Multinational Advisory Police Element (MAPE) and the European Commission Police Assistance in Albania (ECPA)

15 May 1997 - 31 August 2002
Military personnel

When the communist regime in Albania ended in 1991, many Albanians were lured by the 'get-rich-quick' schemes of shrewd businessmen. Almost half of all Albanian families became victims of the so-called pyramid schemes.

They blamed their misfortune on the Albanian government and this resulted in riots in January 1997 and the departure of the government on 1 March. Chaos and lawlessness became more and more rife in Albanian society.

Establishment of MAPE

The Western European Union (WEU) decided on 2 May 1997 to establish the Multinational Advisory Police Element (MAPE). MAPE was to advise the Albanian authorities in respect of public order, border control, logistics and communication. From 12 October 1997, the mandate also included the task of educating, training and equipping the police officers, as well as supervising the police apparatus, particularly around the time of the local council elections of 18 and 19 June 1998.

ECPA as a bridging mission

The European Union decided at the beginning of 2001 to create ECPA as a bridging mission between MAPE and the proposed CARDS programme (community assistance for reconstruction, development and stabilisation). ECPA’s aim was to advise the Albanian government at strategic level with regard to police matters, so that Albania would in time be able to conform to western European standards.