By Axel Reiserer
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Albania today at the sidelines of its 2020 Annual Meeting to support the country’s progress towards European Union (EU) accession.
The document was signed in a virtual ceremony by the EBRD’s Acting President, Jürgen Rigterink, and the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, in the presence of the EU Ambassador to Albania, Luigi Soreca.
EBRD Acting President Jürgen Rigterink welcomed the agreement: “We are encouraged by the steps Albania is taking towards the EU and we are pleased to support these vital efforts with our contributions. In these challenging times it is more important than ever that we all join forces not only to rise to the current challenges, but also to realise the country’s long-term goals.”
In the MoU, the Bank outlines a combination of policy engagement, technical assistance and investments to maintain Albania’s momentum in the EU approximation process.
The cooperation between Albania and the EBRD will focus on three areas: private sector competitiveness and inclusive growth; sustainable infrastructure and green economy transition; and strengthening the investment climate and governance.
The government of Albania commits to working with the EBRD in these areas and support investments with policy reforms in line with EU recommendations and standards.
The MoU includes a list of concrete short-term actions, which will be discussed and updated annually to track progress with implementation and agree on new policy, technical assistance and investment priorities.
To date, the EBRD has invested over €1.4 billion(US$1.66billion) in 100 projects in Albania. The Bank’s strategy in the country focuses on governance, private sector competitiveness and inclusion, energy diversification, and the low carbon transition.