1. Cultural policy system
Last update: January, 2011
Historical perspective: cultural policies and instruments
Albania is one of the oldest countries on the Balkan Peninsula and is at the cross roads of Europe, the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Illyria. Over the past fifty years, it has been under communist rule which isolated the country from the rest of Europe until the early 1990s when the regime collapsed and independence was achieved. Prior to 1944, there was a rapid development or National Renaissance of Albanian art and culture. Following the Second World War, art and culture were under a "socialist realism" ideology whose main aim was to create the "New Socialist Man". Large-scale performances, sponsored by the state, glorified their ideology and the new man of the Labour Party.
During the communist regime, Albanian cultural life was completely centralised and controlled by the state. Cultural events were mostly organised in the capital Tirana, which was also home to the Opera and Ballet Theatre, Popular Theatre, the Hall of State Variety Show, the Concert Hall of the Palace of Culture, the Hall of the High Institute of Arts.
In spite of the guiding political ideology and severe lack of funding, artistic and social progress was made and cultural infrastructure built up. For example, in 1946, the first Albanian Art School was founded and artists created their first professional organisation - Albanian Writers' and Artists' League - in 1952. A few years later, in 1954, the first National Art Gallery was opened which was an important institution to promote and protect the artistic heritage of both native and foreign artists. Despite limits placed on artistic freedom and freedom of movement, many young artists completed their studies and produced a variety of monuments and other monumental works of paintings, sculptures, design, photographs or applied arts.
The collapse of communism in Eastern European countries throughout the early 1990s gave rise to the free movement of citizens, and thus enabled Albanian artists to have direct contact with the world of art outside Albania. Since then, Albanian culture was "exported". A new generation of artists had their works performed and distributed in different regions of the world. Works by Albanian composers were broadcast by foreign channels which gave them access to a mass international audience for the first time. Independent artists groups, orchestras, chamber music ensembles, pop music and folklore groups were founded and were given an opportunity to perform both inside and outside the country.
Such progress, however, has been more or less limited to favourable market conditions found in Tirana with little influence on other Albanians towns. The number of musical events varies in different parts of the country according to the interests of the audience and their traditions. Although there are many cultural groups and associations throughout Albania, only eight of them are recorded in the 1998 catalogue of the Albanian Foundation of Civil Society.
In 1991, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) was decreed by the new President of the Republic whose aims was to bring the Albanian culture and sport institutions in line with European standards. A new cultural policy was created to help recover and develop Albanian cultural life and is based on the right of its citizens to participate in cultural life. In July 2000, a Guide to the cultural policy of the Albanian state was produced by the Ministry to set new goals for the country. Emphasis has been placed on national heritage as well as on the vital role of modernising Albanian society. Few pieces of legislation, have, however, been integrated as instruments in the day to day operations of the Ministry. After the political election in 2005, changes were made to the title and functions of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, which resulted in the formation of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports.
Main features of the current cultural policy model
According to the Draft Strategy on Culture, approved by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports (MTCYS), the national cultural policy in Albania is built on European standards and models. The underlying goal of such a cultural policy is to "bring down the walls that isolated Albania from the rest of the world, especially the West". Culture and the arts, in this sense, are considered to be tools that will help to bring democratic development to the country and re-assert its cultural identity within the region and as an integral part of European cultural identity. According to the same document, the implementation of the Strategy will increase the autonomy, competition and multi-dimensional role of arts and culture institutions in the country's civil, democratic and economic life.
However, Albania's cultural life remains highly concentrated within the capital Tirana, with almost every national organisation being based there and their trend is to avoid outreach projects and distribution, which results in poor cultural offering outside of the capital. For twenty years now, unique institutions like the National Opera and Ballet Theatre and the National Theatre (of Drama), notwithstanding their annual subsidies from MTCYS, operate like local institutions, giving performances only in Tirana. The situation is similar with independent theatre and music projects, festivals, shows and exhibitions. Exceptions occur in certain areas that have a tourism interest.
On the other hand, the process of decentralisation of decision-making and institutional autonomy has slowed down and in some cases has even gone backwards. On 18 November 2010, the parliament passed a new Law on Arts and Culture that will replace the Law on Performing Arts of 2006. The implementation of this Law will increase centralisation and will decrease competence in project selection as the new representatives of the Ministry of Finance will take the seats that now belong to artists in all boards of the national institutions.
