Bilateral Relations

Albania-Spain Bilateral Relations

Relations between Albania and Spain are very good and are characterized by exchanges in all sectors. There is mutual commitmet, will and reason for these relationships to continually improve in the future.

Both countries share common human and democratic values.

Albania is a candidate country for the European Union, of which Spain is a member. In this process, which is of strategic priority for Albania, the support of Spain has been continuous and active. Despite their political views, the Spanish governments have always been pro-European and in favor of the Union's enlargement processes.

Both countries are members of NATO. Within the Alliance they cooperate intensively with each other.

Both Albania and Spain are Mediterranean countries, sharing an historically important space and the same interests in this region. With its positive historical impact, Spain has an important role to play in intensifying and strengthening cooperation between the Mediterranean countries and the Mediterranean Union.

Background

The relations between Albania and Spain originate in 27.8.1922, with the act of mutual recognition. In April 1929 Spain opened its legation in Tirana. With the occupation of Albania by fascist Italy, relations were severed and Spain closed its legation in Tirana.

During the period when both countries were under dictatorial regimes, both sides showed no desire to cooperate. Contacts and efforts to re-establish relations were revived in the 1980s and finally finalized on September 12, 1986. The Spanish Ambassador (based in Rome) presented his credentials in December 1986 and in April 1987 the first Albanian Ambassador was accredited. in Madrid, with residence in Paris.

In the framework of establishing the first contacts between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs, in June 1987 paid a working visit to Albania, Deputy Director of Europe at the Spanish Ministryof Foreign Relations, Mr. De Fuente.

On November 1-4, 1989, an Albanian ministerial delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Reis Malile, paid an official visit to Madrid, during which the Agreement on cultural, educational and scientific cooperation was signed.

With the fall of the dictatorial regime in Albania, the relations between the two countries began to intensify rapidly and the two sides showed good will to get closer and cooperate closely and continuously.

In May 1992, the Speaker of the Presidency of the People's Assembly, Mr. Pjetër Arbnori, who was in Madrid for an International Conference, was received in separate meetings by the President of the Senate and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 1 to 3 November 1993, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Alfred Serreqi paid an official visit to Spain, where he met with his counterpart, Mr. Javier Solana.

Albania decided to open its first embassy in Spain. On June 22, 1995, the first Albanian Ambassador resident in Madrid, Zef Simoni presented his Letter of Credentials to King Juan Carlos I.

On July 5, 1995 (one month after the opening of the Albanian Embassy in Madrid), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Arjan Starova, visited Spain.

For the period 1997-2001, political exchanges have been intense and have culminated in working visits on  Prime Ministerial levels, such as the visit of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in Tirana in 1999 and Prime Minister Ilir Meta in Madrid in 2000.

In 2001, Foreign Minister Arta Dade visited Spain and the same year the "Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation" was signed between our two countries. The treaty was signed by Foreign Minister Arta Dade and the Spanish side by Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ramon de Miguel.

In 2003, Foreign Minister Ilir Meta met in Madrid with his counterpart Ana Palacio. During this visit, the "Agreement on Protection and Promotion of Mutual Investments" and the Memorandum of Cooperation on European Affairs between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs were signed. In the same year, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, Ramon de Miguel signed in Tirana the "Agreement in the field of assistance for European Integration".

In 2004, Prime Minister Fatos Nano paid two working visits to Spain. In February he was received by Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and in July by the new Prime Minister of Spain, Zapatero, and Foreign Minister, Moratinos. During this meeting, Prime Minister Nano received the invitation to join the Barcelona Process.

In 2005, political consultations between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs took place in Tirana. On July 1, 2005, Spain sends a diplomat to the Embassy of Italy on a mission to prepare the ground for the opening of the Spanish Embassy in Tirana.

In February 2006, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos visited Albania. During this visit, the "Visa Waiver Agreement for Diplomatic and Service Passports" was signed.

