On the second day of EAR-AER fact finding mission to Albania a conference was organized on “is a European Regional Approach fruitfull when it comes to Developing Economy and Employment? “
The conference was organized in the premises of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana (CCIT) by the CRLDS with the financial support of the Government of Flanders.
In his opening speech, the president of CCIT, Mr. Nikolin Jaka, insisted upon the fact that thanks to a new law, contributions of companies to the Albanian chambers of commerce and industry became compulsory. This new regulation gave the CCIs a stronger position. But it forced them also to provide with adequate services to their member–companies.Services in terms of advocacy, information and training and networking. The role of the CCI in the regional and local community was recognized and essential and the CCI were committed to contribute to the regional approach as promoted by the European Academy of the Regions.
EAR–AER president Mr.Neacsu, emphasized on the role of catalyst the EAR wants to play, assisting civil society and local authorities to contribute to the social and economic development of their region. EAR–AER provides inspiration and methodology to apply for national and European support with these goals as starting point.
Mrs. Ionica Oncioiu then gave an overview of the various funding programs offered by European Commission to Albania during its pre–access phase. She gave several examples of projects having been successful in other countries and in cross–border collaboration projects enabling Albanian civil society partners to contribute to the social and economic development of their region.
Mr. Louis Delcart, EAR-AER head of the Regional Development Department, gave an appreciated lecture about the regional approach. Several topics became clear to the participants, such as the principle of the quadruple helix in regional development, in which local authorities, universities and technical colleges, business community and civil society join forces to contribute to tackle regional economic and social difficulties and to find the appropriate solutions for it.
Mr. Neacsu ended by thanking to the organisers, the CRLDS EAR–AER’s local partner in Albania, the CCI Tirana for the organisation of the conference and expressed the wish to be able to launch the first joint project with EU funding shortly.