A message from the Executive Director of the Albanian Policy Center Ms. Edith Harxhi

foto-9-1024x631The Albanian Policy Center is an independent think tank, recently founded by a group of young intellectuals, policy-makers and researchers that want to be part of the political and social discourse in the country and the region. This think tank conducts analysis and research, draws up policies and generates policy papers on the topics of economy, domestic and foreign policy, security, and integration. Its reach is not limited to Albania, but also stretches out to Kosovo, Macedonia and our region.

Although it takes an conservative approach (according to the continental model), this think tank, which is in fact a “centre of political thinking”, brings to Albania a new political discourse, the conservative colloquium as a novelty in the Albanian academic and political scene. This colloquium is based, first of all, on communication, on the pondering and debating of ideas and beliefs, on political dialogue, and not at all on division on the basis of partisanship and ideology. This think tank will consider its opponents simply as individuals or entities with a different political vision, out of which ideas, and common strategies and approaches can emerge for the benefit of the national interest, integration, and social and economic development.

The pillars upon which the activity of this centre of political thinking is based are:

 “Free-market economy and free enterprise, low taxes and privatization of state-owned assets, all based on the concepts of “laissez fair”; minimal interference of the state in the affairs of the individual; a small and reformed government; rule of law, respect for the constitution, and strong property rights; the nation and the national interest; Euro-Atlantic integration; protection and conservation of the national heritage and traditions; and, a return to ethics and family values.”

With respect to political philosophy, there is one thing that joins all of us here, be it from the right or the left, conservatives, social-liberals or progressivists: it is “freedom”. And to Freedom we owe everything Albania has achieved these last 23 years, and to Freedom Kosovo owes everything it has achieved these last 15 years.

We, the conservatives, believe that Freedom is everything, it starts with the individual, it continues with private property, it is guaranteed by the state, and it finally ends up with the individual.

On the other hand, social-liberals believe that Freedom starts from the individual, but that the market and the economy need less of it, because, according to them, it is the state that should manage the affairs of the individual, the economy, and the market, and should create opportunities for, and solve the problems of the individuals. And then, in the end everything should be divided equally.

And so the philosophical debate continues.

This debate is of crucial importance for Albania, bearing in mind that the biggest democracies of the world have reached their present level of democracy and political maturity after having started this debate 300 hundred years ago, and still continue to base their daily politics and policy-making on it. Therefore, for Albania, this philosophical debate, this confrontation of visions, is necessary as it will generate more consensus and dialogue, and will eventually assure the triumph of Freedom, Democracy and Development.

This colloquium will continue its philosophical discussion and confrontation of visions, as an excellent opportunity to set off a political debate where viewpoints and political principles are confronted regarding issues such as small government, reforms, free enterprise, individual freedom, protection of the constitution and the institutions where security is generated, and thus, the country is integrated, its people are better off, and the nation cohorts.

This centre of political thinking has two other missions also: firstly, it aims to create a new political, social and economic elite, drawing in its orbit young Albanians that want to further develop their analytic, research, political, and lobbying capacities, whether they live in Albania or abroad. This will create opportunities for them to express themselves and do something for their country, to contribute for a healthier society and a better democracy, a democracy whose foundations were laid in 1991, and to which values we must return to demonstrate to our partners that we are ready and worthy of walking by their side, without complexes and with the head up.

 

Secondly, this centre of political thinking aims to extend this political discourse to other Albanian speaking countries, or further in the region, and thus become a truly regional centre of political debate, analysis and policy-making.

 

The launch of the Albanian Policy Center is dedicated to Freedom, Security, Development and Integration. It coincides to the fifth anniversary of Albania becoming a full and equal member of the strongest, most solid, most democratic alliance in the world – NATO. We are very proud that we stand side by side our allies, our strategic partner, the USA, as well as all other freedom-loving nations with which we share the same values.

 

The launch of the think tank also coincides with the fifth anniversary of the ratification of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union. We, in Albania, would have preferred to have by now signed the opening of the negotiations with the EU, and not to leave Croatia alone in its successful European journey, but are instead still in search of democratic values and norms, aware that we have not yet broken free of our tormented past, and still remain in the “waiting room” of the EU although as a country we have no ethnical contests similar to those of our neighbours.

 

Kosovo this year it has celebrated its six anniversary an independent country, and in its second year of a new journey, a journey of reaching consensus and entering in political dialogue with a powerful adversary: Serbia.

Kosovo has today in the most civilized manner extended a hand of cooperation and peace to its former foe.

