The 5th day of the EAR-AER fact finding mission took the delegates to Vlorë. The City of Vlorë has been the site, though ancient and modern history, of many important events for Albania and its people. Known as the “Place of the Flag,” the city of Vlore has fixed in Albanian history the date of November 28, 1912, the date of national independence. At the western vanguard of the city are the Island of Sazani and the Peninsula of Karburun. Vlore is an ancient city and the southern port of the Adriatic. Vlore is in a favored position at the crossroads of the entire region’s water, air, and land, roads, all of which have had an important influence in the development of its economy. The distance from the country’s capital, Tirana, is 135 Kilometers, while it is only 72 km. from Italy and 77 miles from Greece.
A “Forum on Local and Regional development” was organised by CRLDS in co-operation with EAR-AER and Flemish Government in the town hall of Vlorë municipality in the presence of the mayor of Vlorë, M. Dritan LELI.
There were present and contributed actively to the forum: Mr. Olvi Merkaj director of the cabinet of the president of Vlore County Council, Mr. Arben Breshani Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Agron Gjipali, City Hall Council Secretary, Independence University of Vlora, 4 Regional Development Agencies, Ilir Nika, Director of Youth Center Vlore and many civil society organizations.
Mrs. Hoxhaj opened the debate of the Forum with the announcement that the reorganisation of the municipalities in the country from 400 to 63 created the opportunity of a strong regional economic development tool in Albania, that had to be exploited.
The mayor of Vlorë, Mr. Dritan LELI welcomed the EAR-AER in Vlorë and emphasised on the new task of the enlarged municipalities disposing now of the necessary tools to elaborate a real policy in regional development.
Mr. Neacsu presented in his opening speech the goals of EAR-AER, the effort of the Flemish Government in assisting pre-access countries in their acquirement of competence, the link between ALDA and EAR-AER and the role of CRLSD as local partner of EAR-AER in Albania.
With her striking realisation of projects in Constantza Romania, Mrs. Oncioiu gave to the attendants a taste of the possibilities European funds to pre-access was able to realise.