CG/BUR (5) 139 rev

Report on the Congress’s evalutaion visits to Albania and “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”(15 -21 April 1999)

Rapporteurs: MM Frecon (France, L, Socialist), Martini (Italy, R, European People’s Party), Masters (United Kingdom, L, European People’s Party)

Document approved by the Bureau at its meeting on 7 May 1999


PROGRAMME FOR STABILITY IN SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE

REPORT ON THE CONGRESS'S EVALUATION VISITS TO ALBANIA AND “THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA” (15 -21 April 1999)

Following the appeal launched on behalf of the Congress by its President, Mr Alain Chénard, calling on the municipalities and regions of Europe to assist the Kosovar refugees in Albania and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" as far as possible, by forming partnerships between European towns or regions and towns, municipalities or districts in the two member States in question, two Congress delegations visited Albania and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” respectively. The membership of these delegations and the detailed programme of their contacts in the countries in question appear under Appendices 1 and 2.

It should be noted that during their visit the delegations were assisted by the Permanent Delegations and Associations of local and regional authorities of both countries. In the case of Albania, they also had the support of the Council of Europe Office, and in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” they were further backed by the Local Democracy Agency based in Ohrid. In addition to the Mayors and, in Albania, the District Presidents, they met several Ministers and representatives of the international community and visited camps and other structures for refugees.

I. Political background

Since the abolition of Kosovo's autonomy status in 1989, small numbers of Kosovars had regularly been fleeing the province, particularly between 1993 and 1995, to Albania, “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", the Republic of Montenegro and other European countries. Since the crisis prompted by the violence of the past year, and more particularly since the breakdown of the Holbrooke/Milosevic agreements and the Rambouillet talks, and finally since the beginning of the NATO bombings, this flow of refugees has spectacularly intensified and accelerated, far beyond our countries' most pessimistic forecasts. This increase also took Albania and "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" by surprise, as well as the international organisations, including the UNHCR and the humanitarian NGOs.

The situation has led to disastrous conditions in the countries in question, because of the influx of up to 800,000 deportees or refugees, 130,000 of whom are currently in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, and the remainder in Albania. Albania is an extremely poor country and is faced with a more than 10% increase in its population. Over 50% of the deportees have been taken in by local families, who have often received very little in the way of aid - or none at all - while looking after up to twenty refugees. It should be pointed out that most of the Albanian households concerned themselves have a very low standard of living. While Albania has gone to extraordinary lengths to help its "brothers" from Kosovo, the reception has sometimes been less enthusiastic in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” because of pre-existing tensions between the large Albanian minority and the majority in this country. In fact, some Macedonians seem more or less openly to support the policies of the Yugoslav leader, Mr Milosevic.

Nevertheless, even in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” the authorities have properly organised the reception of refugees, far beyond the possibilities initially imagined, despite a number of forced transfers to Albania, which all the people we spoke to agree are unlikely to be repeated. “The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” had hoped to limit its intake to 20,000 refugees, which was regarded as the maximum tolerable number, but it is today having to cope with 130,000 individuals, and more are joining them every day. Significantly, however, 80,000 individuals, i.e. well over half the refugees in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, are being lodged in families, while new camps are being built, mainly by NATO in both “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Albania.

It is especially vital for the whole international community to provide very substantial aid as soon as possible, because without it inter-ethnic and social crises may develop in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, and the social crisis prevailing in Albania may be exacerbated to breaking point. In both countries this may lead to popular revolt (uprisings) liable to destabilise the whole Balkan region.

It should also be noted in this connection that virtually all the deportees wish to return to Kosovo as soon as possible. This fact must be stressed, even if this desire could well flag as their exile continues and they realise how difficult it might actually be to return.

The scale of the refugee phenomenon is likely to increase even more dramatically in the coming days and weeks. At the moment, approximately 700,000 to 800,000 Albanian Kosovars remain inside Kosovo. It cannot be ruled out that action taken by the Yugoslav authorities will force them to flee the country in the very near future. This amount of people could cause the situation to become intolerable both in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and in Albania, if the reception of refugees in third countries is not intensified considerably in the near future. A peaceful solution allowing the immediate return of refugees is not yet foreseeable. It should also be noted that the Albanian government has given assurances that all the Kosovars still in Kosovo (700,000 - 800,000) will be taken in by Albania.

