Since the shift towards the democratic system Albania has aimed the integration in the European Union, in the framework of the consolidation of a representative democracy similar to western models. The commitment in undertaking this long and full of challenges road was pointed out since the beginning of 1990s with the phrase “We want Albania like Europe“. The road of the European integration which started in July 1991, when diplomatic relations between the EU
and our country were established, has gone through several important stages among which we can mention the signature of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement in 1992, the opening of the negotiations and signature of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) in 1999 and 2006 respectively, the liberalization of the visa regime in 2010 and obtaining candidate status in 2014. Despite its achievements Albania stillhas many challenges to meet where the closest one is the opening of the membership negotiations. The European Centre in the framework of one of its most important institutional objectives has designed and implemented projects on the European integration, which aims to bring closer the European realities and their professional support in the integration process in the EU.
Projects implemented within the framework of the European Integration Program:
Feb. 2019 – May 2019 – The Centre in collaboration with KAS Albania are implementing project “EU integration challenges”, a follow up of previews project which is a nationwide awareness campaign on the integration steeps of Albania toward the EU. Within the framework of this project, the Centre organized the 4-days European Spring School 2019 “Albania towards the EU accession – quo vadis?” with 15 young participants from Albania. During the school, the experts discussed topics such as: freedom of the media, the justice reform, Europeanisation and EU-isation.
Mar. 2019 – Aug. 2020 – The European Centre in collaboration with GIZ GmbH are implementing the project “Integration in the labour market: Yes I can!”. The project comes as a follow up of a previous project “Integrate yourself into the labour market”, implemented in collaboration with GIZ GmbH and is more focused on the (re)integration of young people in the labour market, directing youngsters towards VET.
2017 – 2018 – The European Centre and GIZ (Deutsche Geselleschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit) are implementing the project “Integrate yourself towards the trade market” which aims to promote access to educational opportunities and labour market in Albania and Germany as means to mitigate children`s and youth vulnerability to trafficking, exploitation and irregular migration.
2018 –The Centre in collaboration with KAS Albania are implementing the project “EU integration challenges” which is a nationwide awareness campaign on the integration steeps of Albania toward the EU.
2018 – The European Centre and Terre des Hommes Albania, are implementing the project “Assistance on Facing violent extremism and religion radicalization at domestic level”, funded by the European Union. The project aims to raise citizens’ awareness in Tirana, Elbasani and Pogradec about the consequences of violent extremism and to highly promote their participation in exposing and preventing these phenomena.
2016 – The European Centre in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Albania implemented the project “Asylum law and European standards”. In this framework was published a leaflet “A guide on asylum law”, and were organized 3 workshops in 3 universities in Albania, and 1 training for judges of the administrative courts with the assistant of national and international experts.
2016 – Organization of different activities in the framework of the “European week 2016”, which will have in focus the presentation of EU institutions for young people of different ages, the discussion of EU enlargement, the challenges of Progress Report 2015 of European Commission for Albania and the involvement of the new generation in the process of European integration. The activities are scheduled to take place in the cities of Pogradec, Durrës and Tirana.
2015 – The European Centre in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Albania implemented the project “What`s next – the day after the candidate status?”, this project is designed in two phases. The first phase of the project consisted in the publication of the leaflet “My EU Passport”. On the other hand, the second phase consisted in the organisation of 3 workshops in which national and international experts discussed on the five priorities that the EU Commission set to Albania in the latest Progress Report. One of the workshops was organized with students from the region in the framework of the European Week 2015.
2014 – The organization of the national student conference “Europe and I – What’s next?” in framework of “EU Week 2014” and the promotion and ameliorating of knowledge on European reality and European values, in collaboration with UET Centre and Credins Bank.
2014 – Organization of the national scientific conference “Legal and Institutional developments in Albania in the framework of the SAA”, carried out in the framework of the “EU Week 2014” in cooperation with the Faculty of Law University of Tirana.
2013 – 2014 –“Europe and I”- Freedom of Services and Movement”- The aim of the project is to present the European Union to the high school undergraduate pupils in Albania, in order to spread the knowledge on European values and realities, especially the freedoms of movement and services as a way to live and work in the EU. The project was delivered in cooperation and supported by Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Albania, in 9 different cities of Albania and there were distributed more than 4000 brochures.
2008 – Implementation of two projects financed from the Soros Foundation through NOSA (Network of Open Society for Albania). The “How to apply for EU funding” project is entirely dedicated to the main municipalities of Albania. With this project, the Centre constantly aims to help these local institutions in applying for EU funding. The “The Youngsters and the EU” was implemented in the main universities of Albania, to foster the interest of the younger generation, especially students, on EU and EU integration issues.
2004-2008 – Implementation of the project on “European Union Documentation Centre” (EUDC) supported by the Delegation of the European Commission in Tirana to increase knowledge about the European Union in the country.
2003-2008 – Implementation of the EU Summer School (2 years) and the preparation, printing and distribution of the Stabilization and Association Passport (booklet) carried out in the framework of NOSA (Network of Open Society for Albania) partnership.
2003 – Training of Albanian negotiators on the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) and its negotiation, in cooperation with the Minister of State for Integration and the Madariaga Foundation in Brussels, with the support of OSFA and GTZ.
2000 – 2012 – Establishment and functioning of the National Selection Committee to assist the College of Europe in Bruges and Natolin for the selection of Albanian candidates to study in these Colleges. This activity was carried out in collaboration with the Delegation of the European Commission. The Centre has a similar collaboration with the European College of Parma Foundation.
2000 – Translation and publication of the consolidated version of the EU treaties for the first time in Albania, in co-operation with the Delegation of the European Commission in Tirana. Second edition was published in 2007.