SUPPORT TO THE COUNTRIES OF SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE"
Athens, 9th - 15th November
By: Engejell Skreli
of Albania on Civil Society in South Eastern Europe
Nowadays, the NGO sector in Albania bears more than 11 years of experience.
During these years this sector has indeed increased in figures and expanded
in activities, increasing the offered services.
Initially the legal basis of NGO activities was regulated by the Civil
Code of November 1st, 1994. The legal framework adopted in May 2001, consists
of three laws: "Amendments to the Civil Code of Albania", "On
the Registration of non profit organizations", "On Nongovernmental
Law no. 8788 regulates issues concerning the right to fund NGOs, their
independence, their rights and obligations, their foundation and registration,
their organization and functioning, international non profit organizations,
their financing, and the merging and interruption of their activity.
Regarding the role of the civil society, article 46 of the Constitution
guarantees the right of citizens to be organized for whatever lawful intention.
In the same manner, the Civil Code regulates a part of the NGOs activity
concerning their rights and obligations, unless otherwise stipulated in
law no. 8788.
The law on NGOs, through other laws and procedures, provides for the registration
of NGOs at courts and the depositing of their acts in the respective register,
and other rules for the public procurement of funds.
Law no. 8789 regulates the court's jurisdiction for the registration of
NGOs, the manner and the content of the register and the procedures for
their registration and publication of decisions.
NGOs are funded through membership fees, funds, grants and donations by
private or public subjects, international or domestic, revenues from an
economic activity, and real estate of the organization's itself.
The law "On NGOs" regulates that these organizations may make
expenditures to achieve the aims and the intent for which they have been
founded and also to manage their property.
The law prohibits the distribution of financial or material profit, except
in cases where obligations such as wages, payments, remuneration, and
compensation arise due to employment contracts or other contracts. The
organizations, in these cases, may give financial aid to their members,
personnel or other subjects.
The law regulates that NGOs have the right to carry out economic activities
in pursuing the achievement of their objectives and activities without
establishing another subject. It must be noted that the economic activity
is a source of revenue and does not make up the sole purpose of the organization.
Additionally, NGOs have the right to carry out activities in order to
collect funds that will be used to accomplish the aims and objectives
of their activity or to support the aims and objectives of other non profit
organizations. The regulations for the collection of funds are stipulated
in a separate law. Therefore, the law "ON NGOs" allows volunteerism
in the framework of these organizations.
The legal framework on the organization and functioning of the notary
public is regulated by article 29 of law no 7829, dated 1.6.1994, "On
the Notary Public". This law regulates the following issues:
a. Rights of exercising the profession
b. Rights and obligations of the notary public
c. Financing of the notary activity
d. Organizational of notaries
e. Activity of notary public offices
f. Notary acts and activities
The law guarantees the right to exercise the profession of the notary
public. According to this law, notaries are organized at a local and national
level through representation in Chambers of Notaries Public, which are
The Ministry of Justice determines a tariff to carry out notary acts and
activities, after considering the suggestions of the Ministry of Finance
and the National Notary Council. The law stipulates that the Council of
Ministers, if appropriate, may liberalize these tariffs.
Notaries are organized at a district and national level, through professional
representation in Chambers of Notaries. The competence of the general
assembly of the Chamber of Notaries are stipulated in this law and in
the Chamber's status. The competence of the general assembly and the approval
of the Chamber's budget and annual results, determine the quotas that
the notaries public pays to the Chamber's account.
Law no. 7827, dated 31.5.1994, regulates the profession of the attorney.
This law regulates:
a. The right to exercise the profession
b. Attorney's rights and obligations
c. Attorney's professional organization
e. Disciplinary measures
The law guarantees that the profession of the attorney may be exercised
as a free and independent profession. According to this law, attorneys
are organized into Chambers of Attorneys and the National Chamber of Attorneys,
which are juridical subjects.
