19 December 2006
The challenges posed by the implementation Albania’s Interim Agreement with the EU, which entered into force on 1 December, were discussed into a workshop held on 19 December 2006 by the Albanian Institute for International studies with the financial support of the Soros Foundation. Representatives of the private and public businesses sat for the first time in the same table across from the representatives of the government.
Business representatives expressed their concern over the direct consequences deriving from the implementation of the Agreement due the imposition of numerous restrictions which are about to ensue losses for the local production. However, they all pointed to the need for constant communication and functional dialogue between interest groups and the government, which has not been forthcoming so far. This constant two way communication is necessary to identify difficulties and work out solutions.
The Albanian businesses strongly voiced their concern over the Government’s indifference towards the flow of information as regards the cost/benefit implications of the Interim Agreement on the Albanian undertakings. This relates particularly to the lack of efforts on the part of the government to structure and communicate to the interest groups information as it relates to Albania’s obligations in the context of the enforcement of the Interim Agreement.
The workshop underlined the need for the institutionalization of the public-private dialogue as a necessary condition to enforce the Agreement to the benefit of all sides concerned. The participants in the workshop demanded that the Government demonstrate greater responsibility vis-à-vis the local businesses in order to create the necessary conditions for their adjustment to the newly created situation due the implementation of the Interim Agreement.