A lbania became member of the Council of Europe (CoE) on 13 July 1995. Following its accession to the CoE, a CoE presence headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe (SRSG) was established in Albania. It was succeeded, in June 2003, by the establishment of the Information Office of the Council of Europe (IOCE) in view of the resolution (99)9 adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 28 July 1999 at the 677th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies, aiming to reinforce the previous Information and Documentation Centres.
In January 2011, based on Resolution (2010)5 on the Status of Council of Europe Offices, adopted by the CoE Committee of Ministers in July 2010, and the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the CoE and the Albania Government on the establishment of a Council of Europe Office in Tirana as a new institutional form of co-operation, replacing the previous Information Office.
As representation of the Secretary General in Albania, the Office works to increase the visibility of CoE actions in Albania, ensures effective co-ordination between the CoE Directorates General at Headquarters in Strasbourg and national stakeholders and facilitates contacts with international partners on the ground.
In April 2015, the Committee of Ministers approved the Programmatic Co-operation Document 2015-2017 developed jointly with the Albanian authorities, replacing the first framework for co-operation for the period 2012-2014.
At present, the Council of Europe Office in Tirana, led by the Head of Office, implements seven projects under the authority of the respective CoE Directorates General. Out of these seven, five are part of the Horizontal Facility - a cooperation framework of the Council of Europe and the EU aiming at supporting the Western Balkans and Turkey to comply with European standards, focusing on three areas: (1) Ensuring justice; (2) Fighting corruption, economic crime and organized crime; (3) Promoting anti-discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups. Another joint projects with EU focuses on protection of the rights of Roma, while a bilateral cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), aims at strengthening the democratic citizenship education in Albania.