The Chamber's competences determine each member's regular contribution
to the chamber and the approval and administration of its budget; to examine
complaints against disciplinary measures given by the Chambers of Attorneys;
to design and endorse the Attorneys' Code of Ethics; to grant and revoke
the license to exercise the profession of the attorney when conditions
determined by this law have been met.
The development, consolidation, and further strengthening of self-organizing
structures, of professional independence and ethical integration of the
professions of the attorney, notary public, and legal translator are directly
related to the quality of the legal and judiciary reform in the Republic
The Ministry of Justice is cooperating with the National Chamber of Attorneys,
with the direct assistance of the experts of the Council of Europe, aiming
at the further improvement of the legal framework regarding the exercise
of the profession. The drafting of the new law "On Attorneys",
which is currently deposited at the Parliament for enactment, aims at
the regulation in a more detailed way and the formulation of the Albanian
legislation concerning matters of juridical assistance and legal services
in the Republic of Albania in compliance with European and international
standards, based on principles determined in the Universal Declaration
"On the Independence of Attorneys."
Additionally, the establishment of mechanisms to assist chambers of attorneys
regarding self-organization and disciplining, training of attorneys, and
the promotion of relations of Albanian attorneys to the counterpart European
network is of special importance.
Taking into account the importance of the profession of the Notary public
in the Albanian judiciary, the professional awareness and the consolidation
of legal capacities of the National Chamber of Notaries, the Ministry
of Justice has invested towards the improvement of Chambers' self-organization
and disciplining, the improvement of transparency in their daily activity,
the organization of seminars and training programs. Currently, the draft
law on amendments and additions to the Law "On Notary Public"
is being examined by the Parliament.
The trade unions of employers or employees are independent and voluntary
professional organizations. Their foundation, activities and dissolving
are foreseen in the Albanian Labour Code art.176-187 and aim at representing
and protecting the economic, professional and social rights and interests
of their members.
The trade unions and employer organizations have the right to be joined
in federations or confederations, or can be a member in one of those.
Each of the above organizations has the right to be a member of international
According to the Labour Code, professional organizations need to form
a detailed status. The organizational status has to be presented in Court.
In case of being in conformity with the law, the organization will be
considered and registered as a Juridical Person after 60 days. The law
doesn't permit two or more organizations with the same name. Each organization
recognized by the court must deposit the original copy of the status at
the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Each organization has to develop
their activities according to Albanian legislation provisions.
Professional organizations can complain in Court in case of their members
being prejudiced or the employer not respecting the law and individual
or collective labour contracts.
The financial 'sources' of professional organizations are membership fees,
donations, and incomes from economic, cultural and social activities.
These incomes are not subject to tax as far as the fiscal law previews.
Any intervention act by state's bodies, employers or employer's organization
to the foundation, functioning and administration of a trade union is
forbidden, except when trade union activities are against the law.
Dissolve procedures are foreseen in organizational status. If the activities
are apparently against the law, the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs,
any interested body stipulated by law or the court can decide to dissolve
The Chambers of Commerce and Industry are institutions of public right
and are not intended for profit. They are established and exercise their
activities in all regions of Albania according to law No. 7804, dated
10.03.1994, "On the Chamber of Commerce and Industry".
The Chambers' main objective is to represent the business community in
their relationship with the government, and to support and protect its
legal interests. They play a stimulating role in the development of trade
and industry in their circles, in accordance with economic interests of
their members and state laws.
Pursuant to the law "On the Chamber of Commerce and Industry",
membership in this Chamber is mandatory for all traders registered in
the Trade Register and for all Commercial Companies established and registered
in accordance with law No. 7638, dated 19.11.1992, "On Commercial
Companies" and law No. 7667, dated 28.01.1993, "On the Trade
Register and formalities to be observed by Commercial Companies".
Through the services of Chamber of Commerce the members profit:
- Free of Charge: business information,
business and legal consultation, seminar participation, professional training,
the newsletter, different publications, and others.