On July 18, 2006, the Spanish Ambassador, resident in Tirana, Mr. Manuel Montobio de Balanzo, presented his Letter of Credentials to the President of the Republic, Mr. Bamir Topi. The opening of the Embassy marked a new stage in the relations between our two countries.

On July 20, 2007, Foreign Minister Lulzim Basha paid an official visit to Madrid, where "Memorandum of Cooperation between the two Governments", "Memorandum of Understanding between the two Ministries of Foreign Relations" were signed, as well as the Program of Educational and Cultural Cooperation for the years 2007- 2009 ".

In October 2008, the Speaker of the Assembly, Jozefina Topalli, paid a visit to Madrid. During this visit, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Spanish Parliament unanimously approved the Protocol of Albania's membership in NATO.

In 2009, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos paid an official visit to Albania.

During the first six months of 2010, while Spain held the rotating presidency of the European Union, bilateral relations were further intensified. It should be noted that during the Spanish Presidency the decision was made to liberalize visas for Albanian citizens. In this great achievement for the Albanians, Spain played a very important, supportive role.

During the decade 2010/2020, bilateral relations have continued to intensify and are constantly characterized by a spirit of mutual cooperation. We can single out the Agreement between the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, for the exchange and mutual protection of classified information, which entered into force in 2015; the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Urban Development of the Republic of Albania and the Ministry of Development of the Kingdom of Spain regarding urban planning and territorial regulation in 2015; as well as the Protocol between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Spain on the implementation of the agreement between the Republic of Albania and the European Community on the admission of persons with unauthorized residence, signed in 2018 .

On February 1, 2021, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Olta Xhaçka held a VTC with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, Gonzalez Laya, during which the full support of Spain for Albania's EU integration and the maintenance of KINQ with Albania was confirmed.

Bilateral relations culminated on October 4, 2021 when the Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, paid an official visit to Madrid at the invitation of the President of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, Mr. Pedro Sanchez. An historic visit of its kind, as it was the first Official visit of an Albanian Prime Minister to Spain.

In the meeting between the two prime ministers, the full support that Spain gives to Albania for its rapid integration into the European Union, was expressed. The desire was also expressed to further and deepen the quality of bilateral relations between our two countries. The two prime ministers signed two bilateral agreements: the Agreement on Facilitating Legal Cooperation and the Memorandum of Understanding on Higher Education.

Economic relations

Albania has always welcomed a greater presence of Spain in our region and country. Infrastructure, energy, technology and productive investments are among the most important areas of cooperation between the two countries. We appreciate the fact that there is an increase in trade exchanges between our countries. Since January 2020, especially in terms of exports, Spain turns out to be one of the countries with the highest growth of exports to Albania compared to January 2019, with 69.7%. These figures make Spain the fifth destination of our exports: mainly fuels, confections and tailors.

According to the National Commercial Register (NBC June 2018), there are 33 Spanish businesses operating in Albania, of which 7 are jointly owned.

Tourism, Culture and Education

Tourism is another area that unites us with Spain due to the geographical and cultural nature of the two countries and is an area where cooperation has always been growing. Representatives of several famous hotel chains are in cooperation with Albania and have invested in important projects in Albania.

Spanish is legally included in the main foreign languages ​​recognized in the system of university and academic education in our country. The promotion of cultural activities between the two countries has been encouraged and welcomed by both parties. For several years, Spanish courses have been developed and various cultural activities have been organized. There is currently a Spanish language department at the Faculty of History and Philology in Tirana.

During the visit of Prime Minister Rama and the Albanian delegation on October 4, 2021, a meeting of special interest was the one with the Minister of Universities, Mr. Manuel Castells Oliván, whose goal was to obtain the best expertise and support for Albanian Universities, as well as to start exchanges between our Universities. In the service of this objective, a Memorandum of Understanding for Higher Education was signed.

