are no national strategic documents dealing with the state-CSO relationship and CSDev, associated with lack of adequate structures and mechanisms with a mandate to facilitate Sub-Area cooperation between the state and CSOs.

6

Area Based on the existing legislation, CSOs can compete for state contracts on an equal basis to other service providers and there are no legal barriers to CSOs to receive public funding for the provision of different services through procurement procedures. But, in practice CSOs are not able to obtain contracts in competition with other service providers due to lack of clear rules and Sub-Area procedures and lack of capacities from the government institutions on contracting out CSOs.

3 4

2.2

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No

3.1 3 3.3

Top 6 recommendations for reform 6 rekomandimet më të rëndësishme për reformë

Referenca Area

1

1

Adaptation of appropriate financial reporting and accounting rules taking into account the specific nature of the CSOs, the size of the organization and its type/scope of activities (economic and non-economic).

Sub-Area

1.1

2

Clarification of grants’ exemption from the tax scheme through the law and not through other legal regulations.

Area

2

Sub-Area

2.1

3

Area The Public Benefit Status (PBS) should be addressed at the law level, and not through a Decision of Council of Ministers. The scope of PBS should be broadened and not exclusively related to VAT exemption. The activity areas covered by PBS should be broadened reflecting the diversity Sub-Area of CSOs activities.

4

The Civil Society Support Agency (CSSA), the national mechanism providing public support to CSOs should be restructured, and should play its role in compliance with the legislation to provide funds for institutional development of CSOs, co-financing of EU and other grants, and non – financial support.

Nr

5

6

2 2.1

Area

2

Sub-Area

2.2

Drafting of national documents dealing with the state – CSO relationship, which includes goals Area and measures as well as funding available and clear allocation of responsibilities developed in Sub-Area consultation with CSOs. recommended by CSOs. Area Establishment of clear rules and procedures through which CSOs can be contracted to provide services by state authorities. Introduction and regulation by law of social contracting. Sub-Area

3 3.1 3 3.3

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Green Ideas 2014 national competition Partners Albania organized on March 20-21, 2014 in Tirana, the presentation of competing project ideas in framework of the national competition Green Ideas 2014, in cooperation with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Through a competitive process, “Green Ideas 2014” aims that civil society organizations, social enterprises and small business ventures in country to be involved in identification, selection, and prioritization related to sustainable environmental development through application of market competitive innovative green ideas.

Sixteen finalists presented their project-ideas during the two days of competition, which was open to the public and business sector. An evaluation panel consisting of experts in the field of environment, justice, business and economic development selected three best green ideas. These ideas will be provided seed funding of maximum 1.000.000 ALL, through a fund established with the support of Rockefeller Brothers, Albanian Mobile Communications and Credins Bank. The three winning ideas will participate in the regional competition organized by Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Partners Albania in July 2014, in Albania. Besides the seed funding, Partners Albania will support these new initiatives to address their needs in order to become sustainable businesses. PA will collaborate with local companies which as part of their CSR will provide assistance in the identified areas. The three winning ideas of the competition were: “Atlantid Beach Eco Camp” presented by Tirana Express, an idea aimed to develop sustainable tourism in the area of Ishmi; “Recycling jeans” presented by the organization “People and Ideas”, an idea of using cloth bags made of recycled jeans, in the shopping malls and supermarkets. “Green Sight” presented by GO2 organization, an idea aimed to promote tourism through bicycle tour guides in the city of Shkodra. Click the following link to read more about the winning ideas: http://issuu.com/partners-albania/docs/winners_green_ideas_2014/1

“Essay on Philanthropy 2014” national competition Partners Albania invites young people aged 17-21 to participate in the national competition of Essay on Philanthropy 2014. The purpose of this competition is to raise awareness and encourage critical thinking of youngsters, the future professionals, on the development and the impact of philanthropic activity in society. The applicants are free to write about the topic according to their point of view and in relation to their academic or professional interest. The winners will be selected by a jury of experts from the media and social field. The categories for the awards are: -Best Academic Writing; -Best research; -Essay that best shows the values of philanthropy. The winner of each category will receive a symbolic prize.

The deadline for applications is May 12, 2014. The winners will be announced in a public event that Partners Albania will organize on May 15, 2014. Information on the application criteria and guidelines is available in the following link: http://www.partnersalbania.org/?fq=brenda&m=news&gj=gj2&lid=118

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To support the interested applicants in the competition, Partners Albania in cooperation with the Credins Bank provided a training on Marketing and Business Plan Development.