- With reduced tariffs: participation in business missions out of country,
fairs, exhibitions, consular services for their movement out of country,
- Executive services: membership certificate, non-preferential certificate
for origin of Albanian goods, ATA Carnets- international documents that
allow temporary admission without customs duty for goods and equipment
for demonstration and utilization in international fairs and exhibitions.
The Governing Bodies of Chambers of Commerce
and Industry are:
- The Representative Assembly and its
President, who are elected by member businessmen.
- The Board of the Chamber and its Chair are elected by the Assembly.
- The General Secretary is nominated by the supervisory body.
In its daily activity, the Chamber is led by the Board and the Chairperson,
whereas according to the provisions of the law, the Chamber is represented
by the Chairperson and General Secretary in all juridical acts.
At the national level, the Chambers are represented by the Union of Chambers
of Commerce and Industry, which is established in accordance to the law
"On Chambers of Commerce and Industry"; its headquarters are
The Union of Chambers protects the interests
of trade and industry businessmen in the country, represents the business
community in its relationship with the government, makes concrete proposals
to the central administration to stimulate trade and industry, coordinates
the Chambers' work in all regions and their relationship with counterpart
Chambers in other countries.
The Governing Bodies of Union of Chambers are the same as the Chambers'.
According to the law "On the Chambers of Commerce and Industry",
the Ministry that covers trade is the supervisory body of the Chambers
of Commerce and Industry. The supervision is carried out through the Chamber's
General Secretary, who is appointed by the Ministry of Economy, and extends
to the Chambers' compliance to the law in all its activities and the decisions
that are taken by its General Assembly.
The development of private business has increased the role of Chambers
in the main regions of the country and has made the amendment of law "On
Chambers of Commerce and Industry indispensable". In this framework,
a new draft-law on Chambers has been endorsed by the Council of Ministers,
which is currently being discussed in respective Commissions of the Assembly.
In addition to the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, many other organizations
are established in Albania, representing different business categories.
The most important are:
- Institute of Authorized Experts on Accountancy
- National Chamber of Notary
- National Chamber of Attorney
- Order of Medical Doctors of Albania
- Association of Albanian Pharmacists etc.
The establishment of the above professional
organizations has been done in compliance with specific laws. Membership
in such professional organizations is compulsory prior to any individual
or company's becoming licensed as a professional operator.
Their revenues are secured through membership fees, registration fees,
and the support of different donors.
There are other professional organizations where membership is not compulsory:
- Union of Industrialists and Investors
- Council of Albanian Agro-Business
- Italian Entrepreneur Associations in Albania
- American Trade Chamber
- Foreign Investors Association in Albania
- Albanian Constructors Association
- Albanian Bank Association
- Professional and Business women's Association
- Turkish Businessmen Association in Albania etc.
These associations are established with
specific businesspeople's initiative, industrialists, and domestic and
foreign investor groups, who carry out their business in the Albanian
sectors of trade, manufacture, agro-industry, construction, agriculture,
The each association's objective is to protect, promote, and develop the
interests of the respective entrepreneur communities in Albania and their
foreign member companies. They secure information service and network
cooperation for their members.
To support their members' interests, the associations develop dialogue
with public administration, other state institutions, and international
institutions that operate in Albania. They are consultative bodies that
contribute in the development of institutional activities for ministries
and international organizations.
The associations are governed by their boards, which determine the association's
organization structure. Their revenues are secured through membership
fees, various services for members, and the support of different foreign
The trade unions are independent from political parties. Their leaders
do not adhere in any political activity. The unions do not act under political
pressure, but according to their statutes and the labour legislation.
The main activity of trade unions is the improvement of working conditions,
wages, pensions, and the implementation of the labour law.
The union actually ensures financial viability from the administration
of its properties, which have been legally given to them. Unions manage
these properties in order to collect the benefits and use them for union
activities or anything else related to their members.
