LONDON, 19-12-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — The OSCE Presence in Albania, in co-operation with the Minister of State for Local Issues/National Co-ordinator against Corruption, Bledar Çuçi, launched in Tirana today a new initiative to support anti-corruption measures in Albania.
The € 638,000 initiative is funded in partnership with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in co-operation with the Italian School of Public Administration and implemented by the OSCE Presence in Albania.
The project will form an integral part of the multi-dimensional interventions of the Government of Albania in the fight against corruption. It will support the implementation of the comprehensive national Anti-corruption Strategy and the related Action Plan and will have a three-fold objective. Firstly to improve the capacity of public administration, secondly to increase private sector engagement, and thirdly to contribute to changing perceptions of corruption, particularly among civil society with a special focus on youth.
“It is imperative to re-gain and build the trust of Albanian citizens through joint and decisive efforts,” said Çuçi. “We have been committed and working in each sector so that concrete actions are results-oriented.”
Christoph Denk, Head of EBRD Resident Office Tirana, said: “The launch of this programme will help Albania take another step towards a more transparent and accountable public and private sector. Civil society can play a crucial role to strengthen good governance which is essential for a good business environment. We are working with the Government of Albania to improve its investment climate, so this is an important sign to investors that the country is strongly committed to the cause.”
The Ambassador of Italy to Albania, Massimo Gaiani, said: “Preventing and combating corruption requires transparency and accountability at all levels. The impact of corruption is greater than just the diversion of resources – significant as this is. Corruption is also corrosive of societies and contributes to a justified lack of trust and confidence in governance.”
The OSCE Presence in Albania has anti-corruption activities high on its agenda. “It is important that the government encourages real partnerships with civil society, media and citizens in their anti-corruption actions. They must be mobilized to work together with the government and the international community, to facilitate integrated, co-ordinated actions to fight corruption,” said Head of Presence Ambassador Florian Raunig.
Alberto Petrucci, Italian School of Public Administration representative, said: “The economic implications of a project on anti-corruption are enormous. They regard public administration efficiency and hence the overall competitiveness of a country, the quality of goods and services provided by the public sector, the cost of the public sector and hence the level of taxation and the government debt, the economic dynamism and the capacity to innovate.”
Implementation of the project will begin in January 2015 and will focus on targeted actions to prevent and fight corruption in the Albanian institutions. It will also increase the capacities of the public administration to properly tackle corruption and work towards creating a solid public-private partnership. Project beneficiaries will include the Ministries of Education, Environment, and Economic Development, Trade and Entrepreneurship; the Albanian School of Public Administration; the business community; civil society and Albanian citizens.