One of the key principles that this Project needs to respect is that of compliance-based programming. As part of the process of approximating European Union legislation and integrating this into its own legal framework, the European Union expects that Albania will present clearly-defined and credible actions on how to implement the requirements laid down in the Directives being addressed by this project. In order that the timeframes proposed for this should be credible, implementation plans will need to demonstrate a clear link between the resource demands of implementation measures, on the one hand, and the resource commitment by the Albanian government, on the other hand.
This Project has a number of linkages that are relevant to understanding where it fits within the context of Albania’s negotiations with the European Union. ‘Integrated water management’ is not primarily a technical consideration but rather the recognition that all water-related policy development, policy implementation activities and Albania’s negotiating position need to be both integrated and coherent.
In this context, ‘coherent’ means that the negotiating position is logically consistent with all applicable internal and external dependencies, also with all applicable resource constraints. Such coherence is an essential attribute of any negotiating position that is to form the basis of a legally binding agreement. A negotiating position that lacks coherence gives no assurance of being implementable, which would not be in anybody’s interest.
In this respect, the fact that responsibilities for the various aspects of water management are distributed between several institutions or institutional sub-units constitutes a risk to the coherence of Albania’s negotiating position for the water sector. That is important, because a policy that is not coherent cannot be implemented successfully.
This risk can be offset only if all stakeholders, this Project and all related projects support and work constructively with each other.