This seminar presented the latest developments in civil society and governmental policy towards civil society and civil society organisations in Albania, and provided an opportunity to discuss critical issues and challenges ahead.
Civil society in Albania has a relatively short history, stifled during the communist regime until late 20th century and now struggling with rapid systemic transformation and a turbulent political and economic environment. Key strengths of the sector come from within but are limited by government's policy towards civil society organisations and civil society in many areas, notably public consultation processes, public funding for CSOs, financial and legal operations of CSOs, volunteering, social service provision and the collection of data on civil society development. The European integration process provides an opportunity to reinforce the government's policy towards civil society and a number of measures undertaken in recent years, namely the establishment of a government agency supporting CSO development and a National Council for Civil Society have moved things forward.
Dr Max Fras is Visiting Fellow at LSEE Research on South East Europe. He works as a consultant, analyst and trainer for the British Council, European Commission and Council of Europe across South-East Europe, Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. His professional expertise covers civil society, education, research, culture, youth policy and international development co-operation. His research interests include: EU enlargement policy, Council of Europe, social policy, youth policy religion and public life, intercultural dialogue, multiculturalism and migration. Dr Fras holds MA degrees from Wroclaw University and the Cambridge Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations as well as a PhD in social sciences from Open University (UK).
Dr Enkeleida Tahiraj is LSEE Visiting Senior Fellow. She has advised international organizations including the European Commission, EUROFOUND, the UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women and the World Bank as well as national governments on social protection and social inclusion strategy design; rights based policies; EU Mutual Information System on Social Protection (MISSOC). Dr Tahiraj is a World Visiting Scholar at University of California San Diego, and at Penn State University, USA, as well as Chevening Scholar at Sussex University. Her current focus is the governance mechanisms for rights based polices and inclusion and the role of International Organisations in the social discourse.
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