The situation on the spot is also likely to worsen given that many refugees are henceforth housed in camps, often without a proper water supply and living in tents. With the approach of summer, life in these camps will become more and more difficult, bearing in mind the high temperatures in the region and the absence of shaded areas.

Finally, apart from the risk of an extension of the conflict towards other countries, there remains the perspective of an extension of the conflict within the fragile areas of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia itself: Sanjak, Montenegro, even Voivodina. Such an extension could create new movements of refugees, within the region and beyond.

II. The role of the municipalities

The municipalities taking in refugees in both countries have done their utmost to provide humane conditions for the new arrivals. Many municipalities, primarily in northern and eastern Albania and Tirana, and the towns in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" with Albanian majorities and Skopje, have literally exhausted their budgets earmarked for reception of refugees. All of the Albanian municipalities concerned are now drawing on their operating budgets to assist the refugees, which has become the primary focus of their municipal activities. This situation is beginning to cause serious problems in towns such as Shkodër, Kukës, Tirana and Korçë. In Shkodër the number of refugees grew from less than 10,000 to 21,000 in just a few days following the NATO air-strikes in Montenegro. Another very worrying rumour has it that 50,000 to 60,000 Kosovars are hiding in the forests of Montenegro and could arrive in Albania via the North if conditions deteriorate. It should be noted that Shkodër, which is already a poor municipality with 8,500 families on welfare and 25,000 people unemployed, continues to offer hospitality to the refugees. In “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” this has apparently emptied the municipal coffers, even in municipalities taking in very few refugees, and no national or international aid has yet materialised to compensate such losses. In many municipalities in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” this situation has deprived municipal employees of their wages, in some cases for several months now1.

In view of the current situation, all municipal services and enterprises have been requisitioned to deal with the refugees, particularly in connection with transport, health amenities, sanitation, water and electricity supplies, etc.

The municipalities have exhausted not only all their resources but also in many cases the energies of their elected representatives and staff, far beyond any acceptable limits. Often, as has happened in Korçë in Albania, local and regional officials have transcended their party-political differences to face up to extreme emergencies together. By the same token, the delegation felt a desire for practical co-operation in “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, transcending not only the political divides but also the inter-community rifts, e.g. in the Association of Macedonian Municipalities.

III. Follow-up action to the appeal by the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe

In accordance with the spirit of the appeal launched by its President, Alain Chénard, the Congress will first focus its efforts on co-ordinating the activities proposed by local and regional authorities in Europe in order to come to the assistance of the municipalities and districts taking in refugees, or of other municipalities and regions hit by the current crisis even if these do not have to contend with a significant inflow of refugees. The primary objective will still be to provide direct aid, but the measures will also be aimed at establishing lasting partnerships with individual local authorities in the countries concerned, which may in the long run be transformed into partnerships for the rebuilding of municipalities in Kosovo itself.

In view of the large number of European local authorities which have responded to President Chénard's appeal, the Congress will initially seek to identify suitable partners for a given municipality or region through the networks with which it is already in contact, and also by developing those networks in particular through a field presence in the two countries in question. The Congress in no way intends to monopolise the efforts at local and regional government level or to replace any direct relationship that may already exist between local and regional authorities and NGOs or other structures distributing emergency aid on the spot; its work will consist in identifying partners capable of developing a lasting relationship and in thereby fostering international solidarity and co-operation between towns and regions in the longer term. The aim is to promote the emergence of local democracy and a civil society in these countries which have been plunged into a severe crisis, by adopting an approach similar to that underlying the establishment of the Local Democracy Agencies. This therefore makes it necessary to take action in the field, in the countries concerned, and also to co-ordinate that action from Strasbourg.