Cooperation with Spain in International Organizations

Albania and Spain have given continuous support to each other within international organizations. This cooperation has been concrete and inspired by the common human and democratic values ​​that the two countries share.

The cooperation was quite close during the Albanian Presidency in the OSCE, 2020. The cooperation will be continuous and intensive during the two-year, 2022-2023 mandate of Albania in the Security Council, as a non-permanent member.

Bilateral Agreements

  • Agreement on cultural and educational cooperation between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Spain, signed on 25.11.1999, entered into force on 03.10.2000.
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain on international road transport of goods and passengers, signed on 27.06.1999, entered into force on the date of signing. (repealed)
  • Albanian-Spanish financial cooperation program between the Government of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, signed on 02.02.2000, entered into force on the date of signing.
  • Neighborhood and Cooperation Treaty between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Spain, signed on 22.11.2001.
  • Agreement on the promotion and protection of investments between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Spain, signed on 05.06.2003, entered into force on the date of signing.
  • Cooperation program between the Government of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, signed on 13.06.2003, entered into force on the date of signing.
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain on International Road Transport of Goods and Passengers, signed on 10.04.2003, entered into force on 25.06.2004.
  • Protocol of Cooperation between the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Albania and the Ministry of Defense of the Kingdom of Spain, signed on 27.07.2005, entered into force on the date of signing.
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain on the reciprocal abolition of visas for diplomatic and service passports, signed on 06.02.2006, applies from 09.03.2006.
  • Loan agreement between the Republic of Albania and the State Credit Institute of the Kingdom of Spain for the project of renewal of the electricity distribution network in Fier, signed on 25.10.2005 from our party and for the Spanish party on 20.11.2005, ratified by law no. 9451, dated 15.12.2005.
  • Memorandum between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, signed on 20.07.2007, entered into force on the date of signing.
  • Memorandum of cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain for the bilateral cooperation program 2007-2010, signed on 19.07.2007, entered into force on the date of signing.
  • Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Spain on the free exercise of paid activities for persons in charge of diplomatic, consular, administrative and technical staff of diplomatic and consular missions, signed on 20.05.2009, entered into force on 15.08.2012 .
  • Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Spain on cooperation in the fight against crime, signed on 20.05.2009, entered into force on 30.04.2010.
  • Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain regarding cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters, signed on 20.05.2009, entered into force on 08.11.2009.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Environment, Rural and Maritime Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Protection of the Republic of Albania, in the field of agriculture, signed on 20.05.2009, entered into force on the date of signing.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Water Administration of the Republic of Albania and the Ministry of Environment, Rural and Maritime Affairs of the Kingdom of Spain, signed on 20.05.2009, entered into force on the date of signing.
  • Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Spain on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion in connection with income tax, signed on 02.07.2010, entered into force on 04.05.2011.
  • Agreement between the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, for the exchange and mutual protection of classified information, signed on 17.2.2015, entered into force on 11.9.2015.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Urban Development of the Republic of Albania and the Ministry of Development of the Kingdom of Spain regarding urban planning and territorial regulation, signed on 24.3.2015.
  • Protocol between the Republic of Albania and the Kingdom of Spain on the implementation of the agreement between the Republic of Albania and the European Community on the admission of persons with unauthorized residence, signed on 5.4.2018
  • Agreement on Facilitation of Legal Cooperation, signed on October 4, 2021 between the Prime Minister of Albania Mr. Edi Rama and the Prime Minister of Spain Mr. Pedro Sanchez.
  • Memorandum of Understanding for Higher Education signed on October 4, 2021.

Postal Address

Embajada de Albania
Calle Lagasca, 68 . 1ºB,
28001 MADRID

Tel / Fax

Tel. +34 91 562 6985
Fax. +34 91 561 3775
Nr. i emergjencës:+34 606 376 830

E-MAIL

embassy.madrid@mfa.gov.al

OPENING TIMES

Monday to Friday
09:00 - 17:00