The European Commission approved a 103.3m-euro package to support Albania.
The adopted program focuses on essential issues for EU membership such as the rule of law, fundamental rights and good governance.
Furthermore, assistance is provided to further address the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis.
EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi stated that "The European Union continues to stand by Albania. In the face of the COVID-19 crisis, we have made adjustments to existing funds to help Albania withstand current social and economic challenges. At the same time, EU funds aim to support the key reforms that Albania needs to implement to move forward on its European path.
The program includes actions to strengthen the rule of law and the fight against organized crime and corruption, by improving the capacity of the Special Prosecutor for Anti-Corruption, the National Bureau of Investigation and independent justice institutions.
Funding has also been provided for the development of a dynamic land market in Albania, through the establishment of a clear property rights framework. The package also continues to support improving the capacity of the public sector to respond to the needs of citizens and businesses.
The program will operate at both national and local levels.
The EU will continue to support Albania's participation in EU programs such as Erasmus + and Horizon 2020.
Finally, the current package complements other COVID-19-related measures imposed on Albania by the EU, expanding support for businesses and the economy.
The 2020 Annual Action Plan for Albania includes seven areas:
1 - EU for Good Governance (EUR 48.1 million)
2 - EU support for participation in Union Programs (1.5 million euros)
3 - Simplification of the EU integration process (8.3 million euros)
4 - EU for the Rule of Law (EUR 5 million)
5 - EU for Property Rights (EUR 5.7 million)
6 - International Monitoring Operation (IMO) Phase II (8.7 million euros)
7 - EU for Economic Recovery (26 million euros).
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, existing EU funds were reoriented with the dual purpose of helping Albania provide emergency medical equipment and supplies and address the social and economic consequences of the crisis.
The COVID-19 package for Albania amounts to 50.65 million euros. The 103.3 million euro IPA 2020 program contributes to the 26 million euro COVID-19 package.
In addition, the COVID-19 package includes:
1 - 4 million euros to address the immediate needs for medical equipment and supplies. Funding comes from the IPA 2017 program
2 - 20.65 million euros to complement an existing EUR 50 million Social Inclusion Program under IPA 2019.
3 - This program includes an additional allocation of 28 million euros, given to reward Albania's progress in implementing reforms. / ATSH /