EMA has the pleasure to share with you the policy paper: “Meeting EU cohesion policy and IPA III requirements in Albania“ supported by Pontis Foundation – Slovakia, Slovak Aid and Slovak Balkan Public Policy Fund.
Albania’s regional disparities have been persistently evidenced by official data and other international reports. There is no proper cohesion policy in Albania and its preparation in the context of EU accession is at a very early stage. The regional development framework is under preparation and continuous consultations and reviewing yet to be finalized, administrative capacities for implementing IPA (Instrument of Pre-Accession) component III are at an early stage.
Policy analysis and recommendations, in the case of Albania, also have been framed within the hierarchical governance approach and do not consider the experience and the abundant literature on Cohesion Policy of Central European countries. The case of the Central European new member-states has shown that the success of structural and cohesion policy to a large extends depend on the functioning of multi-level and multi-actor type of governance. Thus, utilizing the concept of multi-level governance to draw lessons for Albania is a good practice of facing challenges in aligning with EU cohesion policy and in complying with IPA component III requirements.
Through this research, EMA considers that the Albanian government must therefore show clear commitment in:
- converging its regional development policy with EU cohesion policy and its financial instruments;
- enhancing the implementation of the partnership principle in order to avoid delays in the preparation of programs; and
- securing absorption and efficient/effective use of EU financial resources under IPA.
Regardless of gaining the status of candidate country or not, if the new proposed IPA 2014-2020 draft-regulation is approved it will make access to all types of assistance no longer subject to candidacy status. They will dependent on the readiness to plan, manage, implement and monitor suitable programs, available human resources and capacities at all levels, as well as the appropriate involvement of all stakeholders.