School of Political Studies graduates new generation of aspiring political leaders and activists

School of Political Studies graduates new generation of aspiring political leaders and activists

Tirana, June 19, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

During a graduation ceremony (photo) the Albanian School of Political Studies (ASPS) handed over diplomas to a new group of students. All 22 students were issued diplomas upon successful completion of a one-year period of study.

The deputy country director of Swiss Cooperation Office in Albania, Marie Therese Karlen expressed satisfaction with the contribution provided by the School to the political and public administration sphere in Albania. “The Albanian School of Political Studies is a unique institution because it is a platform for dialogue, cooperation and tolerance in fostering a new culture of leadership and partnership across and beyond political borders”, said Ms. Karlen. “It is of utmost importance that the political landscape in Albania is based on values of tolerance, dialogue and openness. This is the aim of the Albanian School of Political Studies, and you are the ones who will carry these values with you wherever you go”, added Ms. Karlen while addressing the new graduates.

“We have invested in you, because we believe that you, each of you, has the capacity to assist Albania in moving forward on its path towards becoming a stable democracy, founded on respect for the rule of law and human rights”, said Mr Marco Leidekker, the head of Office of Council of Europe in Tirana. Mr. Leidekker also congratulated the new graduates and emphasized the important role of training and educating future political leaders in order to further develop democratic institutions in Albania.

“Albania needs leaders who want to learn more, to exchange ideas with their peers and especially with those who are different from them, as our School’s attendants have done“,said in his speech the School’s Programme Director, Mr. Erjon Tase, who also thanked the Swiss Cooperation and the Council of Europe for their support.

A support letter by President Bujar Nishani was read during this ceremony. The President expressed his praise for the road undertaken so far by the School and his support and the support of other Albanian institutions for this important mission.

Graduate talks about her experience

“During this period we had the opportunity to learn more from the knowledge and experience professors and honorable personalities have shared with us, but we also learned from the knowledge and experiences of each other”, said Florenca Korbi, one of the graduates. The event closed with the awarding of diplomas and a brief reception.

One of the main objectives of the ASPS is to promote a political leadership which is accountable and ethical. Up to now about 200 graduates have studied at ASPS since it started in 2007.

The Albanian School of Political Studies was initially set up by the Council of Europe and is currently supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office in Albania. Swiss support enabled the School to increase its number of courses and include local and regional governance as a special theme. As the process of decentralisation gains more attention, it becomes of paramount importance that leaders and public administration employees are well-trained and knowledgeable.

Every year a new generation of aspiring as well as practicing political and public administration actors enter the school and receive diplomas. Like in other similar schools in the region – established by the Council of Europe – the ASPS targets the elite and aims at infusing the values of dialogue, transparency and consensus among future political leaders. /ibna/