Decentralisation is being regarded as a top priority of Albania's transition towards a market economy. First political steps towards democratically elected municipal officials have been accomplished. Although their budgets are limited, they have a large degree of autonomy. Local cultural commissions have been set up and are attached to local assemblies.
A Law on the Organisation and Functions of Local Government was adopted by the Parliament on 31 July 2000. The main principle of this Law is the autonomy of local government. The present status of local government in Albania and the process of decentralising power are affected by the political, economic, and social aspects of the transition, combined with historic, traditional, social ad psychological factors. Before the transition, local governments had little political autonomy and high levels of social and economic responsibility. The central government body which controlled the activities of local government body was the Interior Ministry. The view that local government should have greater autonomy is gaining notable support.
Decentralisation of culture, as a part of the overall process in the public administration system, has not yet proved productive. City mayors seem more concerned with their authority over local cultural institutions rather than their performance. With the excuse of funding cuts in the central government and subsidies for the local administration, city councils have decreased their support for local arts and culture institutions, in some cases reducing aid to merely wages and salaries and operating costs.
2010 was a year of major friction between local and central government regarding subsidy distribution and taxation, with the government pushing for less local taxes and the local authorities complaining of interference from the government in their rights. Arts and culture were caught in the middle of this clash and suffered both a lack of funding and a lack of co-ordination between the MTCYS and city councils.
Cultural policy objectives
The cultural policy of the Ministry of Tourism Culture, Youth and Sports is to be seen in the framework of the efforts of the Albanian government towards the European integration of Albania. This is based on the principle that the cultural policy itself must become a key element of the general strategy of the development of Albania within the Balkans Stability Pact.
The recommendations of the Council of Europe are seen as a priority, especially in the book sector.
The cultural policy objectives set out by the Albanian governments are efforts to address the promotion of identity and diversity, support of creativity and participation in cultural life. Through a series of policy and financial instruments the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth & Sport aimed to interlink its own objectives by developing even innovative fiscal mechanisms to support culture and cultural heritage based on global best practices. Policy intervention initiatives are considered crucial to ensuring that the interdependent relationship between tourism, culture, youth activities and sport is developed and managed in a sustainable manner at the both national and local levels. Of the 37 conventions, protocols and agreements of a standard-setting nature issued by UNESCO, only 17 of these instruments have been ratified or accepted by the Albanian government. In this way the ratification and implementation of applicable international conventions for the protection of culture and cultural heritage is one of the most visible interventions that can be made.
Last update: January, 2011
Please note: At 12 December 2010, the Ministry's webpage is still under construction and the organisational chart was not available.
Last update: January, 2011
Overall description of the system
After the 2009 elections, there were a few changes in the apparatus of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. There are three Deputy Ministers now, covering Tourism, Culture and Sports. In addition, there are four General Directorates, as follows:
- Tourism and Cultural Heritage;
- Arts Policies;
- Sports and Youth Policies;
- Support Services
Each of the first three General Directorates are directly responsible to the three Deputy Ministers - it is questionable whether there is any need for those Directorates as a General Directorate is a single officer role.
The General Directorate of Support Services reports directly to the Minister.
The Minister's Cabinet is responsible for the implementation of policies and strategies and organises institutional contacts for the Minister in the country and abroad.
The Board of Advisers to the Minister observes all activities of the Ministry and supports him / her through advice and suggestions.
The Directorate of Cultural Heritage was created in July 1998 to reflect the increasing importance of the sector in terms of policy making and programme development. After the Ministry was joined with the Ministry of Tourism and Public Works on 6 September 2005, the Directorate was renamed the Directorate of Tourism and Cultural Heritage. Its main objectives are:
- the protection of the cultural heritage, keeping in mind the modernisation and economic developments of the country, as well as of the tourism industry;
- to involve outside specialists who are distinguished for their work in this field;
- to raise awareness and inform citizens about legislation and policy developments in this field;
- to establish and strengthen international co-operation;
- to find financing solutions.
The General Directorate of Arts Policies is responsible for selecting artistic projects to be supported by the Ministry which are in line with cultural policies and programmes. It also manages exchange programmes and co-operation projects abroad. Projects are selected by an ad hoc group appointed by the Minister of Culture and are approved by the minister. The Book sector was created in July 1998 to protect the universal and constitutional right of citizens to information and education through books, and to develop policies for book distribution and the promotion of reading. It aims to create a climate favourable to private initiatives in the book market, and it is also responsible for libraries.
