It’s a great story of friendship and rebirth. The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation has been in the Balkans since 1991. In three decades of activities, the Italian Government has allocated more then 1 billion euros for the sustainable development and the advancement of human rights in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. Many results have been achieved, working side by side with the National Institutions. We have planned and built schools, roads, hospitals, bridges, ports, electric stations, water treatment plants, to mention concrete examples.
In Albania, Italy contributes everyday to improve the quality of life of the population, strengthen democratic institutions and promote a better international public image of the country. Our financial instruments are grants, soft loans and debt swap. Working together with the National Government, we’ve realized not only new infrastructures. We’ve sustained protection of human rights, enhancement of the environmental and cultural heritage, reforms to prevent corruption and tax evasion, growth of small and medium-sized enterprises, organic agriculture, healthcare, education and tourism. It is an overall plan that has a positive impact on the whole Albanian population. Today, the Italian Cooperation aims at being the main partner of the Albanian Government for the sustainable development of the Sea Region and the coastal communities. In this perspective, the Adriatic Sea is a natural bridge for the Albanian Institutions on the path to European integration.
The Italian Cooperation has been working in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 1992, with allocations of more the 200 millions euros. Italy has contributed to the reconstruction of the Mostar bridge, destroyed during the war. It is a symbol and the best testimonial of a future of peace and reconciliation. Throughout the country, the Italian Cooperation supports mine-clearing operations, civil protection of the population, promotion of human rights and rural development. From 2008 Italy has allocated more then 40 millions euros for Kosovo to achieve National reconciliation, safeguard fundamental human rights and enhance cultural heritage. Today, the Italian Cooperation is deeply committed on sustainable agriculture and healthcare. Many activities are ongoing on vocational training, technological innovation and health public service.
The nearness between Balkans and Italy is not only geographic. It is human, technical and institutional. On the path walked together, the Balkans have grown. Italy and Europe have. It’s the Italian idea of sustainable future: more cooperation and greater dynamism among Country Systems.
From 19 July 2021, the AICS Headquarters in Tirana also has competence for cooperation initiatives in Serbia and North Macedonia. A strenghtening of the Italian cooperation commitment for the European integration of Western Balkans.