Simplified Peer Review Mechanism (SIMPEER): mission to Albania

The project team for the "Simplified Peer Review Mechanism (SIMPEER)" Activity, composed by Wafa Essahli and Spyros Kouvelis, went to Tirana, Albania, from 21 to 23 October 2019, in order to hold the meetings with sustainable development stakeholders in Albania.

The mission was organised with the collaboration and support of the Department of Environmental Programme Development at the Ministry of Tourism and the Environment. The project team was led by Elen Lemaître-Curri, Director-General of Plan Bleu.

During the first two days, the SIMPEER team, accompanied by its Albanian national correspondents, was received by officials from the central administrations (Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development - Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy) and the technical and financial partners (World Bank, United Nations Development Programme, GIZ). A meeting with representatives of civil society was also organised with three civil society associations at the headquarters of the Ministry of Tourism and the Environment.

These bilateral meetings served to identify the stakeholders' main achievements in the field of sustainable development and their implications for the production and implementation of the National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI-II, 2016-2020). The NSDI-II is the country's development planning framework. It is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and is the de facto programming framework for sustainable development in Albania.

The third day of the mission was devoted to a plenary meeting co-chaired by Klodiana Miraka, Director of the Department of Environment Programme Development, and Elen Lemaître-Curri. This interactive meeting brought together some thirty participants representing the various Albanian ministerial departments, as well as national stakeholders in the field of the environment and sustainable development at the central level. The discussions provided an opportunity for a deeper analysis and synthesis of sustainable development processes and structures in Albania.

It should be recalled that SIMPEER, the simplified peer review mechanism, is being implemented to facilitate dialogue and exchange of experiences among Mediterranean countries, as well as to facilitate adoption of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development 2016-2025 (MSSD 2016-2025). 

In accordance with the methodology tested in the context of the SIMPEER Activity (2016-2017), the consultation exercise conducted during this mission focussed on the five key dimensions of the National sustainable development strategies (NSSDs) which are put in perspective with the MSSD 2016-2025 and the global specifications of Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The results of this consultation will enhance the national report based on a synthesis of the national legislative, regulatory and strategic documents related to sustainable development. 

This national report was discussed at the Peer Review Meeting in Marseille, France, on 19 and 20 November 2019, attended by the three countries volunteering for this second exercise, SIMPEER 2018-2019, namely Albania, Egypt and Tunisia. The countries that volunteered for the first pilot exercise in 2016-2017 (France, Morocco and Montenegro) also participated in this peer review meeting in order to give their feedback and ensure the continuity of the process. 

The country mission is at the heart of the SIMPEER process. It facilitates adoption by national stakeholders of the MSSD 2016-2025, which can be considered as a regional declination of the global SDGs, and strengthens the dialogue between the various stakeholders around the NSSD.

Plan Bleu wishes to thank its correspondents for the SIMPEER activity, in particular Klodiana Miraka at the Ministry of Tourism and the Environment, Director of the Department of Environmental Programme Development, and Oriana Arapi, Director-General of Policy, Governance and Development at the Prime Minister's Office, for their mobilisation and support for the country mission and the SIMPEER 2018-2019 exercise in general.