On that basis, the assistance to be provided by local and regional authorities in Europe, with the Congress's backing, will primarily focus on districts, towns and municipalities in Albania, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and, as far as possible, Montenegro, but a further objective, as soon as circumstances permit, will be to restore local government to normal in Kosovo itself and even in other parts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. This action should take four main lines:

First line of action - Lasting partnership
The most important aspect of the appeal made by the Congress is the underlying concern to establish lasting partnerships, which may initially involve providing experts to help manage certain facets of municipal affairs, in particular the running of priority services and the supply of technical assistance in such fields, and may subsequently encompass all matters connected with training local government employees and elected representatives to deal with the problems inherent in their organisational and managerial duties. Training sessions should as a rule take place on the spot, but might include periods spent in host local or regional authorities. As soon as possible they should include Kosovars, with the aim of preparing the ground for and facilitating their return and the restoration of local government structures in Kosovo itself.

To promote this line of action, the Congress will work with representatives in the field, and in close co-operation with associations of local and regional authorities in the countries concerned, to identify the municipalities, towns and districts which could be granted such aid, depending on the offers received from partner local and regional authorities in Europe. The initial aim is therefore to achieve a transfer of "know-how", which may necessitate the exchange of managerial staff with specialist skills in the sectors of health care, the environment and other key fields between partner local and regional authorities in western Europe and authorities in Albania, "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", Kosovo and Montenegro, according to their needs. Such transfers might last two to three months, and might also involve assistance with equipment, but should in the long run go hand in hand with a genuine partnership arrangement, strengthening local government structures in the countries in question, the ultimate aim being to restore the fabric of local government in Kosovo.

Second line of action - Material and humanitarian aid
This concerns the material aid that may be provided by local and regional authorities in Europe, either directly or through collections organised by humanitarian NGOs. In general, the Congress does not wish to be directly involved in the collection or transport of aid. On the other hand, it could make use of its contacts with local and regional authorities, associations of such authorities and humanitarian organisations to help identify appropriate partners to receive such aid on the spot, depending on local needs. A list of requirements is appended hereto (Appendix 3) along with a list of districts and municipalities in Albania showing the number of refugees taken in (Appendix 4).

A letter will shortly be sent to municipal and regional authorities to heighten their awareness of these needs and offer them the Congress's assistance in identifying suitable recipients. In so far as such aid is entrusted not to international NGOs but to local partners, it may also be a first step towards establishing a more sustainable partnership.

Third line of action - Donations or financial support
At the outset the Congress did not regard such action as a priority. However, since many municipalities in both Albania and "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" have already spent a significant portion of their annual budgets, either to afford direct assistance to refugees, who are often housed with host families, or to provide municipal services (water and electricity supplies, sewage, waste disposal, etc.), or have suffered a significant loss of revenue as a result of the crisis (cuts in central government grants, closure of local factories and growth in unemployment), the municipalities in question are also pressing for direct financial support. In "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" such support may go directly to the municipalities. In Albania any payments must transit via a central government account for aid to refugees. The representatives of the Albanian government have nevertheless assured us that they are willing to transfer the sums in question to specific municipalities, if the donor's desire to support a given local authority is clearly expressed from the outset. Such a guarantee is essential if local and regional authorities in Europe are to be asked to provide this form of aid.

In countries which do not permit municipalities to grant aid directly, the local authorities concerned could still make arrangements for the collection of donations, possibly through NGOs.

In the event that local authorities do not wish to send financial aid directly to a partner municipality, the Congress is also asking the Council of Europe to open a special account to be used to collect and redistribute such sums, taking account of any specific wishes expressed by the partner local authorities in Europe and of any contacts established on the spot with a view to setting up partnerships.

Fourth line of action - Taking in refugees and deportees in third countries
It has recently become clear that the mass of refugees far exceeds both the most pessimistic estimates made before the current crisis and the intake capacity of the countries, districts and municipalities concerned. Sheltering refugees in third countries is therefore also a top priority, in particular in the case of the people who have provisionally been given refuge in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" but who cannot remain there indefinitely on account of the fragile balance between the country's ethnic communities.

Local and regional authorities elsewhere in Europe could therefore make an effort to take in refugees, either in group accommodation, which would foster cohesion among the refugees and therefore facilitate their return to their home communities, or in families willing to give them shelter. Such action should naturally be pursued in conformity with the reception procedures being implemented in the various countries concerned. The Congress might facilitate contacts in this respect. These measures might also focus on a specific category of refugees in need of emergency medical care or complex treatment.

