Brussels, 13 November 2013
Renewed EU support to key reforms in Albania
Today the European Commission adopted the 2013 national programme for Albania under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). The 82 million EUR programme will finance 19 programmes tailored to the specific needs of the country, supporting reforms and investments in key areas such as governance, justice and home affairs, transport, environment, employment and social inclusion, as well as agriculture and rural development.
"Albania has shown its commitment to the integration process, which was reflected by the recent Commission's recommendation to grant the country candidate status. Reforms, however, need to be sustained and I am confident that this year's programme will help Albania do that and bring positive change to the lives of its citizens", said Commissioner Füle.
As a strategic priority, the programme will help strengthen the independence and efficiency of justice and improve the fight against corruption and organized crime. The funding will support concrete reforms in the area of public administration, with the ultimate aim of increasing the trust of the Albanians in their own State administration.
Support will also go to environmental protection, including the management of waste, which is one of the most important challenges Albania will have to cope with in the years ahead. Socio-economic development will be supported with dedicated measures to uphold SMEs and to improve the performance of the government's labour and social policies.
The funding will further help the country prepare for the future national management of EU funds for agriculture and will finance small and medium scale investment measures to support farmers. Strategic infrastructure projects in rural areas will be implemented to rehabilitate the network of secondary roads and construct efficient water supply systems.
For the first time, the IPA annual programme includes a set of projects, which will be directly implemented by the Albanian administration through grant and procurement procedures, as soon as the country gets the green light by the Commission to manage IPA funds.
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