[Article]EU allocates 61.2 mln euro to support Albania's economic development, integration

The European Union said it has earmarked 61.2 million euro ($75.2 million) under the 2017 Action Programme for Albania to support the country's economic development and EU integration.   The agreement was signed by Albania's minister for Europe and foreign affairs, Ditmir Bushati, at the end of March, the EU delegation to Albania said in a statement on Wednesday. “The EU will provide 40 million euro to encourage local economic development and support sustainable and responsible tourism,” the statement reads. The programme will set up and test a tourism-led economic development model in pilot territories such as Berat, Fier, Korce and Shkodra. It will also enhance Albania's cultural attractiveness and raise the quality of tourism offers, infrastructure and services. According to the statement, a further 6.6 million euro will be used to improve the innovative eco-system and boost the creation of start-ups. “In addition, the European Integration Facility will allocate 14.6 million euro to assist Albania, its institutions, civil society and citizens towards EU membership,” the statement reads. The support will target the alignment with EU legislation, provide scholarship scheme to state administration staff, support gender equality facility and civil society organisations, enhance the independence of the public broadcaster and the quality of the public school of journalism, strengthen the quality of journalism, media pluralism and promote freedom of expression, and provide support to the management of EU assistance. Albania was granted EU candidate status in 2014 and hopes to start membership negotiations in 2018.

Source: Ora News 

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