Tirana/Vienna, 7. December 2019: Election-Watch.EU met with Albanian national authorities, civil society organisations and international support organisations during a mission to Tirana between 5 and 7 December, to understand possible needs regarding the conduct of elections and ongoing democratic reforms. Following the last round of parliamentary elections in 2017 and local elections in 2019, Albanian stakeholders are currently undertaking an open-ended electoral reform process, in which the young generation does not seem to be sufficiently represented.
Since the beginning of 2019, Election-Watch.EU partakes in the program “Education on Europe” of the Robert Bosch Foundation. Facing multiple challenges including political polarization, the instrumentalisation of social media for political purposes, and the demands of European integration, civil society youth groups in Albania have approached Election-Watch.EU in order to jointly develop contemporary and context-specific approaches to citizenship education for the young generation in Albania in the context of this program. It is the idea of the program to connect civil society from across Europe, to deepen European exchange, to strengthen European values and to facilitate education on Europe for groups who usually do not get such opportunities. The development and implementation of a pilot project is foreseen for 2020.
Apart from potential partners in civil society, Michael Lidauer of Election-Watch.EU has met representatives of the OSCE Presence in Albania, the Office of the Council of Europe in Tirana, the National Democratic Institute, the citizen observer organization KRIIK, the think tank Albanian Institute of Political Studies, as well as an electoral expert of the EU Delegation in Albania. The Mission was made possible with a travel grant of the Robert Bosch Foundation.