The Delegation of the European Union to Albania launched today a communication campaign on how the European Union is supporting Albania becoming a Member State and Albanians becoming future EU citizens.
Under the motto "Europe is here", the six-month campaign will inform citizens about EU’s financial assistance to Albania, especially in key sectors such as infrastructure/transport, environment and agriculture.
The launch event hosted by EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca took place in Kanina, Vlora at Km.3 of the future EU-funded Vlora bypass. The event was also attended by Vlora Mayor Dritan Leli, Vlora bypass staff and business community.
In his remarks, the EU Ambassador Soreca said: ""Europe is here", because the EU is already present everywhere in the country, improving the life of Albanians and bringing standards closer to those of the EU. The European Union gives 100 million Euro to Albania every year. That is 1,5 billion in the last 15 years, covering all possible sectors: transport, justice, agriculture, tourism, food-safety, anti-corruption, customs, fisheries, education and so many more. This makes the European Union the largest donor in Albania."
Vlora Mayor Leli said:“I feel honoured that, from Vlora, you are launching the ‘Europe is here’ campaign. The Vlora municipality has benefitted considerable funding from the European Union in order to strengthen itself, potentially and strategically. Only over the last six years, the European Union has funded key projects such as the waterfront (LungoMare), the Vlora bypass and the new wastewater treatment plant. All of these projects showcase the full support the EU is providing to local government units in their path towards integration, but at the same time they showcase our obligation to fulfil the European standards from a local viewpoint.”
The European Union has invested 50 million Euro in Vlora in the last 10 years, mostly on the LungoMare, on sewerage infrastructure and on the bypass. Before the launching event, Ambassador Soreca and Mayor Leli visited a segment of the bypass, which is progressing fast. The EU Ambassador stressed that Albanian citizens and travellers will reach the Riviera more rapidly, and the quality of air and life in Vlora will be improved.
During the event the website www.euprojects.al was also launched. The platform gathers information on past and ongoing projects funded by the EU. For each project, website provides information about the implementing partners, beneficiaries, objectives, actions and expected results, in a fully transparent manner. The database has a user friendly interface and the search function allows the search of projects by sector or any keyword.
Facts and figures on EU support to transport and to the Vlora bypass
–More than €110 million of contributions from the EU to the roads sector in the last 10 years.
-More than 700 km of roads, from national and secondary network have been rehabilitated from the EU support in all Albania, including flagship projects such as the Rrogozhinë bypass.
-The EU supports the construction of the Vlora Bypass through a direct grant of € 20 million, which is implemented via a Contribution Agreement signed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In addition, the EBRD and the European Investment Bank are contributing with loans of 18 million EUR each to this project. The works contract is implemented by the Albanian Roads Authority in line with EBRD guidelines.