RisiAlbania project, in support of youth employment is being implemented by a consortium consisting of Helvetas Swiss Inter-cooperation and Partners Albania, and is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation ( SDC) in Albania. The project works to create better employment opportunities and income for Albanian youth through private sector growth and improved job intermediation. RisiAlbania and GIZ project “Education and Training in Albania” in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, held on March 11, 2014 at the premises of MSWY the debate “In the job practice and apprenticeship”.

Mr. Veliaj, Minister of Social Welfare and Youth, highlighted in his speech the Ministry’s commitment to the development of quality education and vocational training for young women and men in Albania, as a key priority of the National Strategy for Employment and Skills 2012 - 2014. Mr. Veliaj stressed that the introduction of best models applied in developed European countries (such as the dual system of vocational education which offers the opportunity to practice at a business company the knowledge acquired in school, successfully implemented in Germany) and cooperation among all stakeholders will contribute to providing a quality education and encouraging young women and men towards learning professions and skills currently required in the job market in Albania. Deputy Minister Mrs. Genta Sula, in her speech invited participants to bring in the debate their experiences, opinions and to provide recommendations to feed Ministry policies and strategies on employment practices and apprenticeship. Participants - youngsters, students from professional schools and the teaching staff of these schools, representatives of civil society organizations, business representatives and experts participating in the debate discussed on channels and ways of cooperation, improvement of the regulatory framework, and the support that the state must provide for the effective functioning of youth work practices with businesses, considering this as an important step towards the employment of young women and men.

This debate with the participation of about 100 representatives of youth organizations and students, private sector, government institutions and donors working in the field of education, labor market and youth support, served as a forum for exchange of experiences, opinions, suggestions and recommendations in determining the concrete measures to be taken by all stakeholders in order to institutionalize and implement a suitable and effective model for in-the-job practice and apprenticeship. For more information on this project visit the website: www.risialbania.al

Empowerment of School Governments in Librazhd Partners Albania is assisting the organization World Vision on empowering school governments in 15 pilot schools of Librazhd district, aiming to improve the learning process quality towards a friendly environment for students. The work is focused in raising the students capacities on Friendly School Standards; Preparation of a Project Proposal and Fundraising; and Life Skills. At the end of the trainings’ cycle, the participating schools will be invited by World Vision Albania to take part in a competition to present their projects for the creation of a friendly school. Partners Albania will be member of the projects evaluation team. This initiative is in framework of the World Vision Albania work for the improvement of learning and teaching conditions in Librazhd, in implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Pre – University Education and Schools Infrastructure in the Qark of Elbasan.

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Making the Labor Market Work for Young People in Albania


Towards an Alternative Tourism Partners Albania have continued the work for the development of alternative tourism in the region of Korca. During this period Partners Albania staff in collaboration with local partners have conducted several site visits at the businesses identified as part of the mapping of local businesses in Korca, Pogradec, Prespa, Dardha, Voskopoja, Boboshtica, Morava etc. which provide opportunities for the development of alternative tourism. Partners Albania is working with these businesses to prepare promotional information and presentation of characteristic local products they offer, in order to promote the businesses of these areas in the country, in the region and beyond. A series of promotional materials such as leaflets, brochure and website will be launched shortly as part of this initiative.

TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

Special attention is paid to the local capacity building component through training and assistance programs. During March 2014 it was organized in Korca the two-day training program in Customer Care and Effective Communication, with the participation of 19 representatives of local businesses and service agencies in the Korca region. Participants were introduced to the main techniques of effective communication with customers and discussed on the importance of qualitative service, strategies to create and maintain, and the ethics in the relationship with the clients, challenges in provision of services etc. In the upcoming period, PA in collaboration with local partners and institutions will organize two other training programs focusing on business management and business plan design, and culinary and service in the restaurant. In addition, Partners Albania and MEDF Foundation in Macedonia will organize exchange visits in cross-border area, both in Albania and Macedonia, in order to increase cooperation among local businesses, exchange of experience, and promotion of touristic attractions aiming at the tourism and economic development in the cross-border area. The project “Towards an Alternative Tourism“ is implemented by Partners Albania and MEDF foundation in Macedonia, in framework of the European Union IPA CBC Programme Albania - Macedonia, 2007-2013. It focuses the district of Korca in Albania and the region of Struga, Ohrid, Debarca and Vecani in Macedonia.

