The Centre for European Perspective (CEP) successfully conducted a two-day workshop designed at exchanging experiences between Slovenia and Albania as part of the project “Strengthening the Transparency of Electoral Bodies in Albania.” The virtual workshop took place between 10 and 11 November 2020.

Strengthening democratic institutions is of vital importance for Albania as an EU membership candidate. This process also includes elections and the electoral system, which are ones of the foundations of democratic development and the rule of law. Transparency, including vertical and horizontal communication, is key to the credibility of elections. The deficit in this area requires further efforts to support election administration bodies and all other stakeholders such as citizens, NGOs, the EU and the international community.

The workshop was opened by Mr. Ilirjan Celibashi, the State Election Commissioner, who emphasized that this project has already resulted in tangible recommendations and restated the importance of sharing experiences. He expressed his hope that this webinar will yield event more recommendations that will aid the elections observers in their very important work.

Ambassador Peter Japelj noted that a crucial and historic step was taken by opening the accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia and that electoral reform is one of the first crucial steps in strengthening democracy as well as development of society. He emphasized that free and fair elections are a basis for hope for every country. He wished the Albanian people the same experience as he had, one of optimism and confidence when embarking on the road to EU membership.

Renowned Slovenian experts Dr. Alenka Verbole, Dr. Igor Davor Gaon Mr. Dušan Vučko shared in-depth experiences and good practices with colleagues from Albania, focusing on election observation process.

The project is part of the CEP program activities, which are supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia in the scope of Slovenia’s Development Cooperation.