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To make such relations easier, the Congress will initially concentrate on strengthening its contacts in the field by organising visits. Local and regional authorities who have declared themselves willing to join in a partnership will rapidly be sent a preliminary reply. The Congress also plans to arrange for on-the-spot support in Tirana through a person working in close liaison with the association of mayors, and in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" by strengthening the Local Democracy Agency in Ohrid, which will also be required to work closely with the Union of Macedonian Towns.

In Strasbourg the Congress secretariat will initially attempt to deal with the increased workload with its own in-house resources. Depending on the scope and extent of any follow-up action, it may subsequently be necessary to reinforce the secretariat by redeploying staff.

IV. Medium and long-term measures

In the medium term, the programmes already begun by the Congress in respect of both countries will have to be pursued, improving local and regional authorities' operational level and the training of their elected representatives and staff. Action may take the form of investment assistance, but its main form will be appropriate training, either in the country or in third countries, where officials or elected representatives will undergo training.

The Congress hopes soon, in co-operation with ENTO and following a request for European Union help, to set up for Albania a training centre for local and regional authorities' elected representatives and members of staff. This should be set up with the active assistance of the Ministry of Local Authorities, the Association of Mayors and the Association of Districts. It should be noted that the Albanian government has declared its readiness to delegate powers to the local authorities.

In "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", the Ohrid Local Democracy Agency is an ideal place for organising this kind of training, always in contact with the Association of Municipalities and the recently created Ministry of Local Self-Government. The Congress delegation also noted with great interest the declared wish of the ministry and the Macedonian Government to work for a true devolution of powers to the country's local authorities. Through the setting up of partnerships or twinning arrangements, third countries' municipalities and regions will be able to play an active part in these efforts. OSCE and European Union representatives met in Skopje also seemed favourable towards such co-operation.

Finally, these efforts should also help Kosovars to return home. Such partnerships will make easier both reconstruction in Kosovo and the promotion of the setting up of genuine municipalities complying with the principles of local self-government. Once the - still often chaotic - situation of refugees has been somewhat strengthened, it might be possible to devise preparatory training for some of them, preparing the way for refugees' return through the reconstitution of municipalities and the rebuilding of civil society.

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V. Co-operation between international agencies, governments and local/regional authorities

For the reasons mentioned above, there was some difficulty in getting aid from international refugee agencies under way. In both countries, effective assistance came from NATO forces, especially where the setting up of numerous refugee camps was concerned. While municipalities have frequently helped with these operations, or themselves set up collective accommodation, their main task has been to help those families which have taken in a very large number of refugees to cope with their very heavy burden. Families both in Albania and in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", many of them poor themselves, have accepted often large families of Kosovars, not only accommodating, but also feeding them. While municipalities have been able to give assistance, some of the expense has had to be borne by the families, with the support of voluntary organisations such as the Red Cross and El Hilal.

It should be noted that, in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", it has been largely Albanian families which have offered hospitality, very few of Macedonian nationality following suit.

In both countries, however, although there is a desire to offer hospitality worthy of them to the "brothers and sisters" from Kosovo, the families and the municipalities and non-governmental organisations which support them are often likely to reach saturation point, because of either the huge numbers or the length of stay, causing problems for family life. So greater assistance for families and the construction of temporary housing in the best possible conditions will sooner or later prove essential.

The Macedonian and Albanian governments have set up emergency national committees comprising representatives of the responsible ministries and international agencies such as the UNHCR, Red Cross, and, in Albania, the office of the Council of Europe.

At local level it is often municipalities which have decided to organise emergency committees. In "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", these exist mainly in the part where the population includes many Albanians. Their creation has often predated a government circular to the same effect.

