From: Alice Taylor
Diaspora Group for Free Albania asks European Auditors to Assess Management of EU Funds

The Diaspora Movement for a Free Albania has requested that the European Court of Auditors assesses the management of EU funds in Albania.

In an open letter which was also published on Facebook, they wrote that they had become aware of an upcoming audit regarding the rule of law in the Western Balkans. They stated that since January 5, 2021, there have been new developments in the Albanian political arena which they deem “dangerous and that harm the Albanian integration process.”

They then highlight the recent Ndrangheta wiretap scandal which suggested that the mafia’s illicit funds could have found their way into the Albanian healthcare and construction sector, with assistance from the government. To date, no concrete case has been confirmed.

The Movement state that the allegations are a cause for concern in terms of EU funds and donations. Noting that last year some EUR 1.15 billion was donated to Albania after the earthquake and further support was given by the EU for the pandemic, there is little information on how the funds have been used. They said it’s difficult to find documents and audit reviews on the implementation of programs and interventions funded by EU instruments.

They stated that Albania would benefit from activities such as the upcoming audit planned by the ECA.