Support to The Albanian Ministry of European Integration SMEI II

About the project

The German Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ) and the European Commission are co-operating in a project whose objective is to support Albania in implementing the SAA and in preparing the country for accession to the European Union. The project is called Support to the Ministry of European Integration of Albania II (SMEI II). It is being implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) – German Technical Co-operation – through a Delegation Agreement that started in September 2009 and will last until August 2011. The main beneficiary of the project is the Ministry of European Integration.

The contribution of the European Commission and BMZ to address several of the Ministry’s needs amounts to 2.6 Million Euro.

Project Synopsis

Scheme

During the first year of its operation, the project focussed on strengthening the operational capacity of the Ministry of European Integration to manage the approximation of the country’s legislation to the acquis communautaire. It helped install structures and processes for the inter-institutional co-ordination of European integration efforts. Similarly, it helped with the translation of the acquis and the legal approximation work, which included introducing new methods for professional comparison of the Albanian legislation to the EU acquis (Legislative Gap Analyses). SMEI II also provided essential support to the EU Questionnaire Process, whereby Albania had to supply a huge amount of information to the European Commission for the Commission Opinion on Albania’s application for EU membership.

Furthermore, the project assisted work on the Albanian National Plan for the Implementation of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement and helped monitor the commitments resulting from the Agreement. It helped co-ordinate the activities of external donors related to the European integration process and, finally, it assisted the Ministry in the development of an action plan based on the strategy of communication with the Albanian public in European integration matters.

Looking ahead, SMEI II will concentrate even further on ensuring the sustainability of the structures and results secured so far. Sustainability of the Inter-Institutional Working Groups will be a first priority for preparing professional expert teams for the future accession negotiations. This will require the creation of a dependable institutional memory and redoubled efforts to retain Albanian expert personnel. At the same time, the project will support the systematic analysis and translation of the recommendations contained in the Commission Opinion into concrete action plans for further preparations for Albania’s EU accession. The output and results of Albania’s EU integration work will be made accessible to the widest possible audience.

MieEU Delegationbmzgizeuropaeuobserver