The Directorate of Youth Policies was created in July 1998 to develop policies in the field of youth, with the special aim to promote the principles of an open, civil and democratic society among young people.
The General Directorate of Supporting Services is responsible for planning and monitoring the budget of the Ministry. The Personnel and Services Department develops and monitors procedures in the appointment of experts intended to co-operate with the different areas of the Ministry, organises and supervises the work of Ministry personnel and, in general, monitors how the laws and regulations of the government and of the Ministry are respected.
The Directorate of Drafting and Approximating of Legislation and Juridical Services formerly the Department of Juridical Division and Copyright supports and advises the work of the ministry in all legal questions and monitors the application of legislation. It also drafts and proposes appropriate laws and legal frameworks in the cultural field.
The Directorate of Internal Audit supervises the way in which the state budget is used in accordance with the forms and the rules foreseen in the legislation of the Republic of Albania.
Please find the available information on this subject in 1.2.2.
Please find the available information on this subject in 1.2.2.
Last update: January, 2011
There are no associations of citizens or advocacy groups dealing with cultural issues. Cultural NGOs are, as a rule, small non-profit entities run by individuals. The average Albanian citizen unfortunately is still highly individualistic and reluctant to all collective organisations. A few exceptions simply prove the rule. Another reason for that is policy and decision-makers' stubbornness and the lack of a lobbying tradition.
Under Communism, there was the League of Artists and Writers (LAW), a huge organisation gathering every individual working in the arts. The League published a weekly paper, a bi-monthly literary magazine, a quarterly arts magazine, series of books and had considerable assets and subsidies. In the early 1990's, financial support fell drastically and the League faced a severe financial crisis. Some artists proposed that the League be changed into an umbrella organisation for the new artist unions and associations that were being established. Unfortunately that did not happen. In a pure totalitarian attitude, fellow members contributed to fragmentation and exclusion. When film artists formed their association, they were expelled from the League and the same happened with musicians and visual artists. Finally, writers could claim the League belonged to them only and changed its name into the League of Artists. But it didn't stop there. Supporters of those who did not make it to win the League elections in 1996 established an alternative organisation namely the League of Anti-communist Writers, implying that the League had remained a communist organisation. Indeed, the fight was for the control of the League's capital and financial resources. The battle went on for almost a decade, through protests, petitions, lawsuits and court decisions. The League lost its support and eventually was "captured" by the "anti-communists" in 2005. A year later, the government decided to take back the building that had served as the Leagues historic site and cut off all financing. This time there was nobody to stand up for the League. The building became the new site of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the League was dissolved.
A pure exception is the case of the film industry. The Law on Cinema of 1996 required for the then sole Association of Film Artists to have the exclusive right of selecting members of all National Film Centre boards. In 2005, two alternative associations were formed and all three joined efforts to lobby and eventually succeeded in amending the Law allowing for all associations to share this right. As a result, now there are six associations and they all share the same right, through a joint assembly.
Last update: January, 2011
Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation
The most important decision-making structure is the Commission of Culture and Media at the Albanian Parliament which is also important for inter-ministerial co-ordination. There is a structure within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has an important role in intergovernmental co-operation in the cultural field.
There are no specific inter-ministerial initiatives or structures with regard to intercultural dialogue. In 2005, the Albanian Ministry of Culture joined the newly formed Council of Ministers of Culture in South East Europe, but the agreement has produced no effects in the Albania so far.
Last update: January, 2011
Albania's cultural infrastructure in 1990 comprised:
- "New Albania" Film Studio, with separate divisions and production capability for 14 feature films, 40 documentaries and 15 animated shorts;
- Central Film Archive;
- Film and Book Distribution Enterprise, with 65 cinema theatres (about 15000 urban inhabitants per screen), 400 mobile cine-projectors and a network of more than 100 libraries and 100 book shops.