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Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in Public Electronic Procurement Application at Local Level The successful pilot initiative undertaken by Partners Albania during 2012 - 2013 in three municipalities, to monitor the implementation of public procurement law, transparency of the process and satisfaction of economic operators with public procurement at local level, will continue to be implemented in four other municipalities in the country. On 6 February 2014 , Partners Albania organized a public event to announce the continuation of the initiative in the Municipality of Berat, Fieri, Himara and Saranda. In the event attended government representatives, mayors of the targeted municipalities and other local government leaders, donors and local organizations that work with local government.

The Minister of Local Government, Mr. Bledi Çuçi in his speech at the event mentioned facts and figures on the effects that public procurement brings in a country’s economy, therefore the high importance it takes the transparency of public procurement procedures and their effective implementation, particularly at the local level. The four mayors of participating municipalities appreciated becoming part of this initiative. They identified several issues encountered during the application of public procurement in their municipalities so far. At the conclusion of the activity, the participating mayors and Mrs. Juliana Hoxha on behalf of Partners Albania signed a joint cooperation agreement to fully participate and successfully implement this initiative. Partners Albania work for monitoring the implementation of public procurement law and procedures in the municipalities of Berat, Fier, Himara and Saranda is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Albania, under the MATRA program for civil society. More information on the activities that Partners Albania will undertake as part of this initiative can be found on our website in the following link: http://www.partnersalbania.org/?fq=brenda&m=shfaqart&gj=gj2&aid=244

Building local capacities for urban governance During 10-12 February 2013 was held in Vienna the “Mayors Symposium: Transformational Leadership in South-East Europe“, organized by the Urban Partnership Program of the World Bank Institute in Austria, at the conclusion of the first phase of this program. In this event participated a delegation from Albania, consisting of representatives from the Municipality of Tirana, Kucova, Lezha, Shkodra, Berati, the Association of Municipalities, COPLAN, as well as Partners Albania represented by Arjola Agolli, Director of Programs and anticorruption practitioner. During the Symposium were presented the main components of the program focused on good governance, transparency and accountability, achievements and lessons learned as part of the implementation. About 100 participants, Mayors from the South- Eastern Europe region, urban planners, associations of local governments and other organizations involved in the program participated in this important international event and shared their experiences as part of the reforms in their institutions / countries. At the symposium were also presented successful local governance practices from Vienna, Lisbon and other European cities. During 2013 Partners Albania assisted the Municipality of Kuçova to increase their capacities on urban governance and in the development of action plans under the Anti-Corruption Strategy 2013-2015, supported by the Urban Partnership Program. As part of this symposium, Arjola Agolli, PA Director of Programs and one of anticorruption practitioners shared PA perspective on this practice, challenges and suggestions for further action. Mr. Bardhyl Gjyzeli, Mayor of Kuçova was also part of one of the panels in the Symposium, bringing the experience of the local government unit he leads, on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of corruption from the activities and services provided by local governments. Kucova municipality, together with Lezha and Rubiku, were assisted by PA in drafting of Anticorruption Strategies, under the initiative Cities without corruptionCities with a future.

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In his remarks , Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands , H.E. Martin de la Bey expressed his appreciation about such initiatives that promote transparency and good governance.


Joint Citizen Action for a Stronger, Citizen-Friendly Union Partners Albania is one of the partner organizations from 13 European countries which are implementing the project Joint Citizen Action for a Stronger, Citizen-Friendly Union (JOIEU). JoiEU comprises of a series of transnational debates mobilizing citizen participation and the use of innovative communications and advocacy strategies and tools culminating in joint policy initiatives for greater citizen participation in the decision-making process in the EU. PA participates in the online debates and widely distributes information about them through social media, website and email. The debates organized during this period were focused on: The role civil society in shaping the EU structural and Cohesion Policy, held in Croatia; Civil Society and the Economic Crisis held in Cyprus; and the New Media for Increased Citizens Participation held in Aarhus, Denmark. In the last debate, Blerina Guga, PA Project Manager referred LIVE from Tirana on the use of these information tools in Albania, aiming the information, increase of transparency and accountability, and active citizen participation. In the debate it was also discussed about the negative effects and problems encountered due to intentional misuse and manipulation of these tools, and the measures for preventing these negative effects.

