The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Albania

2 December 1997 - 25 September 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 rampant in Albanian society.

OSCE team to Albania

The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) decided on 27 March 1997 to send a delegation to Albania. One of its tasks was to coordinate the efforts of all the relevant international organisations that were active in Albania. Another task was to advise and support the Albanian authorities in their endeavours to democratise the political system, establish an independent press and uphold the observance of human rights.


The OSCE delegates were particularly involved in assisting with the preparations and supervision of the parliamentary elections in June and July 1997. At the beginning of 1998, the OSCE delegation was also given observer tasks along the border between Albania and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, so another 30 people were added to the OSCE personnel already in Albania.