“Look ahead” has become today the most fitting expression for Albania, Kosovo and the entire Balkans.

The Albanian Policy Center is an independent think tank, recently founded by a group of young intellectuals, policy-makers and researchers that want to be part of the political and social discourse in the country and the region. This think tank conducts analysis and research, draws up policies and generates policy papers on the topics of economy, domestic and foreign policy, security, and integration. Its reach is not limited to Albania, but also stretches out to Kosovo, Macedonia and our region.

Although it takes an conservative approach (according to the continental model), this think tank, which is in fact a “centre of political thinking”, brings to Albania a new political discourse, the conservative colloquium as a novelty in the Albanian academic and political scene. This colloquium is based, first of all, on communication, on the pondering and debating of ideas and beliefs, on political dialogue, and not at all on division on the basis of partisanship and ideology. This think tank will consider its opponents simply as individuals or entities with a different political vision, out of which ideas, and common strategies and approaches can emerge for the benefit of the national interest, integration, and social and economic development.

The pillars upon which the activity of this centre of political thinking is based are:

 “Free-market economy and free enterprise, low taxes and privatization of state-owned assets, all based on the concepts of “laissez fair”; minimal interference of the state in the affairs of the individual; a small and reformed government; rule of law, respect for the constitution, and strong property rights; the nation and the national interest; Euro-Atlantic integration; protection and conservation of the national heritage and traditions; and, a return to ethics and family values.”

With respect to political philosophy, there is one thing that joins all of us here, be it from the right or the left, conservatives, social-liberals or progressivists: it is “freedom”. And to Freedom we owe everything Albania has achieved these last 23 years, and to Freedom Kosovo owes everything it has achieved these last 15 years.

We, the conservatives, believe that Freedom is everything, it starts with the individual, it continues with private property, it is guaranteed by the state, and it finally ends up with the individual.

On the other hand, social-liberals believe that Freedom starts from the individual, but that the market and the economy need less of it, because, according to them, it is the state that should manage the affairs of the individual, the economy, and the market, and should create opportunities for, and solve the problems of the individuals. And then, in the end everything should be divided equally.

And so the philosophical debate continues.

This debate is of crucial importance for Albania, bearing in mind that the biggest democracies of the world have reached their present level of democracy and political maturity after having started this debate 300 hundred years ago, and still continue to base their daily politics and policy-making on it. Therefore, for Albania, this philosophical debate, this confrontation of visions, is necessary as it will generate more consensus and dialogue, and will eventually assure the triumph of Freedom, Democracy and Development.

This colloquium will continue its philosophical discussion and confrontation of visions, as an excellent opportunity to set off a political debate where viewpoints and political principles are confronted regarding issues such as small government, reforms, free enterprise, individual freedom, protection of the constitution and the institutions where security is generated, and thus, the country is integrated, its people are better off, and the nation cohorts.

This centre of political thinking has two other missions also: firstly, it aims to create a new political, social and economic elite, drawing in its orbit young Albanians that want to further develop their analytic, research, political, and lobbying capacities, whether they live in Albania or abroad. This will create opportunities for them to express themselves and do something for their country, to contribute for a healthier society and a better democracy, a democracy whose foundations were laid in 1991, and to which values we must return to demonstrate to our partners that we are ready and worthy of walking by their side, without complexes and with the head up.

 

Secondly, this centre of political thinking aims to extend this political discourse to other Albanian speaking countries, or further in the region, and thus become a truly regional centre of political debate, analysis and policy-making.

 

The launch of the Albanian Policy Center is dedicated to Freedom, Security, Development and Integration. It coincides to the fifth anniversary of Albania becoming a full and equal member of the strongest, most solid, most democratic alliance in the world – NATO. We are very proud that we stand side by side our allies, our strategic partner, the USA, as well as all other freedom-loving nations with which we share the same values.

 

The launch of the think tank also coincides with the fifth anniversary of the ratification of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union. We, in Albania, would have preferred to have by now signed the opening of the negotiations with the EU, and not to leave Croatia alone in its successful European journey, but are instead still in search of democratic values and norms, aware that we have not yet broken free of our tormented past, and still remain in the “waiting room” of the EU although as a country we have no ethnical contests similar to those of our neighbours.

 

Kosovo this year it has celebrated its six anniversary an independent country, and in its second year of a new journey, a journey of reaching consensus and entering in political dialogue with a powerful adversary: Serbia.

Kosovo has today in the most civilized manner extended a hand of cooperation and peace to its former foe.

“Look ahead” has become today the most fitting expression for Albania, Kosovo and the entire Balkans.