While the emergency management committee in Albania is made up of representatives of various ministries, including the Ministry for Local Authorities, five ministries are taking part in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", with the exception of the Ministry of Local Authorities set up by the new government. In both cases, municipalities and their associations are excluded from these committees, although they would like to be included, inter alia so as to make completely clear the steps taken and the refugee policy pursued. This would be all the more justified, in the opinion of the Congress Rapporteurs, by the fact that it is frequently municipalities which are playing the lead role in taking refugees in. A formal request for inclusion has been sent to the government in Albania.

Both countries have inadequate infrastructure. Albania already faced a chronic lack of roads, schools, hospitals, etc. But in "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", too, problems are arising, relating to such matters as water supply. In any case, municipal services are overwhelmed.

In Albania, poor roads also make it extremely difficult to move both refugees and the supplies intended for them. It has to be hoped that the arrival of large numbers of NATO forces tasked with supporting refugee assistance will help to remedy these problems. It is also to be hoped that Social Development Fund aid, decided on in principle, will enable appreciable improvements to be made to some of the country's infrastructure, whether transport, hospitals or housing.

VI. Other issues requiring action which goes beyond the scope of the Congress

It appeared from conversations with various municipal and NGO officials and with international agencies (representatives of the European Union, OSCE and UNHCR) that there exist other urgent needs which municipalities and regions are ill equipped to help with:

- in particular, activities offering support and any remedial action possible for the trauma suffered by numerous children, and also by adults, especially that of women subjected to intolerable situations during their expulsion. The Council of Europe sectors which deal with childhood and with equality between women and men could step up their efforts along these lines;

- there is also an important need to help the responsible authorities to register refugees, with which the Council of Europe has given assistance in Albania, in particular. Similarly, many efforts are now under way to record eyewitness accounts of the human rights violations which have occurred while Kosovars were being expelled from their lands, so that justice may in due course be done by the court which has jurisdiction, the International Criminal Tribunal, in The Hague;

- requests for support with school equipment and supplies could be relayed by the Directorate of Education, Culture and Sport of the Council of Europe.

From now on, the Secretariat of the Congress will be giving more precise information to those towns which have shown an interest in co-operating. As soon as the decision to set up the unit described above has been taken, the Congress will also send another request to towns and regions, and particularly to national and international associations of local and regional authorities, asking them to continue to raise towns' and regions' active support for the programme. They may also draw on certain previous experience of associations such as the Union of Dutch Municipalities, or that of such cities as Bordeaux, Nantes, Strasbourg, Marseille and Florence, which have provided direct support.

The Congress does not intend this action in any way to take the place of those initiatives which might be taken directly by towns or regions, or by non-governmental organisations or intergovernmental agencies. On the contrary, it is the Congress's intention to offer testimony and to contribute to this action with a view to consolidating it, focusing particularly on assistance to local and regional authorities, the financial and material needs of which currently receive little help through international assistance.

Appendix 1

PROGRAMME FOR THE EVALUATION VISITS TO ALBANIA AND “THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA”
17-21 APRIL 1999

COMPOSITION OF THE DELEGATION OF THE CONGRESS OF LOCAL AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES OF EUROPE
Mr Jean-Claude Frécon (France), Mayor of Pouilly-les-Feurs, Vice-President of the Association of French Mayors, CLRAE Rapporteur on “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, member of the Working Group responsible for follow-up to the European Charter of Local Self-Government

Mr Stuart Evans (United Kingdom), expert
Mr Ulrich Bohner, Deputy-Head of the Congress Secretariat
Ms Sylvie Affholder, Congress Secretariat
Mrs Miriana Lozanoska, Delegate of the Local Democracy Agency, Ohrid, accompanied the delegation

Saturday 17 April 1999
17:00 Initial contact with Mrs Miriana Lozanoska, Delegate of the Local Democracy Agency, Ohrid

19:00 Meeting with Mr Vanco Kotovski, President of the Ohrid Municipal Council and Mr Manevski, Special Advisor to the Mayor of Ohrid

Sunday 18 April 1999
10:00 Meeting with representatives of the region of Struga:

