EU assistance of €6 million has enabled the construction of 10 border crossing points and the refurbishment of 17 border police stations in Albania (22/07/2011)


Tirana, 22 July 2011

PRESS RELEASE

The Pogradec Border Police Station and the Tushemisht Border Crossing Point inaugurated today are only 2 examples of the achievements of €6 million of EU assistance to improve Albania’s border management. Albania has now 10 newly constructed border crossing points and 17 refurbished border police stations. The improved infrastructure is expected to facilitate the work of the Albanian authorities in fighting organised crime, illegal trafficking. The Albanian authorities have now the necessary infrastructural conditions to focus on strengthening procedures for effective border control.

Border management is crucial to strengthening the rule of law, to fighting organised crime and illegal trafficking. Albania has already made progress, especially in the framework of the the visa liberalisation process to secure its borders, to make them less permissible to criminality. The EU has offered great support to Albania in this process, through improving infrastructure as well as human resources and inter-institutional cooperation. Alongside the construction and refurbishment of border police stations and crossing points, the EU through its €7 million Police assistance project (PAMECA) has exposed the Albanian police to European best practices and is currently working together with Albanian authorities to further align the working procedures of the Border and Migration Police to those of the EU, and to improve intelligence work in border control, as well as inter-institutional cooperation.

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Albania, Ambassador Ettore Sequi visited today the Border Police Station in Pogradec and the Border Crossing Point in Tushemisht. During the inauguration of the two sites, Ambassador Sequi emphasised that fighting organised crime is one of the 12 Priorities of the EU for Albania and “As we see here in Tushemisht, infrastructures to do a better job are now in place. What used to be old containers and kiosks, are now modern European facilities for police and customs to work according to Schengen standards and best EU practices”. Ambassador Sequi went on to note that infrastructure, though fundamental, will not be enough to make Albania’s borders less porous. “It is the determination and will of the Albanian authorities”, he said, “that will make these achievements sustainable”.

The EU has provided more than €30 million of soft and hard assistance for the development of an integrated and modern border management system in Albania.

For further information, please contact:
Artes BUTKA
Press & Information Officer
Tel: + 355 4 2228 320, + 355 42 228 479
Fax: + 355 4 230 752
E-mail: artes.butka@eeas.europa.eu
Delegation's website: www.delalb.ec.europa.eu