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Italy supports the opening of negotiations with concrete aid. 260 million commitment in Albania and the Western Balkans by the Italian Government through the Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS)

Italy supports the opening of negotiations with concrete aid. 260 million

The Italian government, through the Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS), is continuing to help Albania in the most priority sectors of the rule of law and the economy. The Italian Development Cooperation Agency (AICS) in the Western Balkans presented the 2021 Annual Report, in the presence of the Italian Ambassador to Albania, Fabrizio Bucci, the Director of the AICS Office in Tirana, Stefania Vizzaccaro, the Minister of Tourism and Environment, Mirela Kumbaro, of the Deputy Minister of Justice, Adea Pirdeni, of Mr. Gianluigi Pratola, representing the High Council of the Italian Magistrate.

During the ceremony, the most recent results of a cooperation which began in 1991 and which has made Italy one of the most important international factors in the region, for the sustainable development and European integration of the Balkan countries, were presented, with a commitment of daily, alongside the local communities, especially the most fragile ones and the Governments of these countries.

A total commitment of more than 260 million euros, with a quota of soft loans of 188 million euros, more than 50 million euros in grants and 20 million euros in projects realized with debt conversion funds. The projects have been implemented in key sectors for the sustainable development and European integration of the region: environment, justice, energy, agriculture, civil protection, human rights, gender equality, rural development, mentioning the most important ones.

The presentation focuses specifically on justice and the environment, sectors in which Italy has played a leading role in 2021, hosting COP26 in Glasgow together with the United Kingdom.

Italy supports the opening of negotiations with concrete aid. 260 million

During the presentation to journalists and the public, Italian Ambassador Fabrizio Bucci expressed his support for the opening of Albania's EU membership negotiations while declaring: "Today, more than ever, it is important to strongly support some essential values ??that guide the work of the Italian Government : respect for human rights, peaceful and civilized coexistence of peoples and sustainable development. With the presentation of the Annual Report of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the Western Balkans, the entire Sistema Italia joins forces and commits, in cooperation with state partners and the international community, to a perspective of sustainable development of our communities, which are close not only by geographical point of view, but above all from the human and institutional point of view."

The representative of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the Western Balkans, Stefania Vizzaccaro stated: "The cooperation strategy in the Western Balkans has two main elements that are two sides of the same coin. First, the protection and appreciation of local identities in Albania and the Western Balkans. Second, the promotion of diversities as a source of wealth, peaceful exchanges between communities and the essential European values ??of human rights and respect, which are essential elements for the sustainability of development processes."

The Minister of Tourism and Environment, Mirela Kumbaro emphasized: "Italy for Albania is much more than a partner. It is the mutual cooperation that does not remain only in institutions and closed halls, but culturally and quite naturally goes directly to working people. For them, the model of sustainable development through the preservation of identity and tradition, especially in tourism, has been translated into well-being. Albania is a mosaic of local identities, which we are committed to preserving and where we have successful cases such as Përmeti and the Vjosa Valley in the tourism sector. It is clearly a model inspired by Italy, in which we believe in protecting local identities, promoting diversity and our natural beauty. We should apply such a successful model throughout the country."

Mr. Gianluigi Pratola, who represents the High Council of Italian Magistrates, stated: "It is interesting to see how much attention AICS pays to problems related to nature and justice, in a common vision, having as its objective the development of Albania in key sectors. The Italian commitment alongside the Albanian authorities for the reform of the judicial system and the support of a new generation of Albanian judges aims to achieve a clear result: a decisive change of course in the image of the judiciary and the creation of a sound, efficient judicial system in harmony with European values, for which Italy has always been a promoter. An independent, efficient and reliable judicial system is, on the other hand,