Tirana - the square of the national hero Albani Skanderberg

Albania is benefitting from Council of Europe co-operation initiatives to support its reform agenda in the framework of its commitments as a member state and to further progress in the European Union integration process. Co-operation interventions are carried out in the following key areas: reform of the judiciary, protection of human rights and anti-discrimination, the fight against corruption and organised crime, equality and education as well as freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

The Council of Europe Office in Tirana is ensuring co-ordination between the headquarters and national and international partners located in Albania. Six actions are currently implemented in Albania as part of the second phase of the European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey (2019-2022). The programme was launched in continuation of its first phase (2016-2019) to further assist the Beneficiaries in the region in addressing the Council of Europe monitoring bodies’ recommendations and relevant European Union accession priorities. In the area of justice, actions aim at accompanying the justice reform, supporting the enforcement of domestic courts, judgments of the European Court of Human Rights and property rights, and strengthening the quality and efficiency of justice. In the field of prisons, the initiative contributes to enhancing the protection of prisoners’ human rights, including strengthening the process of rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners. Institutional capacities are strengthened to prevent corruption, money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Support is provided to the authorities to enhance implementation of the anti-discrimination legislation, while raising awareness of hate speech and promote diversity. Assistance is also provided to further promote freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

In addition, Albania benefits from support from the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency through a project on Strengthening Democratic Citizenship Education.

Moreover, Albania benefits from co-operation initiatives in the framework of regional actions of the Horizontal Facility focusing on the following areas: quality and sustainability of justice through the Council of Europe flagship initiative based on CEPEJ methodology “Dashboard – Western Balkans”, legal certainty, the fight against economic crime, promotion of diversity and equality as well as freedom of expression and freedom of the media. Additional regional actions focus on addressing radicalisation in prisons, human rights education for legal professionals (HELP), the evaluation of the results of judicial reforms and PACE co-operation on advancing legislative reforms.

Two additional European Union/Council of Europe regional Joint Programmes also support Albania in strengthening its capacity to target crime proceeds on the internet (iPROCEEDS2) as well as promoting good governance and Roma empowerment at local level policies (ROMACTED).