European Institute Pashko (IEP)
An Institute dedicated to promoting values of freedom
The establishment of the European Institute Pashko (IEP) as part of the European Education Initiative, is an important achievement and the result of a successful completion of the first 10 years of the European University of Tirana (UET). IEP is conceptualized as the research dimension of UET, trying to improve public policies toward a prosperous Albanian economy and polity.IEP mission is to contribute to building a powerful economy and a democratic society. Following IE mission, it is of paramount importance that the society respects the freedom of individuals and entrepreneurship skills are the paramount values for the prosperity of a man and the nation.The complexity of our society in the light of globalization challenges and technological changes, is substantially transforming the nature of civilization, requiring as such an innovative approach to link scientific research with the education and promotion of a well-informed, impartial public debate in the best interest of citizens.IEP has a strong affiliation in contributing toward the improvement of life standards of marginalized groups in a sustainable way. In this regard IEP offers full scholarships for excellent students. Moreover, for researchers IEP offers 10 research grants of 25.000 euro to conduct research on policy areas related to the market economy. This research is further developed into policy papers for the public debate and policy makers.
The European Institute PASHKO adopts an interdisciplinary approach in research, combining internal research expertise according to the field of research and also provides the involvement of expertise outsourcing in research projects when such thing serves to achieve our objectives a way more effective and successful. The social impact of the institute’s activities is also the fundamental criterion on which we judge the usefulness of our activity. As noted above, the main purpose and mission of the institute is to influence public policy improvement in order to build a healthier economy and society. Annual budgets for the scientific research and various public debate activities now reach almost 750 thousand euros, while in a number of international projects, the institute has doubled this amount of funding for the activities carried out. In order to accomplish this mission, the institute does not only devote its financial and human resources to the projects described above, but also enables low-income social groups or groups in need, which they have the right intellectual skills and incentives needed for talent education and development, to get the right financial support. For students of excellence and with economic inability, the institute offers the “Pashko” scholarship, including not only the coverage of tuition fees at UET, but also a financial support to cover the cost of living during the three years of the study. European Institute PASHKO in the next ten years aims to consolidate its profile as an institution influential in the local public environment and in the region, by actively promoting and supporting reforms and policy initiatives that further expand the scope of economic freedom and entrepreneurship and contribute to the creation of a cheaper, richer and healthier society.
PASHKO, a reference of Albanian modernity!
Why an institute? Why European? Why it carries the name of the first liberal?
In our time, religious, ethnic references or references of a spiritual or ideological nature swell in a world that is very disoriented. Even the most prestigious magazines in the world anticipate bad times for liberalism or no good times at all for the liberal spirit. In this understanding, to build a European institute with the name of the most famous Albanian liberal of ‘90, professor Gramoz Pashko, looks like a downright missionary. Along with the wonderful team of colleague’s years from now we built a non-profit share, within the corporate framework our European Initiative for Education, supported mainly in the aggregation of numerous nonprofit initiatives, under the dignified roof of the European Institute PASHKO. First, I would like to say two words about the symbol of our institute, Professor Pashko. Professor Pashko, an exceptional figure of 1980s, 1990s, creates the solid basis to rely on a symbol, which stands outside the power, outside the economic power, outside diplomatic power, but within the great power of the idea. This was Gramoz Pashko, the man who conceived democracy and Albanian capitalism, still unborn. If you look today, the visions of Professor Pashkos during 1990, 1991 and further, they look more current than ever, more to the present than ever and for the future than anything else. In this context the reference of the European Institute to the name and symbolism Gramoz Pashko is a good starting point for one secular missionaries, in function of the freedom of a right society, meritocracy and a fair race in the society. Gramoz Pashko, one of the basic symbols of the fundamental transformation of Albania and at the same time Albanian capitalism itself, economic freedom and freedom in general, and for an occasional non-random symbol of the establishment of the independent university sector, founder of the first Private University in Albania, the one of New York, it remains a way for us to break through reality, which as complex and diverse, nearly two or three decades later that Gramoz Pashko began the conception or the vision for a free market and free democratic society and about ten years after he passed away on a tragic accident, remain terribly current and remain terribly preferential solutions. As such, the European Institute PASHKO, which I have the pleasure to introduce it to the public and partners, creates me a special sensation: Pashko dissimilar to anyone else, with his authentic action during the Albanian transition from day to day first and until the last day, looks like a peer or like the likeness of those who love freedom, meritocracy, and righteous society, a society which yet is not perfect and dominated from evil, from envy, from backwardness. The sixth programs of the European Institute PASHKO aim giving life to our fundamental values, which constitute the base of action of all our programs and our daily work under this institute. These values start from affirmative action, ie from support to anyone who is capable or demonstrates skill and quality, but for one reason or another, lies on the edge of the road, in the feverish and often unfair race of a free society. Europeanisation is the second value regarding importance for our action in the framework of projects of the European Institute PASHKO. As well as the name of the institute itself, European values and the process of Europeanization, that is in fact the westernization of the Albanian society stands a reference as well to a Balkans and an Albania disoriented under the influx of many global developments, which it can be afforded only with reference to Europeanism. Reformism is our third most important value to create the contours of a society, for which Gramoz Pashko and the liberals dream and dreamed everywhere. Reforming the Albanian society and bringing it towards democracy and the free market, is another value at the core of the action of our programs. Foremost of the values that we embrace by striking hard right-wing or left-wing extremism, considering social opponents’ old democracy, through reformism we believe that the whole society, beyond divisions left and right, can move forward to produce a better, more developed and fair society. And our main value, liberalism, whose spirit the activity of the European Institute PASHKO is devoted to, it is according to us the basic possibility that every society including here, a society with many problems as it is the Albanian society, to recover the time which is lost and to accelerate the progression ahead and speed up the pace advancing towards a society, in which no problem does finally resolved but where most of the problems are on the way to the solution.
Henri Çili, PhD