The unions organize their training activities and have a very beneficial
cooperation with international trade unions.
Trade Union leaders are the most qualified individuals of the unions.
They participate in any important training activity related to social
dialogue or discussion on labour legislation or negotiation for collective
Statistics on Civil society
Nowadays, a great number of NGO-s are present in Albania. Only the District
Court of Tirana can register NGOs, according to Law "On the registration
of NGO-s". The statistics of The Ministry of Labour and The Social
Ministry indicate that approximately 700 NGOs operate in the field of
social affairs, culture, education, research institutions, economical,
agriculture and environment. According to the statistics, approximately
1000 organizations operate in all areas in Albania, but some of those
are not very active and most of them do not have a permanent activity.
The difficulty in determining the expansion and the density of the NGO-s
sector, due to the lack of a central unit, which would collect and deliver
all the necessary information on the NGO-s sector is yet to be faced.
The changes in the registration procedures recently, have affected as
well the difficulty in determining the number of NGO-s in Albania. Before
1994 the registration of NGO-s was under the responsibility of the Ministry
of Justice and each ministry covered respectively the sector of NGO-s.
According to the Civil Code of 1994, the responsibility of the registration
passed to the first instance courts in the districts on the NGO-s being
under their jurisdiction. Presently, according to the law on NGO-s adopted
in May 2001, the registration of NGO-s is under the responsibility of
the Tirana district court.
The problem of recording the number of NGO-s in Albania has been a broadly
discussed in several publications. The type of the registration the NGO-s
have chosen in each sector is ideed very interesting. Thus, business NGO-s
have preferred to register more as foundations and less as associations.
In other sectors, the majority of the organizations are registered as
associations. Within this group the sector of democracy, has more foundations,
succeeded by the sector of social/health services, women and youth. Environment
organizations are all registered as associations.
According to a broad definition of civil society, Chambers of Commerce
and Industry (CCI) and trade unions are an important part of the civil
society in Albania.
The system of CCI is represented by 36 chambers, one per each district.
Every registered Albanian company is required by law to become a member
of CCI. Actually, the Albanian companies are only partially members of
The main Trade Unions in Albania are Confederations of Trade Unions of
Albania and Unions of Independent Trade Unions. According to the Confederation
of Trade Unions of Albania, in 2001, 95,348 was the number of members.
According to the Union of Independent Trade Unions of Albania, the membership
participation is approximately 87,000.
In the beginning, NGO capacities, information, and donors were located
in Tirana. National organizations were established, which linked their
branches in other cities. Even though this issue has been addressed, and
long-term training and information programs are being provided, much effort
needs to be undertaken.
Attitude of Albanian NGOs: Pan-American
For the sake of truth, there is an American support to the NGO sector
in Albania. The two movements: Albanian Coalition Against Corruption (ACAC)
and the movement Enough (Mjaft) are mainly supported by USA funds. On
the other hand, USAID if funding large NGOs like the Albanian Centre for
International Trade (ACIT) and a number of other projects intended to
improve government and fight against corruption. Actually, the NGOs associated
with these movements and those supported by US government, and SOROS Foundation
sources are doing more think tank work and are developing a pan-American
attitude. Again, the think tank type of activities is still limited.
On the other hand, the fact that the NGOs that grow are those that are
working on a subsidiary basis has to be highlighted. It seems that this
logic pattern is close to the one of EU. In fact, it is partially true.
A number of NGOs are carrying out government contracts in terms of different
studies and other type of government required services. But, the most
lucrative activity is working as local partners of large foreign companies,
mainly consultancy companies. Based on that it is hard to say whether
or not Albanian NGOs are developing a pan-European attitude.
