Brussels, 12 November 2012
EU to invest €81 million to support key reforms in Albania
Albanian citizens are to benefit from the EU's renewed financial support to the country's reform efforts. The funds will be used to address key priorities such as the reform of the judiciary, fight against organised crime, and the reform of the public administration system. They will also help improve Albania's transport infrastructure, modernise water and sanitation systems, and set up a range of services for social inclusiveness.
"For several years now, Albanian citizens have shown strong support for their country's accession to the EU. They know their daily lives will improve while their country moves forward on the path towards the EU. Further progress will depend on Albania's capacity to strengthen this common national objective and deliver on reforms. The EU is committed to assist Albania achieve this goal and I am confident that this year's programme will visibly encourage a sustained pace of reforms in the country", said Commissioner Füle.
The funding earmarked today comes under the 2012 annual programme for Albania of the EU's Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), and will be topped up with an additional €15 million of co-financing by Albanian authorities.
The funding will finance concrete projects in the area of justice reform and will improve the performance of the Albanian State Police. It will help build the new courthouse in Tirana and will restructure two border crossing points. Better financial and management control systems will be set up in local and national authorities, improving the efficiency of financial inspections. This will directly contribute to an effective and transparent use of public funds by the Albanian government.
Infrastructure funding will contribute to constructing the Rrogozhina bypass, thus improving road transport and safety. They will also help rehabilitate the sewerage system in Vlora, which the European Commission expects to benefit the tourism industry in and around the sea-side resort.
Since 2007, countries wishing to join the EU have received focused EU funding and support through a single channel – the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). The total pre-accession funding for the period 2007-2013 is €11.5 billion. IPA consists of five components:
Component I: Transition Assistance and Institution Building - yearly National Programme
Component II: Cross-Border Cooperation
Component III: Regional Development
Component IV: Human Resources Development
Component V: Rural Development
The execution of EU pre-accession aid begins with the definition of the Commission's intentions in terms of indicative financial allocations. This is followed by the adoption of the IPA strategic document, i.e. the Multi-annual Indicative Planning Document, based on the countries' specific needs and setting out the priorities for EU financial assistance for the period 2011-2013. The next step is the preparation, along with the beneficiaries, of programmes to set the frame for the yearly financial allocation. Finally, the programmes are implemented through specific projects on the country or at the regional level.
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