- national repertory companies in Tirana: National Theatre (530 seats) and Opera and Ballet Theatre (830 seats);
- one national institution of higher education in the arts: Academy of Arts, with a theatre of 624 seats, a network of 7 conservatories and a ballet school;
- one major events' centre: Palace of Congress (2300 seats);
- a major multi-art centre: Palace of Culture, a complex comprising the Opera and Ballet Theatre, the National Library as well as two stages (200 and 300 seats), a hall for events and exhibitions and a number of other premises for bars, recreation, art classes etc. Similar but smaller centres in all 26 district centres;
- one children's cultural centre, a complex of recreation areas, sports fields, studios, classrooms and a multi-use theatre of 400 seats;
- one student's multi-arts centre, Student Palace, with a multi-use theatre of 400 seats, located within Tirana University Campus;
- 9 regional repertory theatres (with separate companies for drama, music hall and puppet theatre), plus 3 more music hall companies and 6 more puppet theatre companies performing at their own theatres and an additional 24 playhouses, owned by the trade-unions.
Fine Arts and Museums
- a dozen national museums of history, natural sciences, medieval art, ancient culture etc;
- around two dozen art galleries;
- soon after the fall of Communism, the so-called Pyramid, a huge concrete venue built as a tribute museum to the dictator Enver Hoxha in 1988, was converted into the International Culture Centre, offering a round hall for major events and a cinema theatre of 350 seats.
In 1992, the first non-communist government in Albania's history had neither money, nor ideas to develop the cultural infrastructure. The same year, the Film and Book Distribution Enterprise was closed down. All cinema theatres and libraries were left under the jurisdiction of municipalities (city councils); mobile cine-projectors disappeared, and book shops were privatised. Cinema theatres and bookshops soon lost their functions and many of them were even demolished.
During the 1990s, the only trend we saw was the hiring of all "vacant" spaces in cultural infrastructures to private businesses like restaurants, bars, gambling houses, discos etc. The same happened to the playhouses, trade-union theatres and many multi-art centres. Even in Tirana, the capital, there was a gambling house at one side of the National Theatre and a private TV studio at the other and theatre-goers had to enter the theatre through the parking area. The Palace of Culture lost both theatres and the rest of the spaces when it was "modernised and converted into a cultural-trade centre". Almost all repertory theatres, galleries and museums rented out spaces to private bars and shops.
This trend reached its peak in 2002 when Tirana's Mayor Edi Rama proposed the demolition of the National Theatre and the building of a business complex on its 6 000 m2 site. Eventually the plan started to fade when artists and other intellectuals submitted a petition to the Prime Minister Pandeli Majko, who in turn rejected Mr. Rama's plan. Since then, the cultural infrastructure is gaining more terrain versus private businesses. The government has been investing in infrastructure restoration and modernisation, in some cases with support from foreign donors. The Soros Foundation sponsored the construction of a black box theatre of 200 seats and recently a new open-air theatre with 500 seats opened within the Academy of Arts, while a UNOPS / PASSARP Programme sponsored the restoration of repertory theatres in three major cities: Shkodër, Durrës and Vlorë. In 2005, the National Theatre opened its second stage (200 seats) and the government announced it would make use of a EUR 2 million grant from the EU to convert the Pyramid, now "Pjeter Arbnori" International Centre of Culture, into the new home of the National Theatre. Restoration and modernisation works have taken place in almost all other theatres, galleries and museums.
In 2010, the government provoked another controversy, by announcing it will demolish the Pyramid to build the new Parliament Building on its site. Nine years after the contract was signed and five years after construction works had started, the theatre project was too far from completion. The government promised it will adopt the present House of the Parliament but that didn't help ease the concern, for that should be home to the National Comedy Theatre, a new institution the government has promised to establish in 2011.
In conclusion, we may say that if the 1990's were the decade of destruction, abuse and impoverishment of cultural infrastructure, while the 2000's were the decade of restoration. Up to date, no new venues were added to the country's cultural infrastructure since the fall of Communism.
Last update: January, 2011
Table 5: Cultural institutions financed by public authorities, by domain
|Domain||Cultural institutions (subdomains)||Number (Year)||Trend (++ to --)|
|Cultural heritage||Cultural heritage sites (recognised)||6||No change|
|Archives (of public authorities)||2|
|Visual arts||public art galleries / exhibition halls||1|
|Art academies (or universities)||1|
|Performing arts||Symphonic orchestras||2|
Music / theatre academies |
|Music theatres, opera houses||1|
|Dance and ballet companies||1|
|Books and Libraries||Libraries||1|
|Interdisciplinary||Socio-cultural centres / cultural houses||1|
|Other (please explain)||Puppet and Children's Theatre||1|
Source: Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, http://kultura.gov.al/.
Note: The above grid contains data on national institutions only.
