Dear Governor Sejko,
Dear Deputy Governor of Banca D’Italia, Mr Franco
It is my pleasure to participate in the closing event of the EU-funded Twinning Project on Enhancing Bank of Albania’s alignment with the EU acquis.
These are exceptional times and I hope you and your families are fine despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic represents an unprecedented challenge for Albania in terms of economic growth and financial stability. I am confident that the substantial European support, in the form of (1) 26 Million Euro to help economic recovery, (2) 70 Million Euro to support social inclusion and (3)the adoption of an Economic and Investment Plan for the region, will help the country mitigate the negative impact of the crisis.
The disbursement of 180 Million Euro of Macro-Financial Assistance approved with the EU will also alleviate external financing needs.
This response package demonstrates the European Union’s solidarity and firm commitment to the region.
The Central Banks play a key role in overcoming the deep recession resulting from COVID. Central Banks are and remain central actors of any macro-economic policy, a point firmly highlighted during the financial crisis, more than 10 years ago.
We welcome the temporary measures put in place by the Bank of Albania, and we congratulate Governor Sejko for his action.
Those measures have helped to:
First, keep liquidity up and banks stable so far,
Second, enhanced its operational capacities to guarantee the sufficient cash supply to the economy and;
Third, facilitated electronic payments.
However, the full impact of the pandemic crisis is yet to be assessed.
It is reassuring that the Central Bank maintains a prudent and sustainable monetary policy and guarantees a close supervision of the banking system.
The EU funded twinning project that we are closing today has been highly beneficial in supporting the Bank of Albania in this objective of further aligning with the acquis.
I encourage the Bank of Albania to move ahead with the alignment with the EU Acquis on the Bank’s independence and accountability to Parliament, in line with last years’ recommendations of the European Commission.
I would like to thank the project implementing parties – the Central Banks of Italy, Germany, France and Romania – for providing technical expertise and making possible a successful completion of the project.
Despite the difficult implementation of the project due to pandemic, there has been fruitful cooperation between the implementing partners and the Bank of Albania in strengthening
macroeconomic and financial stability,
The Bank of Albania is currently also benefiting from a 2 million Euro regional IPA project. Its aim is to strengthen central banks’ capacities in the Western Balkans with a view to the integration to the European System of Central Banks.
The twinning and the regional projects are substantially supporting the implementation of the policy recommendations under Chapter 17 (Economic and Monetary Policy) of the acquis and the joint Policy Guidance on monetary policy under the Economic Reform Programme exercise.
Let me concluded by announcing that, in view of the very good results achieved by this twinning, we are ready to consider using our technical and financial instruments to continue supporting the Bank of Albania – which must continue to be an essential actor in the EU integration process of Albania.