PA will continue to disseminate information on the calendar and topics of online debates which can be followed LIVE on the project website: http://joieu.net/ The project is funded by the European Union through the Europe for Citizens Programme.

Enhance dialogue and interaction among citizens and European institutions toward social inclusion Partners Albania is one of the partner organizations from seven countries, implementing the IGA (Inter Gea Ação) project. IGA Project contributes to a more inclusive Europe, stimulating dialogue and interaction between citizens and European institutions, in order to find efficient and sustainable solutions for various forms of social exclusion. In framework of this project, Partners Albania in cooperation with Albanian Disability Rights Foundation held on 31 January 2014 a focus group with people with disabilities, to discuss concerns and challenges faced by this community, and to make an assessment of their needs. Participants in the meeting highlighted that one of the problems remains the lack of respect for their rights by the public in general and by public institutions in particular. There is a need for a higher awareness of the general public, and public authorities to take steps to create the necessary conditions and facilities for this community. Participants in the discussion brought positive examples as well, such as the pilot project of the Ministry of Education for assigning teachers to children with disabilities in frame of inclusive education, business companies that employ people with disabilities etc. Problems and issues raised in the focus group will be addressed in a public forum that Partners Albania will organize in cooperation with representatives of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth, and participation of public institutions and civil society actors. For more information on IGA project activities visit http://paginas.estsp.ipp.pt/iga/index.php

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TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE SOCIETY

The observation made by Proinfo in Bulgaria, the leading organization in the implementation of this project, shows that Albania has a high number of followers of the online debates.


PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL EVENTS “Chartering into the Future”, Euclid network conference, 15 January 2014, France

Euclid Network’s conference focused on how civil society and social entrepreneurs can come together to find solutions to relevant issues. Ms. Juliana Hoxha led a discussion group on ‘The magnets to attract people and money’. Whilst attending interactive workshops, the participants worked together to solve five concrete challenges from across Europe. With over 150 participants, it was a comprehensive experience, focusing on the four Euclid benefits of learning, piloting, advocating and networking. The main recommendations were fed into the European Commission’s conference, Social Entrepreneurs: Have Your Say!, the following days. More information on the event is found here: http://euclidnetwork.eu/about-us/annual-conferences/euclid-networkannual-conference-20134.html

“Social Entrepreneurs: Have Your Say!“ conference, 16-17 January 2014, France About 4000 people participated in “Social Entrepreneurs: Have Your Say!” event or followed it online via the web-streaming portal. The event aimed to help strengthen and build the European social economy network to facilitate new initiatives on social innovation. Moreover, the conference aimed to point out the importance of social enterprises in the economy, what are the needs and challenges they face, and actions to be taken in supporting their further development. The conference was video addressed by Mr. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission. Other key speakers included Mr. Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, Mr. Henri Malosse, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Mr. Antonio Tajani, Vice-president and Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Mr. Michel Barnier, Commissioner for Internal Market and Services and Mr. László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. At the end of the conference, a final declaration summarizing the outcome of the discussions was adopted. The declaration has been signed by a significant number of people and institutions, and is available online for everyone that would like to support it: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/conferences/2014/0116-social-entrepreneurs/index_en.htm

Social Innovation Forum, 14 March 2014, Serbia On March 14, 2014 was organized in Belgrade the Social Innovation Forum which focused on the development of social entrepreneurship in the region. Juliana Hoxha, PA Director, as one of the members of the Social Entrepreneurship Forum for the Western Balkans and Turkey, discussed in the event about the experience and enabling environment for the development of social enterprises in Albania. Initiator organizations of the Social Entrepreneurship Forum for Western Balkans and Turkey (SEF) are: in Serbia – Coalition for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship (consisting of TRAG foundation, European Movement Serbia, SMART Kolektiv, Grupa484, SECONS, IDC); Albania – Partners Albania, Center for Change and Conflict Management; Bosnia and Herzegovina –MOZAIK Foundation; Kosovo – Forum for Civic Initiatives (FIQ); Macedonia – Center for Institutional Development (CIRA); Montenegro – Fund for Active Citizenship (fAKT); Turkey- Third Sector Foundation of Turkey (TUSEV). During this event, the member organizations of SEF presented and signed the Declaration of the Western Balkan countries and Turkey for the Development of Social Entrepreneurship. This Declaration will mark the beginning of the advocacy campaign with the EU institutions, in order for Balkan countries to become an integral part of the EU strategy for the development of social entrepreneurship.