The National Film Centre is a government agency providing financial support for 2-3 feature films, 5-6 documentaries and 3-4 animated short films per year, as well as domestic international film festivals. Annual budget is around EUR 850 000. All features are co-produced with foreign partners.
The National Theatre, est. 1947, is a state repertory theatre based in Tirana, with two stages (530 and 200 seats), a company of 33 actors, and a total staff of 72. The annual budget is around EUR 700 000. It produces 4-6 productions and gives around 100 performances annually, although it never tours.
The National Opera and Ballet Theatre, est. 1953, is a state repertory theatre based in Tirana, with one major stage (830 seats) for opera, and a symphony and ballet. It has one alternative space (which can seat up to 200) for chamber music and instrumental concerts. It also has a 60 member orchestra, 20 soloist singers, 40 choir singers, and 30 ballet dancers and a total staff 196. An additional ensemble of 60 folk musicians, dancers and singers are also involved. It produces an average of 2-3 operas, 1-2 ballets, 3-4 symphony concerts, plus a dozen other vocal and instrumental concerts each year. Except for the Folk Ensemble, the company never tours.
The National Gallery of Arts wasest. 1946 and has a total exhibition space of 5 300 m2. The main departments are Renaissance, Byzantine, Social-Realism, and Contemporary and the total number of works is 4 100. It has a library also, which is open to all, with an admission of 200 ALL (EUR 1.5) for regular visitors, and a 100 ALL (EUR 0.75) concessionary rate.
The Academy of Artswasest. in 1966, after the fusion of three separate schools - Music est.1962, Fine Arts est. 1959 and Performing Arts est.1959. Until 2009, this establishment was the country's unique higher education institution of arts. It has around 650 students, and around 200 professors.
The National Library wasestablished in 1920 as a public institution located in Tirana. It has a total staff of 105, and 1 035 885 entries. New entries amount to 20 000 a year and admission is free. Tirana residents, older than 16, are able to visit the library, and non-residents may apply for short-term membership.
Last update: January, 2011
It is still debatable whether "public" is the proper term to describe Albanian cultural institutions. A few, especially in higher education, can now be considered public institutions, as they have a certain degree of autonomy. They are run by a freely elected senate, which in turn elects rectors and other high ranking officers. Other cultural institutions established by a specific Law also have some autonomy. The National Film Centre has specialised grant-making boards that are fully elected by a general assembly of six associations of film artists. The Academy of Sciences also has some autonomy.
This is not the case with other cultural institutions, like theatres, museums, art galleries, libraries and multi-art centres. They are "budgetary institutions", which is a poor literal translation from Albanian, meaning government agencies. All national cultural institutions have directors appointed by the prime minister at the proposal of the Minister of Culture. All directors of local cultural institutions are appointed by their respective city mayors. As a rule, the board members at any cultural institution are proposed by its respective director and appointed by either the Minister of Culture or the city mayor.
On the other hand, it is the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, Youth and Sports, in accordance with the Ministry of Finance, that makes all major decisions on the financial management of national cultural institutions, including prices of goods and services, wages and salaries, investment quota, development plans and even royalty fees paid to creative artists. This strategy has proven to be a total failure during the last 20 years, resulting in elevated costs of management, weak financial performance, lack of initiative and eagerness from management teams, unfair competition towards private initiatives and unfair staff and employment policies. Being unique in their field of activity, all national institutions do not fear competition and can pretend they are doing well, since no other institution can do more. Private organisations remain unable to compete with them, as they take little or no financial support from central or local government. The situation is not expected to change with the implementation of the new Law on Arts and Culture, as it requires no change in the legal status of all state cultural institutions.
It has become fashionable these days for national cultural institutions to seek membership in various international organisations and networks, but rather than a way of expanding their potential for high quality work and European integration, that is seen as a mere boost in public relations. The National Theatre, for example, has announced its affiliation to the European Convention of Theatre two years ago, but there have been no other follow-up initiatives. The National Film Centre, on the contrary, has been making use of its international alliances with Eurimages, European Film Promotion and SEE Cinema Network.
Local cultural institutions engage in "twining agreements" with other similar institutions abroad, but only a few, like local theatres in Vlora and Shkodra have in the past co-produced plays with their Italian partners.
Business partnerships are a new and still marginal reality. In 2007, the National Opera and Ballet Theatre signed the first sponsorship deal with Vodafone Albania and the National Theatre has in turn signed an agreement with the paid-TV provider Digitalb.
