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20 Years of Security Sector Reforms in Albania – Towards a New Generation of Reforms

 March 15,16  2012 

Institute for Democracy and Mediation organized in the premises of Polytechnic University of Tirana, the National Workshop “20 Years of Security Sector Reforms in Albania – Towards a new Generation of Reforms”. This conference intended to discuss with key actors of the security sector, the current situation and the future of the security sector reforms process in Albania. This conference was organized in close cooperation with the Government, the Parliament, security institutions, as well as with the support of international partners. In the conference participated members of parliament, ministers and high governmental representatives, representatives from international organizations such as BE, OSCE, US Embassy in Tirana; representatives from the civil society, independent experts etc.

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The conference was opened with the opening remarks of the organizers and partners which supported this event: Council of Ministers, EU Delegation, Ambassadors, DCAF etc.  After the opening remarks the conference continued with the discussions in 7 distinguished panels :

Main Panels

– Streamline the constitutional and legal framework of the security sector

– Improving the Executive Management and Control of the Security Sector

– Improving the effectiveness of parliamentary control and oversight of the security sector.

Parallel Panels topics:

– Public Oversight of the Security Sector in Albania

– Corruption in Security Sector in Albania

– Independent Oversight Bodies in Security Sector Reform in Albania

– The Role of the Judiciary vis-à-vis the Security Sector

The panels, based on a specific themes brought upon valuable opinions and contributions from different representatives of security sector institutions and independent national and international experts.

In this context from the discussions was revealed that the reform of the security sector has been an important part of the democratic transformation in Albania. These reforms finally led to Albania’s membership in NATO. Major progress has taken place in terms of the rule of law and respect for human rights. Important standards have been achieved in establishing civilian control  of the Armed Forces, and in reforming and improving their ability to participate in international peace operations and other international military cooperation. Other security sector institutions have also achieved higher European standards.

However, despite all these achievements Security Sector Reform in Albania is still an unfinished business. In order to fully meet the required NATO and EU standards, a new generation of reforms is needed.

More specifically the panelists shared the opinion the consolidation of the democratic governance of the security sector is a necessity and directly relates with parliamentary and public oversight, accountability and transparency standards. Furthermore further reforms are needed in the framework of the consolidation of roles and functions of each security sector actor.

The second day of the conference was dedicated to the findings and outcomes of each panels.

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The results were presented to the public in a special session through the presentation of the rapporteurs of the panels, summarizing the main achievements, problems and recommendations of each panel. By sharing the results of this workshop with all the interested actors, IDM aims to provide a positive impact in the current path of the reforms in Albania.

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In order to ensure a better working environment with lively and opened debates, the opening and closing sessions were opened to the public and the media.