Support for the Harmonization of Economic and Trade Legislation with EU acquis (completed)

Project description

Title: Support for the Harmonization of Economic and Trade Legislation with EU acquis
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Albania
Lead executing agency: Albanian Ministry of Finance and Economy (MFE)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018

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Albania was awarded candidate status in 2014 for European Union membership. The country is preparing for accession negotiations. The growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017 is currently estimated at 0.38 per cent – putting Albania in second-to-last place with respect to per capita income among all EU member states and other candidate countries.

As a requirement for EU membership, Albania must adopt and apply EU norms. The Albanian Ministry of Finance and Economy and the institutions within its area of responsibility lack the necessary skills to harmonise and implement the relevant legislation; they do not have sufficient negotiating expertise to conduct accession talks for EU membership.


The expertise for passing and implementing legislation and negotiating accession to the EU has been improved within the Albanian Ministry of Finance and Economy’s area of responsibility.

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The project supports the development of capacities and management tools for long-term reform processes. The objective is to promote EU harmonisation in the economic sector. The project supports a reform process that aims to improve the competitiveness of Albanian companies in the long term.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH advises the Albanian Ministry of Finance and Economy, and six other inter-institutional working groups under its aegis, in three areas:

  • legislation and interpretation of EU norms
  • implementation of harmonised legislation
  • preparations for negotiating EU membership.

The project works closely with the Albanian School of Public Administration (ASPA). Curricula, programmes and innovative learning methods are being developed – for example, the use of e-learning – to facilitate the learning and interpretation of the legislation according to EU norms.                                                        

To ensure that the legislation is EU-compliant, training and consulting are provided for drafting legislation and organising and applying legislative methods in accordance with European practice. In addition, structures and management instruments are to be developed for the implementing institutions.

As preparation for accession negotiations, the project is advising on:

  • developing strategic planning documents for a well-structured preparation process;
  • coordinating and consolidating inter-institutional working groups as core structures for leading negotiations;
  • identifying relevant stakeholders (including civil society).

The project provides the members of inter-institutional working groups with official regulations and proceedings needed for the accession negotiations, thereby helping to accelerate the integrity process.

Other partners are the Albanian Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the National Business Center, the Consumer Protection Commission, the market supervisory authority and various working groups.


The legal harmonisation is supported by regulatory impact assessments (RIAs). The RIAs and applying the principle of participation of relevant interested groups have helped the Government to consider clear political options in the decision-making process.

The support of institutions that play a key role in the EU accession process is promoting transparent and improved services and fair competition between providers. This has a positive effect on the development of Albanian companies and leads to better competitiveness in the long term.

Additional information