TIRANA, Sept. 13 (Xinhua) -- Albanian officials and representatives of the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Albania signed here on Friday a 94 million euros (104 million U.S. dollars) financing agreement within the framework of the EU's Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) 2018.
The funding will support Albania's EU accession process, the country's Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEFA) said in a press release.
The agreement was signed by Sokol Dedja, Albania's deputy minister of foreign affairs and national coordinator of IPA funds, and EU Ambassador in Tirana Luigi Soreca.
Under the IPA 2018 program, the EU will provide financial support key reforms in the areas of rule of law, fundamental rights, environment, and tourism-led local economic development with a focus on cultural heritage. The program also facilitates and enables the participation of Albanian institutions in the EU's programs and agencies.
"The EU's financial support has been a tremendous asset in Albania's path to EU integration, in implementing national reforms and benefiting from IPA funds, in addition to helping our country meet the obligations arising during the EU integration process," read the MEFA press release.
Ambassador Soreca said that the EU is proud to be the first donor in Albania and the goal of this support is to help the country become a full member of the EU family.
"The agreement we are signing today mirrors our key priorities: justice reform and the fight against organized crime and corruption, which are and will remain at the heart of our partnership with Albania. But environment protection and water management will also be heavily supported by the new program," Soreca said.