USAID Promotes Dialogue on Decentralization in Albania

For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Today, mayors from Albania’s 61 municipalities and representatives from the Ministries of State for Local Issues, Economy and Finance, and NGOs participated in a conference on decentralization reforms. The conference marks the one year anniversary of the 2015 passage of Territorial Administrative Reform. USAID/Albania Country Representative, Cate Johnson; Minister of State for Local Issues, Bledi Çuçi; Albanian Association of Local Autonomy President and Mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj; and Albanian Association of Municipalities President and Mayor of Shkodra, Voltana Ademi, delivered remarks. The conference aimed to increase nonpartisan dialogue among local stakeholders, as well as to share lessons learned, opportunities and challenges related to decentralization processes.

Conference presentations and discussions centered on issues of importance to local governments such as municipal performance, territorial planning and control, finance and budget, local utilities and services, civic engagement on local issues, administrative units, transparency, relationships and communications with central government. Local government representatives shared their perspectives on the implementation of Decentralization Strategy with central government institutions and international donors and partners.

USAID works at both the national and local levels to promote good governance and local democracy and supports them to address common issues related to local governance. With USAID support and expertise a new National Decentralization Strategy was prepared and approved in July 2015. Also, with the USAID support, the Parliament approved the new organic law No.139/2015 on “Local Self-Governance.” USAID’s ‘partner’ local government units include: Tirana, Durres, Fier, Lushnje, Berat, Kuçova, Patos, Vlore, Saranda, Elbasan, Korça, Vora, Kamza, and communes of Kashar and Paskuqan.

# # #