The main conclusions drawn out of the recent paper published by EMA, in the framework of the Slovak Balkan Public Policy Fund, are that Albania is lacking a proper cohesion policy, and is not yet adequately prepared for EU accession. The country has not yet opened the negotiation talks with Brussels and currently does not have the administrative capacity needed to deal with the implementation of IPA (Instrument of Pre-Accession).
There are stark regional disparities, both in social and economic terms. In order to use effectively the IPA funds, the national and the local government need to strengthen their mutual cooperation. In this regard, the example of other Central European countries that acceded to the EU in the last enlargement wave can be particularly useful for the country.
According to Dr Dorian Jano, the author of the paper Meeting EU Cohesion Policy and IPA Requirements in Albania: A multi-level governance support, Albania needs to show political support to harmonize its regional development policy with EU cohesion policy, as well as its financial instruments,. The efficient use of the IPA funds wills not only help the country join the EU, but it will enable Albania access the EU assistance, based on their ‘readiness to plan, manage, implement and monitor suitable programs.
Dr Jano recommends t Albania to consider the Slovak experience in terms of dealing with the problem of lack of Human Resources, as Slovakia fought this problem by “launching intensive recruitment programmes in all relevant ministries and setting aside additional financial resources to increase salaries of employees working with the EU agenda”.