Italy and the Western Balkans

The action of the Aics Headquarters in Tirana is inspired by three essential criteria: Characterization, Recognition and Impact. Characterizing cooperation interventions, coordinating them over time in specific thematic and geographical areas, gives recognition to the Italian commitment and increases the impact of the activities financed by Italy.

The Italian Development Cooperation Agency has ongoing projects in the Western Balkans for a total of over 250 million euros. In line with the European Strategy for the Western Balkans and with the National Strategy for Development and Integration 2015-2020 of the Albanian Government, the Aics Headquarters of Tirana is committed to three main areas of intervention, in which Italy has an added value recognized: 1) Rule of Law and Good Government, 2) Environment and Nature, 3) Competitiveness and Innovation.

The initiatives in progress and in the planning phase support exchanges between Country Systems at the highest level. I quote only by way of example the first cooperation activity carried out by the Superior Council of the Italian Judiciary in Albania, Support for the Albanian Magistracy School in the context of the constitutional reform, for a value of 300,000 euros. The project allows Italy to play a leading role in the reform of the Justice System in Albania: a fundamental issue for the country's entry into Europe.

In the Western Balkans, the CNR, the Universities of Bologna and Florence, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Ministry of Agricultural and Forestry Policies, the Municipality of Milan, and the Tuscany Region in health are active with cooperation funds. only. An important role for the sustainable development of local communities is played by Civil Society Organizations engaged in the fields of inclusive education, the enhancement of natural and cultural heritage, responsible tourism, social economy, the fight against gender violence.

This is an overall 360° intervention plan, started in 1991 with the solution of the first humanitarian crisis in Albania. The closeness between Italy and the Western Balkans is not just geographical. It is human, cultural and institutional.


Nino Merola