Since its establishment, EMA’s policy work has been focused on multi prong themes related to the promotion and strengthening of the democratization process of Albania. EMA believes in civic education and enhanced participation in public life from the part of non-state actors and citizens as a means to increase institutional transparency and accountability. We work in this direction with central and local government. We continuously carry out capacity building, monitoring and budget monitoring activities with a view of enhancing democracy and good governance in Albania as key EU standards.
Projects undertaken under this programme area are as below:
- Increasing Youth Participation in Electoral Processes (January 2017-September 2017)
The upcoming general elections which will be held on June 2017 should serve as new momentum for attracting the attention of the Albanian youth and the young voters for engaging actively in electoral processes, use their right as voters, and communicate their voice and needs to the key decision makers.The purpose of this project which is financed by Direct Aid Program (DAP), is to encourage the youth participation in the decision-making process. Greater youth involvement in these relevant processes would help to improve the accountability and transparency of local and central institutions and increase chances for the much needed generational change in the Albanian political landscape. The project will contribute in fostering their education on the importance of participatory democracy and of voting in particular, by seeking to increase knowledge, critical thinking and action of youth in local institutions and electoral processes. The project will be conducted in 3 main cities of Albania (Elbasan, Shkodra, and Vlora) through public lectures and training activities.
- Building bridges–A new cooperation culture between local institutions and their communities (2016-present) a project funded by National Endowment for Democracy, seeks to provide sufficient, simplified information about the advantages, as well as possible negative side-effects of the Territorial Administrative Reform; establish a permanent and continuous dialogue between local communities (citizens, NGOs, media, scholars)and political and technical officials of municipalities; and create the legal instruments that guaranties the inclusion of citizens in the local policy and decision-making processes.
- Albanian Law Journal (2016-present) supported by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana, established by EMA in partnership with LFC-Albania, has the main goal to offer in depth analysis of the Albanian legal and institutional framework, and human rights issues, identifying legal and institutional gaps followed by concrete recommendations on necessary amendments and procedures to address spoted problems. Its objectives is to lay the foundations of a more elaborated Albanian legal scholarship which may result helpful to law students during their studies, policy experts and lawyers during their daily work and also to judges during their doctrinal creation.
- Youth as agent of participatory democracy and institutional accountability in the municipality of Shkodra (January 2012 – December 2014)supported by Olof Palme International Center. The overall objective of this project is to increase demand for institutional accountability towards local government institutions, notably the municipality of Shkodra by stimulating young citizens’ participation and exerting pressure on the municipality to improve the transparency of its activity and the communication links with the people.
- In quest of coherent and efficient policies for Albanian regions: Building bridges of cooperation between local and central actors ( September 2011 – June 2012) supported by United States Embassy. This project is conceived to take action upon the deep lack of communication and coordination between institutions and actors, facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogue and conducting policy research to gather actors around current issues and shortcomings affecting the social and economic development in the regions of Durres, Vlora, Elbasan, and Shkodra.
- Encouraging local government accountability: Support to the Municipality of Vlora to improve public information (May 2011 – February 2012) supported by World Bank and British Council. The overall goal of this initiative is to tackle deficiencies in access to information and unaccountable practices in the municipality of Vlora, through support to improve the transparency of its activity and the communication links with the public.
- Upgrading the understanding of International Relations and Changing the Role of the State (June 2010 – June 2011) supported by U.S.A Embassy in Albania. The overall objective of this initiative was to substantially improve the teaching and researching capacities in the Albanian Universities, with a special focus to the public ones which are unprivileged by virtue of limited public funds. Furthermore, the project also achieved to enhance and enrich debate and understanding on such issues at the level of academic and policy circles, in the media, NGOs and politics, which would then be reflected in society at large.
- Role of the Albanian Parliament in the EU integration process (September 2010 – January 2011) supported by the German Council on Foreign Relations. The project aimed to explore the performance of this institutions on the Albanian path towards EU by analyzing its administrative capacities to meet the needs for adopting national policies and legislation with the EU policies and EU acquis structure as well as its overall work carried out in the framework of accelerating the EU integration agenda. By collecting and analysing different facts and views of national and international stakeholders/institutions present in Albania, EMA presented a set of conclusions and recommendations for an enhanced role of this institution in the national political context in view of the EU integration efforts.
- Enhancing participatory democracy at local level: Youth education and involvement in local government institutions and 2011 elections (October 2010 – June 2011) supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The purpose of this project was to involve young voters in the process of decision making of the local government through civic education on the role and importance that local government institutions play for their daily lives and through practical activities of monitoring the work of institutions.
- Promoting Youth Participation in the Albanian Parliament (October 2009 – May 2010) supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED). This initiative achieved to increase the information of youth generation on the daily work of the Albanian Parliament through encouraging their active participation by influencing in the work of public administration in order to make it more transparent, open and democratic in fulfilling its objectives.
- Encouraging Youth Participation in Political Processes (October 2008 – June 2009) supported by National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The project reached to contribute in improving the education and increasing the awareness of young voters on the importance of participatory democracy by engaging them in a round of public debates organized in 7 university cities of Albania.
- Improve the quality of the electoral process through monitoring the process of ID Cards Issuing (April 2009 – October 2009) supported by U.S.A Embassy in Albania. The aim of the project was to enhance the transparency of the process of ID Cards issuing as one of the fundamental aspects linked directly with the free and fair elections in Albania. Through a set of recommendations based on a systematic monitoring process and addressed to all state and non state actors, EMA contributed in improving and making this process successful.
- Monitoring Visa Liberalization process in Albania (March 2009 – January 2009) supported by Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a Project of the German Marshal Fund. This project intended to support the strong desire of Albanian citizens for having a visa free regime with European Communities, by monitoring the implementation of 42 benchmarks embedded in the Visa Liberalization Road Map which was handed over to Albanian Government on 3 June 2008. Since the monitoring process of the implementation of the Visa Liberalization Road Map examined the compliance of Albania with the criteria deriving from the Regulation 539/2001 of the EU, consequently it illustrated the readiness of Albania to move towards Schengen white list.
- Does it really matter? Visa Facilitation in the Western Balkans (March 2008 – August 2008) supported by King Baudouin Foundation and East-East Partnership without Borders Programe, Open Society Foundation in partnership with European Citizen’s Action Service and Stefan Batory Foundation. The project aimed at monitoring the implementation of the Visa Facilitation Agreements in Western Balkan countries by setting up hotline consulting visa applicants in Schengen Embassies and conducting a more in-depth quantitative survey in Schengen Embassies. This regional project was implemented simultaneously in Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.