Support for the harmonisation of Albanian economic and trade legislation with EU acquis

Project description

Title: Support for the harmonisation of Albanian 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 Economic Development, Tourism, Trade, and Entrepreneurship
Overall term: 2015 to 2016

Context
Albania was awarded the EU candidate status on 27 June 2014. Membership in the European Union is a strategic goal fully embraced across the Albanian political spectrum. Accession is vital if this south-eastern European country is to become more closely involved in international affairs and enhance its economic competitiveness. EU membership is to open up employment and income opportunities for the Albanian people. Indeed, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2013 was estimated to be only 0.4 per cent. This puts Albania in second-to-last place with respect to per capita income in comparison to EU Member States or other candidate countries. Harmonisation of legislation with EU acquis and its correct implementation are an essential condition for integration of Albania in European Union. Although substantial progress has been made in some fields, the Albanian Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade, and Entrepreneurship (MEDTTE) and the institutions in its area of work lack the necessary competence needed to harmonise and implement the relevant legislation; neither do they have the necessary negotiations competence to conduct accession talks for EU membership.

Objective
The competences for the harmonisation of legislation, its implementation, and conduction of EU accession negotiations in the area of work of MEDTTE are strengthened.

Approach
GIZ advises inter-institutional working groups on specific issues and organisation. It also develops the capacity of national training institutions with the help of local and international consultants. Tools and formats for the broad-based dissemination of information to the public are also being devised. The intention is also to involve the business community in implementing the new legislation.

Results
The present project is based on the project Support for the Implementation of EU-Compliant Albanian Legislation, which ended in February 2014. Thanks to this predecessor project, the European Commission has acknowledged that progress has been made in harmonising Albania’s legislation with the EU acquis in the commercial and EU single market areas. The structures required to implement the legislation have also improved. Due to the successful support of the work on legislation and through the training of over 600 members of the inter-institutional working groups, cooperation in a spirit of trust has been established with the Ministry and the institutions in its sphere of responsibility. In addition, a large range of teaching materials and proposals for a training strategy have been developed for the Albanian School of Public Administration (ASPA), and the predecessor training institute. Moreover, a variety of advisory and training concepts have been tried and tested and are now available for use in further-reaching follow-on activities.