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ECAT Tirana was established in October 1995 with the logistic and financial support of the European Commission General Directorate for the Environment, the German Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection of the German Land of Thueringen, the Albanian Ministry of Health and Environment, the German Ministry for Economic Co-operation (through the Center of International Migration) and the Municipality of Terni, Italy.
In 1997, based on the initial document signed by the partners and the decision taken by the board, ECAT Tirana was registered as a non-profit organization.
ECAT Tirana is managed and supervised by the Management Board comprising representatives of all the above-mentioned partners. The chairman of the Management Board of ECAT Tirana is actually the Minister of Environment of the Republic of Albania.
By the Decision of the Council of the Ministers (August 2003), the Center is serving as an advisory and consultative body for the Ministry of the Environment of Albania.

Partners involved in ECAT Tirana are:
The Ministry of Environment of Albania
The European Commission, LIFE Program
The Center of International Migration (CIM)
The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Environmental Protection of the German land Thueringen,Germany

What is ECAT?
As mentioned in the Declaration of support issued by European Commission (EC):
In March 1993, the European Commission took the decision to establish the network of Environmental Centers for Administration and Technology (ECAT) and co-fund it during the initial stage. The aim of this action was to develop centers of excellence to promote sustainable development principles in Eastern Europe and Russia.
The ECAT network in Albania, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia (St. Petersburg, Kaliningrad) is facilitating efficient developments to tackle environmental issues in co-operation with local legislative and executive authorities.

Why the ECAT concept?

The ECAT concept also derived from the search for a new style of technical assistance and co-operation in the field of environmental protection.
The common foundation of all ECATs is a staff comprised of Western and Eastern experts working in a team, as well as the development of human resources, the direct transfer of know-how, the promotion of administrative and technological methods for protecting the environment, and its function as a clearing house. The real challenge faced by the ECATs was to achieve a form of independence and autonomy after a start-up period of three to four years.

The aims of ECAT are to:

- Assist local governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as industries and educational institutions, in the development and implementation of projects, programmes of action, and policy instruments to improve the environment.

- Attract international assistance on environmental initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe.
- Facilitate the flow of environmental information between CEE Countries and EU Member States

Today, in its tenth year of its existence, ECAT Tirana is acknowledged as an active and specialized environmental center with an increasing reputation at international level. The Center acts as a privileged partner with the European Commission and other international institutions, being considered also as a reliable element for an efficient use of foreign investments in the country.