Albania

Strategic co-operation between the Council of Europe and Albania is currently carried out in the framework of the
Programmatic Co-operation Document 2015 - 2017, adopted by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers in April 2015. The Programmatic Co-operation Document consists of a total of 33 projects with an overall financial volume of slightly more than € 18 million.

The overall strategic objective is to support the reform agenda in different sectors thus contributing to the fulfilment of Albania's outstanding accession obligations and commitments as a Council of Europe member state and further progress in the European Union integration process. Protection of human rights and anti-discrimination, the fight against corruption and organised crime, reform of the judiciary, freedom of media, free and fair elections in line with European standards, strengthening good governance and democratic participation will constitute the core priorities of this co-operation framework.

The Council of Europe’s Office in Tirana is currently implementing five projects, out of which three are co-funded by the European Union, one by the Swiss Co-operation Office in Albania and one by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Two out of the five projects are administratively fully de-centralised. The Office is comprised of 14 staff, among which 5 core staff and 9 project staff.

A joint programme with the European Union started in January 2014 aimed at strengthening the efficiency and the quality of the justice system in Albania. Since 2012 the Council of Europe has been working in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to reinforce local and regional government structures and co-operation among local elected representatives. Albania also benefits from a number of CoE regional programmes in South East Europe, which advance the human rights of national minorities, provide regional support for inclusive education, and support freedom of expression and information, and freedom of media. Other CoE co-operation activities in Albania involve human rights education for legal professionals (HELP Programme), pre-electoral assistance actions and support to the Albanian Academy of Political Studies.