In April 2000, the Government of Albania presented a revised Anti-corruption Plan to the public containing a large number of measures. At the same time −and following the suggestions of a Council of Europe team of experts and the Stability Pact Anti-corruption Initiative (SPAI) in March 2000 −an Anti-corruption Monitoring Group was established by the Government of Albania to follow the implementation of the plan.

The Albanian authorities subsequently requested the SPAI Managing Committee to suggest a prioritization of the actions to be taken under the Anti-corruption Plan. In July 2000, the Council of Europe −on behalf of the SPAI Managing Committee −submitted a proposal to the Albanian Minister of State responsible for anti-corruption measures. According to this, "the creation of a strong institutional mechanism ensuring the actual implementation of the anti-corruption strategy would appear to be of highest priority".

The Albanian authorities and the Council of Europe subsequently agreed to launch a technical assistance mission the objective of which was to support the Albanian authorities in the strengthening of the Anti-corruption Monitoring Group (ACMG).

The mission visited Albania from 5 to 15 September 2000 and −in close cooperation with the Albanian authorities −elaborated a set of recommendations which foresaw:

  • a restructuring of the Anti-corruption Monitoring Group which should consist of a board and a permanent department with full-time personnel;
  • enlarged functions of the ACMG (monitoring, advice and support, prevention and reporting);
  • an important role of the ACMG in the improvement and prioritization of the national anti-corruption plan;
  • relationships and interaction of the ACMG with other key institutions and civil society to ensure a broad involvement of institutions in the anti-corruption effort.

The recommendations of the mission were subsequently adopted by the Government of Albania (Decision by the Council of Ministers signed by the Prime-minister on 13 November 2000) which pledged to have this new Anti-corruption Monitoring Group in place by 1 January 2001.

The mission furthermore recommended that the establishment of the ACMG be supported through a technical cooperation project. In December 2001, the Council of Europe concluded an agreement with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) under which SIDA provided EURO 300,000 for the PACO Albania project aimed at the strengthening of the Anti-corruption Monitoring Group. Initially, the project was to have duration of 12 months (January to December 2001). Following the mid-term review in July 2001 and the project evaluation in February 2002, it was agreed to extend the project to 31 July 2002.

The present report summarizes the activities carried out under this project from January 2001 to July 2002 and its achievements. The appendix contains a list of project reports which provide more detailed information.