Since 2000, the Government of Albania has taken important steps against corruption. In April 2000, a revised Anti-corruption Plan was presented to the public containing a large number of measures. At the same time, an Anti-corruption Monitoring Group (ACMG) was established to follow the implementation of the plan. The structure and mandate of this group was based on suggestions made by a Council of Europe team of experts and the Stability Pact Anti-corruption Initiative (SPAI) who visited Albania in March 2000.

In September 2000, a Council of Europe technical assistance mission visited Albania and −in close cooperation with the Albanian authorities − developed proposals to further strengthen the ACMG.

The recommendations of the mission were subsequently adopted by the Government of Albania, and steps were taken to establish the Anti-corruption Unit of the ACMG at the Office of the Prime Minister.

The Albanian authorities and the Council of Europe subsequently agreed to launch a technical cooperation project aimed at supporting the Albanian authorities in the strengthening of the Anti-corruption Monitoring Group (ACMG). The project – PACO Albania 1 – was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and implemented by the Council of Europe from January 2001 to July 2002 as part of the Programme against Corruption and Organised Crime in South-eastern Europe (PACO).

Following the completion of the PACO Albania 1 project in mid-2002, and based on the recommendations of an evaluation team (February 2002), Sida and the Council of Europe agreed  to support the Albanian authorities through a follow-up project – PACO Albania 2 (August 2002 −December 2003).

The project PACO-Albania 2 is thus based on the achievements and the momentum created under PACO Albania 1. From August 2002, it supported the Albanian authorities in their efforts to implement the national anti-corruption plan more effectively. In terms of its overall rationale, the project has been designed to assist Albania in preventing and controlling corruption to the point where it no longer undermines the confidence of the people in the political and judicial system, the rule of law, economic development, foreign investments and European integration.

This project (like PACO Albania 1) has been implemented by the Economic Crime Division of the Directorate General of Legal Affairs of the Council of Europe.