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Juliana Hoxha, PA director participated in the “Chartering into the Future” conference organized by Euclid network in January 15, 2014. This conference was a recognized event of the European Commission interactive conference “Social Entrepreneurs: Have Your Say!” organized on 16-17 January 2014 in Strasbourg.


The Belgrade Declaration follows the Strasbourg Declaration which set priorities and recommendations for action by the European Commission and the European Parliament with the aim of further developing social entrepreneurship. The Belgrade Declaration aims to highlight to decision makers in both the EU and the Western Balkan countries and Turkey, the necessary steps to be taken which will contribute to the development of the social economy as a relevant model for the socially sustainable development of the entire region. The Declaration addresses various institutions at the national and EU level. At EU level it addresses the European Parliament, European Commission, Directorate General, different institutes and networks ( EURICSE , IRIS , Emes , etc.), while at national level addresses Ministries and Parliament, CSOs and social enterprises. The full Declaration can be read at this link: http://www.partnersalbania.org/Belgrade_declaration_on_the_ development_of_SE_in_the_region_W.Balkan_and_Turkey.pdf The signing of the Belgrade Declaration had a wide international media coverage. Following are some articles written about this event:

VITA magazine in Italy http://www.vita.it/economia/impresa-sociale/fiocco-rosa-nei-balcani-nasce-l-impresasociale.html ekapija.ba, leading http://ekapija.ba/en/Vijest/news/declaration-on-social-entrepreneurship-in-the-regionbusiness portal in Bosnia has-been-adopted/37061 and Herzegovina: Serbian news agency http://www.tanjug.rs/news/121512/belgrade-declaration-on-social-entrepreneurshipTanjug signed.htm

Development of Democracy and Institutional Reform in Southeastern Europe: EU Enlargement in practice On January 29, 2014 it was organized in Brussels a meeting with officials from the DG Enlargement of European Commission and representatives of civil society organizations in Brussels. In the meeting it was discussed on the development of democracy and institutional reform in Eastern Europe, and were shared the experience and lessons learned from the civil society in Albania and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Representative of Albania, Ms. Juliana Hoxha, Director of Partners Albania presented the experience of civil society organizations in Albania focusing on the regional Project “Balkan Civil Society Acquis – Strengthening the Advocacy and Monitoring Potential and Capacities of Civil Society Organizations”, the monitoring matrix on the enabling environment for the development of civil society.

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SE Times Magazine http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/features/setimes/ features/2014/04/02/feature-03

Annual Board Meeting of the Social Innovation Laboratory (SIL) Arjola Agolli, PA Director of programs participated in the meeting of the Regional Advisory Board of Social Innovation Laboratory (SIL), held in March 2014 in Belgrade. SIL is an organization founded in 2011, consisting of a network of regional social innovators: civil society leaders, entrepreneurs, academics, private sector driven partnerships with civil society groups and academics. SIL has a Regional Advisory Board (of which Partners Albania is a member) consisting of 15 members from seven countries of the Western Balkans. SIL provides a platform for social innovations where knowledge, ideas and practices meet to find solutions for development challenges in the regional socio-economic context. More information about SIL can be found on their website: http://www.socinnovationlab.org/about-sil/ The network has started working on two major regional projects in Balkan and European level, the first on the promotion of social innovation in the Western Balkans and the second on the European and global mapping of social innovation in eight major regions of the world. Part of two initiatives will be also Albania, where the research will be led by Partners Albania. Partners Albania is an Albanian NPO committed to advancing civil society and a culture of change and conflict management in Albania. Partners Albania is a member of the Partners for Democratic Change International, a network of Centers in 20 countries, which provide conflict resolution training and services to the civic, NPO, municipal and national government, and business sectors in their countries and worldwide. PDCI website address is: http://www.pdci-network.org/

PARTNERS ALBANIA, CENTER FOR CHANGE AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT Address: Rruga Sulejman Delvina, N.18, H.8, Ap. 12, Njësia Bashkiake 5, Kodi Postar 1022, Tiranë, Shqipëri, PO BOX 2418/1, Tel: +355 4 2254881 Fax: 2254883 Email: partners@partnersalbania.org Http://www.partnersalbania.org Follow us on and

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Towards a Sustainable Society, edition 53  

Partners Albania Quarterly newsletter, edition 53, January - March 2014

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