HomeAlbaniaBILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN ALBANIA AND AUSTRIA

BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN ALBANIA AND AUSTRIA

Diplomatic relations with the Republic of Austria were established on 18 February 1922 and renewed on 7 February 1956.
BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN ALBANIA AND AUSTRIA
Austria has supported Albanian Ministry of Justice under the EURALIUS program for the implementation of national anti-corruption policies and reforms in the field of justice. The ADA (Austrian Development Agency) was in charge of managing EU financial assistance and supporting the vetting process through the management of the second phase of the International Monitoring Operation project, from March 2020, in cooperation with the European Commission delegation in Tirana. MoU has been signed for the second phase of this project which will continue until March 2023, with a budget of about 15 million Euros.
Relations between Parliaments of both countries have also been frequent and intense, including the exchange of top-level parliamentary visits.
The Austrian Parliament consists of two chambers: the National Council “Nationalrat” (the lower chamber), which consists of 183 members elected directly every 5 years, and the Federal Council “Bundesrat” which is elected indirectly, through the provincial assemblies (Landtage) of the nine States of the Federal Republic. Currently it has 61 representatives.
Both countries conduct regular political consultations that are held alternately in Vienna and Tirana. The last diplomatic consultations took place on February 11, 2019, in Vienna. Albania and Austria cooperate closely in the framework of international organizations where they are members, including mutual support for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council (Albania 2022-2023 and Austria 2027-2028). Austria has supported Albania for the Chairmanship of OSCE (2020) and during the Chairmanship with experts and expertise.
The Republic of Austria is located in central Europe and has a population of over 8.8 million. It has an area of 83,879 km2. German (Austrian standard) is the official language. Austria is a federal republic composed of nine federal states. The capital and largest city is Vienna, with a population of over 1.8 million.
OVERVIEW
Austrian Development Policy’s current strategic Three Years Program (3YP) for the period 2019 to 2021 confirms Albania as a focus country and South East Europe as a focus region. The Austrian Development Agency (ADA) is currently engaged with 13 projects in Albania, which amount to 24.5 million Euros. 79% of projects (19.4 million Euros) are focused on governance and civil society; 12% (3.1 million Euros) water and sewage; 3% education; 2% humanitarian aid; 1% social infrastructure and services.
BILATERAL RELATIONS
Austria is one of Albania’s stronger supporters of the EU integration process and the opening of negotiations. Its support is found through numerous and diverse projects such as: the “Friends of Albania” group; bilateral consultations; training programs of the Vienna Diplomatic Academy; police cooperation on data exchange; assistance to the Ombudsman; various programs in the fields of economic development, environment as well as in culture, education, science and civil society.
Similarly, Austria has been a strong supporter of regional cooperation, especially in projects such as the Regional Youth Cooperation Office (RYCO). It has also been active within the EU and has supported the implementation of the judicial reform in Albania. Among other things, it has supported the Ministry of Justice within the EURALIUS program and the implementation of national anti-corruption policies.
 
Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, a member of the European Union since 1995 and has been using the euro since 1999.

The exchange of high-level visits has been frequent and has contributed to the intensification of our bilateral relations. The Albanian Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, has visited Vienna on May 30, 2018 at the invitation of Chancellor Kurz, while the Austrian Foreign Minister, Mr. Alexander Schalleberg, paid an official visit to Albania, on October 7-8, 2019, and another visit together with Europa Minister, Karoline Edstadler, in Tirana (May 28, 2020). The Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Michael Linhart, paid an official visit to Tirana on 19-21 November 2021, while the former Austrian Minister of Interior (today the Chancellor) Mr. Karl Nehammer, paid an official visit to Tirana, on September 29, 2021.
Austria pays special attention to the Western Balkans (WB) because of its political, economic and cultural tradition with these countries as well as due to the geostrategic relevance of this region. In essence, the Austrian foreign policy supports the enlargement of the European Union and the integration of the WB in the EU.
Agreements signed in the fields of education, culture and scientific cooperation bear testimony to the importance that is attached by the Governments to develop relations in that field. The Protocol of Cooperation in the field of Education and Culture (2016-2020) has been extended until the end of 2022. In the field of education Austria has contributed through different projects, most important of them was the opening of the technical professional school (HTL) in 2006, in Shkodër. The school is based on an Austrian curriculum and run by Austrian teachers. Following this positive experience, Albanian Government with the assistance of the Government of Austria, developed a similar project in Tirana. There is an active cooperation in the field of culture as well.

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