Even though working on government and foreign private consultancy companies
represents lucrative activities for NGOs, there is a growing risk of neglecting
think tank type of work which is desperately needed in Albania. Actually,
a number of companies are considering converting from NGOs into limited
Main directions of public sector reform
Three main frameworks are supposed to shape public actions in the years
to come: Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) - an instrumental
tool of the Stabilization and Association process, aiming at bringing
Albania closer to the European Union, National Strategy for Socio-Economic
Development (NSSED) - a medium term strategy focusing on poverty reduction,
and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) - a political agenda intended to
reduce poverty in the long run.
Based on the three frameworks, the main directions of public sector reform
are the following (i) improving democracy and rule of law, (ii) building
a functioning market economy, and (iii) improving the performance of public
administration. The three main directions reflect the three EU accession
Copenhagen criteria (political, economic, and administrative: the aquis).
In addition to above mentioned criteria, special emphasis is put on poverty
reduction and on reforming the social sectors (see paragraph 3), since
poverty (multidimensional) represents a problem for Albania.
Civil society and public sector reform
The Albanian NGO-s started to offer services to the community and their
supporters only during 1999 and afterwards. This change was due to the
Kosovo emergency. The Albanian NGO-s were supported by donors aiming to
offer to their community. During the last 4 years NGO-s are directed towards
projects offering services, while they are aware of the fact that they
need training and technical assistance in this field. Even though now
the NGO-s offer more services, generally they have gaps in the institutional
capacity to fully implement those services, as well as in skills to answer
to the community needs and to include them in their activities.
NGOs have been actively involved in the drafting of the National Strategy
for Socio-Economic Development, EU integration Strategy and a number of
reports regarding the Millennium Development Goals.
Government's institutions are aware of NGOs work and contribution in certain
fields; their efforts to represent groups, suggestions in decision-making
process, preparing recommendations for governmental bodies and cooperating
to elaborate and implement different policies. A very important element
of partnership is NGOs work on monitoring the implementation of the legal
framework. As a result of pressure by the civil society, government initiatives
to undertake the necessary actions for protecting different groups in
need have increased. The participation in the decision-making process
is another responsibility of the civil society, which is mainly carried
out through managing social debate and transmitting needs and priorities
in concretely formulated recommendations in decision making-processes
and in the drafting of specific policies. Pressuring for issues such as
human rights has produced concrete results regarding the improvement of
the legal framework, and in the changing of mindsets and concepts.
The Albanian Government initiatives to support the development of civil
society consist in preparing and implementing the legal framework, and
supporting NGOs in different fields; in social, human rights, professional
training, environment protection, and agriculture fields etc. Albanian
Government appreciates NGOs contribution and offers fiscal and customs
facilities for their activity. Realizing the fact that in the fight against
corruption everybody has to play a role, involvement of the civil society
was seen as very important. As such, the Anti Corruption Monitoring Group
(an anti corruption governmental structure) was strengthened by including
full membership representatives of the civil society and the business
community in its Board. The Albanian Coalition Against Corruption (civil
society) includes more than 150 NGO-s and has a number of activities on
the fight against corruption, funded by MSI/USAID. In this frame, the
office of the Minister of State to the Prime Minister, and the Anti Corruption
Unit have close cooperation and joint activities with this structure,
resulting in very good results, recommendations and awareness rising.
Main directions of social policy reform
National Strategy for Socio-Economic Development (NSSED) focuses on poverty
reduction and social sector reform, namely health, education and housing.
The poverty reduction implies (i) increasing opportunities for the poor,
through stimulating inclusive growth, and increasing the access of the
poor to education, health and basic infrastructure, (ii) strengthening
the voice of the poor reforming the institutions in order for the poor
to participate in the decision making process, and (iii) enhancing the
security for the poor, through reforming the program of economic assistance,
social care, employment promotion, and building social capital.
The reform of the health sector entails: (i) increasing the effectiveness
(improving health indicators) and efficiency of resources, through decentralization
and privatization of health services, improvement of programming and M&E,
and fighting against corruption.
The reform in the education sector implies: increasing the effectiveness
(increased attendance in primary and secondary and vocational education,
and increased teaching quality) and efficiency, through decentralization
of decision-making, motivation of innovative initiatives making use of
special funds, and training. Special programs will be designed to support
education for poor families.
The reform in the housing sector entails: (i) reduction - and progressive
retiring - of government funding towards the housing sector making use
of government low cost (or no cost) instruments, such as low cost construction
technologies, soft credits, mobilization of private savings, support community
savings, support and credit for joint ownership associations, etc., (ii)
decentralization of housing responsibilities to local power, (iii) effective
use of subsidies targeting the most needy, and (iv) better management
and maintenance of private dwellings.
Civil society and Social policy reform
Civil society is a very active government partner in designing and implementing
social policies. The role of the civil society has been very active in
- at least - three main directions: (i) in preparing and monitoring the
NSSED, (ii) in preparing a number of social related strategies, and (iii)
in delivering better social services.
Albanian Civil Society has been an integral part of the institutional
set-up of the NSSED. The main function of NGOs involved in NSSED preparation
was the one of facilitator of the whole process. A large number of consultations,
namely with the poor, communities, local power, and business community
used to be facilitated by the NGOs. Civil society is also involved in
the monitoring process.
The NGO sector has been very active in preparing social related strategies.
NGOs have been active in preparing the Strategy on Children, the Strategy
of Social Services, and National Strategy of Fight against Trafficking
of Human Beings. In association with a group of associations of people
with limited abilities, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will
co-chair the governmental group to prepare a National Strategy on limited
abilities. On the other hand, NGOs have also a very important role on
implementation of these strategies.
A very important role of the NGO sector with respect to social policies
had to do with improving the delivery of social services. The Ministry
of Labour and Social Affairs is (has been) working with around 150 NGOs
to identify the needs in order to deliver better social services.
Voluntarism is a characteristic of some categories of NGO-s in Albania.
Not all the work being done is awarded. The organization of community,
schools, and students, doing voluntary work has been very successful,
which was apparent during the 1998-1999 crisis of the displacement of
Kosovo people. The commitment of the Government, civil society, and community
alleviated the situation until the refugees return to Kosovo.
Networking and partnership among national NGOs
The Albanian NGO sector is represented by little organizations; the majority
of them are represented by a 'one man show'. Therefore, networking and
partnership could be an efficient way of escaping the insufficiency of
resources and isolation.
In principle, there is a limited culture of networking and partnership
among national NGOs in Albania. The most common kind of partnership is
getting together to form a consortium when it comes to competing to win
tenders. This means that partnership is more an ad hoc and tactics than
a permanent and strategic way of getting stronger.
That said, there at least two large coalitions of NGOs: The Albanian Coalition
Against Corruption (ACAC) and the movement Enough (Mjaft). It is important
to note however that the two mentioned coalitions are more kind of movements
The Albanian NGO-s work together in order to achieve their goals, organizing
at least once joint activities with one or more other NGO-s. the cooperation
ways are: exchange of information, participation in each others activities,
coalitions, giving and receiving assistance through using supplies, offices
and training for personnel, fund raising through umbrella units, joint
answers to the donor requests, etc.
An identified difficulty is "the unfair delivery of work and responsibilities"
which resulted in the non-official agreements before the cooperation even
really started. The financial management and reporting was identified
as well as problems or difficulties in the cooperation based on financial
means. One of the concerns affecting this problem is the lack of transparency
among partners, which is not characteristic only for the cooperation based
on financial means.
The cooperation of the NGO-s with the State is considered as usual and
necessary. They recognize the role of the state in their activities as
an important partner due to the facilitating role, which it plays with
the community (e.g. reference letters, increase of confidence, etc.).
The methods of cooperation with the state are similar to those with other
NGO-s including: exchange of information, experience and joint projects.
