For our last briefing before the start of the “Debating like a European” Debate Tournament we had Amanda Roberson, Deputy Public Affairs Officer and Katerina Hatija, Public Engagement Assistant from United States Embassy in Albania.
The visit also coincided with the 100th anniversary of the US-Albania diplomatic relations, so our young people were introduced to a history of these relations from their initial establishment in 1922, the establishment of the US Embassy in 1929 by the same architect who conceived The Oval Office of the White House, the suspension of relations due to World War II and the installation of the communist regime and then to their resumption in 1991, until today when this relationship is solid and reason for celebration; full 100 years!
Our young people learned about the 4 focus pillars of the relationship between Albania and the United States (Friendship, Defense, Democracy and Business), focusing on each to unfold the philosophy and approach to each. Of course for us, the pillar of democracy received even more attention, as a common denominator with our program “Debating like a European”. Young people did not miss the opportunity to ask many questions and open discussion about the challenges they think our country is going through from the lukewarm interest in participating in elections, the departure of young people from the country (brain drain) and Vetting’s journey in field of justice.
And in Justice Reform there was a longer staging of the conversation recognizing the important role that the diplomatic corps of the United States of America has in the country on this important topic.