Municipalities as a Positive Engine for Albania's EU Integration- Report
Albanian Daily News
Published April 26, 2018
The EU Delegation to Albania, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, the Albanian mayors and the 61 EU local coordinators in the Albanian municipalities met today in Tirana to discuss local government performance on EU related matters. The discussions focused on the progress made towards establishing effective institutional and administrative systems for advancing the European integration process at the local level.
By January 2018, with the support of the EU-funded 'Municipalities for Europe' project, EU Desks have been established in every Albanian municipality, reaching out to local authorities and the Albanian public with information about the EU, its policies, funds and programmes. The project has just published a municipalities' performance report about EU related matters, the first of the kind that was presented at the conference today.
The EU Ambassador to Albania Mrs Romana Vlahutin stressed that accession to the European Union involves all levels of governance and the whole of society, and that Albania will not grow unless all of its parts will be able and strong enough to grow as well. "Fiscal decentralisation is essential so that municipalities in Albania receive considerable tax contributions from businesses that operate in their territories" Ambassador Vlahutin said.
The performance report is a snapshot of how Albanian municipalities are doing in fulfilling responsibilities that are clearly related to the accession process of the country. Municipalities give a contribution in important areas such as rule of law, human rights, social policies, agriculture and rural development, education and environment.
Now that Albania is developing an institutional architecture dedicated to EU integration at the local level, it is expected for this exercise to become a regular reference point for monitoring progress of EU integration at the local level.