Mrs Pavlina Mandova, Secretary of Struga Municipal Council
Mr Azis Polozani, Member of the Macedonian Parliament
Mr Sevdi Kaba, Mayor of Velesta
Mr Zivko Bogdanoski, Mayor of Lukovo
Mr Jakub Kazimoski, Mayor of Labunista
Mr Maher Polozani, Mayor of Delogozda
Mr Nikoa Manevski, Special Advisor to the Mayor of Ohrid
Mrs Sonja Stojkoska, Secretary of the Macedonian Red Cross in Struga
Drim Hotel, Struga

12:30 Departure to Pogradec (Albania)

14:00 Meeting with:

Mr Sokol Vako, President of the District Council of Pogradec the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Pogradec
Pogradec Town Hall

Visit to a refugee camp in Pogradec, contacts with refugees and OSCE/KVM

17:00 Representatives of the OSCE-KVM in Ohrid

Bellevue Hotel

Monday 19 April 1999
10:00 Meeting with:
Mr Jami Nuredini, Mayor of Gostivar

Information Officer of the Municipality of Gostivar

Visit to a registration centre for refugees at the Workers’ Training Centre in Gostivar

14:00 Meeting with:

Mr Murtezan Ismanili, Mayor of Tetovo
Mr Alajin Demiri, former Mayor of Tetovo
Mr Bexheri, former President of the municipal council of Tetovo
the President of the municipal council of Tetovo
the President and representatives of the Tetovo emergency centre (NGO)

Visit to a refugee camp in Neproshtana and contacts with Commander Steger, with refugees and with NGOs

17:00 Departure to Skopje

Tuesday 20 April 1999
8:30 Meeting with:

Mr Dzevdet Nasufi, Ministry for Local Government
“Dimitri Cupovski” 9 – Skopje

10:00 Meeting with:

Mr Risto Penov, Mayor of Skopje, President of the Macedonian delegation to the Congress
members of the Municipal Council of Skopje
Illidenska – Skopje

12:00 Meeting with:

Mr Refet Elamzi, Deputy Defence Minister
Skopje

14:00 Meeting with:

Mr Stefan Nikolovski, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs
Mr Nazif Dzaferi, responsible for relations with the OSCE and with the Council of Europe
Dame Gruev 6

16:00 Meeting with:

Mr Julian Peel-Yates, Deputy Head of the OSCE Mission in Skopje
Bul “Mito Hajivasilev Jasmin”
Bb, entr. I Room 210 – 91000 Skopje

19:00 Meeting with a family of Kosovar refugees

Turist Hotel

Wednesday 21 April 1999
8:30 Meeting with:

Mr Michael Graham, Chargé d’Affaires
Mrs Mayke Huijbregts, Democratisation Unit
Mr Nasi Aracini, PHARE programme
Mr Hervé Kevo, ECHO programme
European Union, European Commission
Office of the Resident Envoy, Marsal Tito 12, 91000 Skopje

10:00 Meeting with:

Mr Nikola Kurkceiv, President of the Association of Towns and Municipalities
Mr Tomo Mitasev, Mayor of Stip
Mr Estref Iseni, Mayor of Studenicani
Mrs Natasa Cvetkovska, Secretary of the Macedonian delegation to the Congress
Zeleznicka b.b., PF 37, 91 000 Skopje

14:00 End of mission

Appendix 2

PROGRAMME EVALUATION MISSION IN ALBANIA
15 -20 April 1999

MEMBERS OF THE DELEGATION
Mr Gianfranco MARTINI (Italy) Member of the Standing Committee of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE)

Mr Owen MASTERS (United Kingdom), Member of the Working Group on Local Democracy in Albania

Mr Ulrich BOHNER, Deputy-Head of Congress Secretariat

Mrs Liri KOPAÇI, Administrator, Congress Secretariat

CONTACTS
Mrs Reyhan AKANT - Special Representative of the Secretary General in Albania – accompanied the delegation during some of the meetings in Albania.

Thursday 15 April 1999
- 17:30 Arrival in Tirana

- 18:00 Meeting with the Special Representative of the Secretary General Mrs Reyhan AKANT

Friday 16 April 1999
- 09:00 Meeting with Mr Arben DEMETI, Minister of Local Authorities of Albania

- 10:30 Meeting with Mr Albert BROJKA, Mayor of Tirana, Chairman of the Albanian Association of Mayors, Member of the Albanian Delegation to the CLRAE - Tirana Municipality.

