Regional Cooperation
ALGREE – Albania-Greece: Understanding ,Connecting, Partnering

See MORE: The Media Observatory Reports
Logo Algree
© ELIAMEP & Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Greece and Cyprus

ALGREE – “Albania-Greece: Understanding. Connecting. Partnering.” is a three-year project supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Greece and Cyprus and the Open Society Foundation for Albania (OSFA-Open Society Foundation Albania). The idea and implementation of the project comes from the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) - South East Europe Programme, one of the most important, independent, non-governmental, nonprofit think tanks in Greece.

The project aims to tackle in a comprehensive manner serious problems and gaps in bilateral/official, societal/grassroots relations between Albania and Greece. More precisely, ALGREE intends to highlight those elements that could be used by officials, media, influential public figures, and the civil society so as to improve the level of trust and understanding between the two countries. ALGREE has the aspiration to provide ideas, data, and tools upon which efforts to build a cooperative and European future between the two societies could be based. To this end, ALGREE will engage and cooperate with multiple stakeholders and other interested parties as well as with the wider public in both countries. The project’s comprehensive interventions will focus on three key levels:

  • official/governmental
  • media landscape and media representations
  • societal/grassroots 

Rationale of ALGREE Project

Bilateral relations between Greece and Albania have at times been turbulent. This rather complex relationship, however, has the potential to become a success story in the Balkans, as the two countries share similar values and have strong human and economic bonds. Both Greece and Albania also share the same vision and goals for the geopolitical position of the region; that is, the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union and NATO. The two societies are also very well interconnected, as they are bonded by the presence of a large Albanian migrant community in Greece and of the Greek minority in Albania.

Both sides have in recent years improved their perceptions about one another. However, some negative perceptions and stereotypes persist. The knowledge that each side holds for the other is often inaccurate, something that can be attributed to the role of media in both countries. According to relevant studies, some of which were conducted by ELIAMEP in co-operation with OFSA, there is still much stereotyping and prejudice on the public agenda of both countries.

Despite some improvement in public attitudes, both societies still see each other with a significant measure of distrust, lack of understanding for each other’s concerns, sensitivities, or political positions. Moreover, media typically adopt an ethnocentric standpoint when it comes to reporting on complex issues troubling bilateral relations. There is still a great amount of work that needs to be done to ensure that the two societies will increase their understanding of each other and consolidate an atmosphere of trust.

See MORE: The Media Observatory Reports

The Media Observatory Reports (MORE) are the fruit of systematic monitoring of key Greek and Albania media. We monitor, analyse and present in succinct reports the impact for Albanian media reporting of Greece and Greek media reporting of Albania as well as the coverage of issues of common interest.

The method

The team of ALGREE collects and analyzes stories, identifying key cases of high interest due to the importance of the topics, or because of the influence on audiences as a result of the sensitivity of issues or the emotional language used. The team conducts background research using a rigorous methodology as well as official and unofficial information channels. It establishes the true dimension of events, beyond stereotypes, fake news and nationalist propaganda. The team also offers brief analyses on the ways in which the media choose to feed the public discourse with misconceptions and negative narratives, thus generating  distrust between the two societies.

How do we make a difference?

The ambition of MORE is to filter out the noise that typically accompanies the media stories on the unresolved bilateral issues in both Albania and Greece. It aims to become a stimulus of reflection for journalists, opinion makers and other stakeholders to ponder the missed opportunities in the public sphere of the two countries.

The reports offer a well-balanced mix of political insight and fact-driven analysis that gives crucial insights on how the media are missing opportunities to play a constructive role and help create a more healthy political discourse. Better reporting could facilitate understanding of each side’s sensitivities and open avenues for connecting the two societies, thus, enabling a genuine, trusting partnering of Greece and Albania, in the region and within the European Union.

Accordingly, MORE provide for each case/story:

  • a short background;
  • a short qualitative analysis of certain media stories;
  • a brief account of the actual events which were reported incorrectly;
  • a potential alternative coverage, an assessment of the political significance of the media choices and their effect on public perceptions ;
  • key takeaways vis-à-vis the political and societal impact of the media coverage.


Stay tuned for the 1st Media Observatory Report!