Last update: January, 2011
Since the merger of the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture, there has been a decrease in the government's interest (and funding) in cultural activities in general. No significant efforts have been seen to establish co-operation between the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The latter has announced a major plan aimed at setting up a network of "Albanian Institutions" abroad, but to date this is only, and merely, a statement.
Unlike Albanian public institutions, foreign cultural agencies have been increasingly active in promoting their respective national and European cultural values in Albania. Especially, the Italian Institute and the Alliance Française have sponsored a wide range of activities, from translation and book publishing, to drama productions and live concerts. The Italian Institute is a promoter and major sponsor of "Allegretto Albania", a series of classical music concerts in major cities, while the Alliance Française organises the annual French Cultural Festival, a multi-disciplinary event.
A major actor in this field remains the Swiss Cultural Council - Pro Helvetia, which also supports projects with a national or regional profile. Recently, the British Council has been expanding its services, including library and home video rentals.
The major instruments used in international cultural relations are bi-lateral co-operation agreements. A good example in this matter is the 2002 agreement between Albania and Italy, which paved the way for two co-productions of feature films, the first ever with Albanian and Italian money.
Another agreement, between the Albanian and Italian ministries of education, has allowed many Albanian students to study arts and culture at Italian universities. In addition, opera and classical music institutions from Italy, France, Germany and Austria, have been offering training courses and internships for Albanian singers and musicians, thus helping many of them to start an international career abroad.
Due to a lack of interest in international cultural co-operation, the Albanian government provides no specific funding programmes for projects of this kind. However, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture provides limited and decreasing funding, benefiting events such as international drama and film festivals or classical music summer festivals.
Within the framework of regional cooperation, the Meeting of CEI Heads of Government held in Tirana on 23 November 2006 approved the Plan of Action for 2007-2009, which includes cultural cooperation. Since 1995, Albania is one of the members of this inter-regional initiative which aims to promote regional cooperation. The key elements of CEI cultural cooperation in the next years will be the development of projects related to intercultural dialogue and the preservation of cultural diversity in Central Europe, as well as the promotion of activities aiming at the conservation of cultural heritage, jointly with the transfer of know-how in cultural management. Additional activities aimed at advancing the ability of governments and civil society as a whole in the preparation, financing and implementation of cultural projects could be implemented especially in the following areas: support to cultural policies as a contribution to socio-economic development (cultural industries development; cultural tourism; sponsorship and donations to the arts) sponsoring cross-border cooperation in the field of arts, including the mobility of individuals and groups. Training programmes as well as seminars and workshops will be organised under the initiative of member countries with the aim of promoting various aspects of cultural dialogue, also aiming at the preservation of cultural diversity. Management of cultural institutions and the introduction of a modern administrative approach, including issues related to public subsidies, private sponsorship, ways and means of making culture especially attractive to the public, will be analysed in seminars and workshops organised by CEI member states, including Albania.
Last update: January, 2011
Albania is a full member of the Council of Europe and UNESCO, while, as a candidate country, it has been benefiting from EU programmes like Phare and CARDS.
Albania is also a country member of the Francophonie Community, benefiting from direct and indirect support from the French government.
The Albanian Parliament ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions on 24 September 2006. The Ministry of Tourism and Culture will be in charge of monitoring the implementation of the Convention.
Few Albanian cultural and education institutions have affiliations with international, transnational or European organisations. Tirana Arts Academy is a member of ELIA, while there is a national centre of the Madrid-based Mediterranean Theatre Institute.
There is no partnership between Albania and the Nordic Council or the Anna Lindh Foundation Networks.
Last update: January, 2011
Trans-border exchanges with Serbia and Montenegro have been almost non-existent, due to political obstacles between the two countries. In recent years, Albania has tried to foster these exchanges with FYROM and Kosovo. With the latter, there has been distinguished progress, with cultural festivals, joint book fairs and exchange of concerts and drama tours. The current government has announced a plan to change an existing cultural centre into a theatre, with support from the Greek government, in the form of EUR 2.5 million to finance the project.
Drama, opera and ballet have received grants from mandated agencies such as the Alliance Française, the Italian Institute of Culture, the German Embassy, and the Austrian Embassy.
In the film industry, the French foundation Fond du Sud has played a key role, financing half of Albanian feature film productions.