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1. Overview of the human rights and democracy situation:
Please refer to the 2019 Enlargement Package Country Report for Albania.
2. EU action - key focus areas: The EU continues to monitor thoroughly the protection of human rights, including women’s rights, rights of the child, protection of minorities, freedom of expression, property rights, protection of vulnerable groups and, in particular, the integration of Roma and Egyptian communities as well as improvement of detention and probation conditions in the Albanian prison system.
3. EU bilateral political engagement: The fourth EU–Albania bi-annual policy dialogue Seminar oninclusion of the Roma and Egyptian communities in Albania was held on 12 December 2018 in Tirana. The recommendations stemming from the Seminar will be assessed in a regular manner, in particular in the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Subcommittees on Justice, Freedom and Security. The most recent Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom and Security discussed the human rights related developments, the results achieved and the measures planned.
4. EU financial engagement:
In 2018, through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), the EU continued to provide support amounting to EUR 4 million for the economic and social empowerment of Roma and Egyptian communities in Albania and EUR 14.3 million for the construction of a pre-detention centre and prison in Shkodra, according to EU standards, which was finalised in 2018.
Through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), two projects, which started in 2017, continued implementation in 2018, targeting child protection and the empowerment of women in the mountain regions in the north of the country. Additionally, two new contracts (totalling EUR 1.2 million) started in 2018 in support of children and youth in conflict with the law and for the protection of LGBTI rights. Under the EU-funded Civil Society Facility and Media Programme (2016-2017), Albania supported civil society organisations with a total amount of EUR 5.4 million with the aim to build the capacities of grassroots local organisations in addressing various human rights issues.
The EU is also providing regional financial support to Albania through the EU – Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey. The issues addressed by the facility were, among others: the capacities of judicial authorities, including supporting effective domestic remedies and facilitating the execution of judgments in the area of property rights; anticorruption strategic/legislative framework; and anti-discrimination, with a focus on the legal framework and capacities of the main bodies in charge of protection against discrimination. Under the latter component, the Horizontal Facility focused on prisons, minorities and bullying at school.
5. Multilateral context: An Inter-Institutional Action Plan (2018-2020) on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 was adopted in September 2018. Changes to the Law on Domestic Violence were approved to comply with the Istanbul Convention. The law now provides for immediate protection of domestic violence victims. In May 2019, Albania is expected to undergo its third Universal Periodic Review (UPR) cycle. Albania continued to cooperate with the European Court of Human Rights. A co-operation agreement with the International Commission for Missing Persons (ICMP) was signed in July and ratified by the Albanian Parliament in November 2018.
Read here the full report: