At a glance
In response to the breakdown of law and order throughout Albania at the beginning of 1997 (triggered by the collapse of pyramid schemes in which many Albanians lost their life savings), the OSCE Permanent Council decided on 27 March 1997 (Permanent Council Decision No. 160) to establish an OSCE Presence in Albania. The Presence's mandate was updated in December 2003 (Permanent Council Decision No. 588) to reflect the overall progress achieved in Albania in recent years and the positive role that the country has played in developing and improving relations in South-Eastern Europe.
The goal of the Presence is to promote democratization, the rule of law and human rights, as well as to consolidate democratic institutions in conformity with OSCE principles, standards and commitments. The Presence works in the fields of legislative and judicial reform, property reform, electoral reform, regional administrative reform, parliamentary capacity-building, anti-trafficking and anti-corruption, media development, promotion of good governance, the development of civil society and police assistance.
Further information on mandates, staffing levels and budgets can be found in the annual Survey of OSCE Field Operations.
The Presence is led by the Head of Presence, who has overall responsibility for all policy and operational matters. The Presence's thematic activities are implemented by four thematic departments: Democratization; Rule of Law and Human Rights; Governance in Economic and Environmental Issues; and Security Co-operation. A Project Office Co-ordination Unit (POCU) helps co-ordinate the Presence's project activities, including those implemented outside of Tirana. POCU is also responsible for maintaining contacts with local actors in Tirana and the surrounding areas (including Elbasan and Durres).