Some NGO-s are regularly invited to meetings to assist the state in different
issues. Like the NGO - NGO cooperation, sometimes, the NGO - State cooperation
is a must on some funds and donors. In the majority of the examples of
the NGO - state cooperation, the state is in the donor's position. The
financial support is given by the state in different ways. Several times
state finances are directly part of the activity or projects and other
times the State assists through giving offices, conference rooms, supplies,
etc free of charge. Some NGO-s were contacted by the state in order to
train their personnel, on strategy development, project implementation,
etc. Even though the cooperation with the state is difficult to some extent,
nevertheless this difficulty is manageable.
With regard to the NGO-s long - term and short - term position and their
role in society, as well as their development strategies, the Albanian
NGO-s use short - term plans that work. They feel it is very difficult
for them to develop long - term plans because their work is based on individual
projects, initiatives and donors funds.
At the same time not all NGO-s have systems and official procedures, and
the old organizations have better procedures (democracy, women and business).
The activity of NGOs is based mainly in the accomplishment of the projects
sponsored by local and international donors. One of NGOs greatest difficulties
is the lack of sponsorship and the lack of services. Currently, most funds
come from international donors but the NGOs risk becoming dependent on
donor programs. NGOs must enter into the relationship with local power
structures, business and other internal resources to secure their financial
Independently of the fact that the level of funds has increased, they
have mostly been funded by donors. It is interesting to add that the associations
have received more funds while the annual budget of the foundations has
decreased in 2001.
Development NGOs and humanitarian crises
There are a number of international NGO-s working in Albania, such as:
Red Cross, Save the Children, SOROS foundation, Caritas, Medecins sans
Frontieres, Oxfam, etc. They are working on a permanent basis, but their
activity intensity increases in case of emergencies: wars, and natural
During the Kosovo crisis a lot of NGOs development activity was observed
in terms of feeding the Albanian market with food and other first necessity
products in response to Kosovo people flooding Albania. Surprisingly,
the imports carried out by development NGOs did not cause any large damage
to Albanian producers. (The analysis of cause and effect relationships
of this case are beyond the scope of this report)
Ideas for raising awareness of international
community on poverty problems
Making use of Millennium development Goals (MDG-s), a political agenda
agreed upon by heads of states and governments, an agenda focussing on
poverty reduction in the long run could be helpful in sensitizing the
donor community. There is now a broad consensus that poor countries have
little chances to escape the poverty trap without donor assistance. In
this context, costing the attainment of MDG-s (halving the number of poor
people, achieving universally primary education, substantially reducing
child and maternal mortality, etc.) could prove appropriate in making
donor community aware on the magnitude of resources required to reduce
poverty in poor countries. According to a study carried out recently in
Albania, foreign resource requirement (public and private) to meet MDG-s
in Albania amounts to some 20 billion US$.
It happens that sometimes, developed countries, and the donor community
are at the origin of poverty problems. Let us use three examples: trade
regime, knowledge management and financial architecture. As far as the
trade regime is concerned, it should be recognized that a lot remains
to be done on the side of developed countries to reduce tariff and non
tariff barriers to trade and to phase out more than US $ 300 billions
a year they spend currently on agricultural subsidies. International arrangements
for knowledge management are designed to reward the creators of new technologies;
it is an important function, but it comes at the expense of the widest
possible dissemination of knowledge and its application to development.
Financial architecture is also designed to favour developed countries.
Developing countries hold some US $ 540 billion in currency reserve in
bank accounts in order to guarantee their currency without investing in
their development. In summary, it is important to understand that foreign
official assistance need would be much less if international rules (trade,
knowledge management and financial) were fairer.
1. Government of Albania, 2001, National Strategy for Socio-Economic Development,
2. Skreli, E., 2003, Millennium Development Goals, National Strategy for
Socio-Economic Development, and Stabilization and Association Agreement
3. UN, 2003, Global Public Goods: A key to Achieving the Millennium Development
4. Republic of Albania, 2003, Social Services: Mid Term Country Strategy
5. Partners Albania, march 2002, Evaluation of NGO Needs, National Report