A lbania became member of the Council of Europe on 13 July 1995. Following its accession, a Council of Europe presence headed by a Special Representative of the Secretary General was established in Albania. It was succeeded in June 2003 by the establishment of an Information Office of the Council of Europe.
In January 2011, based on Resolution (2010)5 on the Status of Council of Europe Offices, adopted by the Council of Europe 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 Albanian 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.
At present, the Council of Europe Office in Tirana, led by the Head of Office, implements eight projects under the authority of the respective Council of Europe Directorates General. Out of these eight, six are part of the Horizontal Facility - a cooperation framework of the Council of Europe and the European Union aiming at supporting the Western Balkans and Turkey to comply with the European standards, focusing on three areas: (1) Ensuring justice; (2) Fighting corruption, economic crime and organised crime; (3) Promoting anti-discrimination and protecting the rights of vulnerable groups. Another joint project with the European Union focuses on protection of the rights of Roma, while a bilateral cooperation with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), aims at strengthening democratic citizenship education in Albania.