- 12:00 Meeting with Mrs Hatixhe KELLEZI, Chairwoman of Tirana District Council, Chairwoman of the Albanian Association of District Chairmen, Member of the Albanian Delegation to the CLRAE

- 13:00 Meeting with Mr Petro KOÇI, Minister of Public Order

- 16:00 Meeting with Mr Daan EVERTS, Ambassador of the OSCE Delegation to Albania

- 17:00 Meeting with Mr Kastriot ISLAMI, Co-ordinator, Commission for Emergency Management

Saturday 17 April 1999
- 10:00 Meeting with the Ambassador of the European Union to Albania, Mr Michel PERETTI

- 12:00 Meeting with the Head of the Liaison Office of UNHCR in Tirana, Mr Tham Rongsak MEECHUBOT

- 16:00 Meeting with Eric BOVEN, Project Manager, VNG-Association of Netherlands Municipalities

- 17:00 Visit to a refugee centre - Tirana Palace of Sports - Transit Camp. Brief discussions with representatives of NGOs working in the centre.

Sunday 18 April 1999
- 06:00 Departure for Korçe

- 12:00 Meeting with the Mayor of Korçe Mr Dhionis KOTMILO, and the Chairman of the District Council Mr Frederik MIÇO,

- 14:00 Meeting with M Sokol VAKO, Chairman of the District Council of Pogradec and the Secretary of the District Council.

Mr Jean-Claude Frécon (France), Mr Stuart Evans (United Kingdom), expert, Mrs Miriana Lozanoska, Delegate of the Local Democracy Agency in Ohrid and Ms Sylvie Affholder, member of the CLRAE Secretariat attended the meeting.

- 15:00 Visit to a refugee point in Pogradec. Discussion with Kosovar deportees and a brief discussion with a representative of the OSCE-Kosova Verification Mission (KMV)

- 16:30 Departure for Tirana / Mr Bohner's departure for Ohrid

Monday 19 April 1999
- 08:00 Departure for Shkoder

- 12:00 Meeting with the Deputy Mayor of Shkodra Mr Maxhid CUNGU, the Chairman of the Municipal Council of Shkodra Mr Mark KROQI, and the Head of the Juridical Department Mr Andrea JAKOVA

- 15:00 Departure for Tirana

Appendix 3

LIST OF REQUIRED ITEMS

The following list of needs was drawn up on the basis of discussions and exchange of information that the members of the mission held with their counterparts and representatives of central government in both Albania and "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". It reflects some of the most urgent and needed items and does not in any way pretend to cover the scarcity of the many items in both countries. More specific and detailed requests have to be identified in co-operation between the donors and the receivers in the process.

In cases where European municipalities and regions decide to send goods and equipment to the aid of the two countries, two things must be kept in mind:
1. Transport should be provided for these goods to reach the destination i.e. Albania and "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"
2. The value of the goods/equipment/machinery is higher than the cost of transport of these goods to the destination.

Food and clothing are also mentioned in the list of needed items. However, the CLRAE delegation believes that, at this stage, other international organisations and donors are dealing with the supply of such items. Therefore, they are not recommended as high priority.

1. Hygiene-sanitary materials (detergents, shampoos, personal hygiene items)

2. Ambulances, medicines and other medical supplies

3. Buses, Minibuses for transport of people

4. Trucks and other machinery for transport of goods

5. Telecommunications systems, equipment and machinery

6. Machinery and equipment that could improve the overloaded and already downgraded electricity systems and water supply systems (generators, water pumps)

7. Sewage treatment equipment and machinery

8. Garbage Collection Trucks/Equipment

9. School supplies and items

10. Expertise for different areas in particular to face problems of electricity, water supply systems, telecommunications, sewage treatment etc.

11. Food

12. Clothing

1 The economy of "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" had already been hard hit since the beginning of the crisis in 1998, since exports to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had been suspended and since transit routes through this country had been closed. The coffers ran dry towards the end of the budget year, concurrently with the start of the NATO air-strikes.



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