An insight into the state of the Albanian Administrative Territorial Reform
The Association of Albanian Municipalities has just released its most recent paper on the progress of the Administrative reform that the country has undergone starting from 2014.
The main idea behind the whole process was that of achieving a real decentralisation after some previous not substantial efforts through the provision to local authorities of financial and economic powers, rights and responsibilities, and service competencies on essential functions, going one step further in the devolution of powers process.
However, five years and a half after the start of the implementing phase, many issues are still unaddressed. The new administrative boundaries – the report states - along with the reorganisation of local government units, highly fragmented, results today in the unsatisfactory provision of public services to local communities and a severe lack of economy of scale causing excessive administrative costs. Moreover, many local democracy-related aspects of the implementation of the reform remain unclear, particularly with regards to the rights to representation of citizens in the local governments, and the fiscal and administrative realisation of autonomy.
On this basis, the report brings to the attention of the reader the problems and difficulties of local governments in the provision of services, challenges posed by the Administrative Territorial Reform or inherited along with an appeal that undertaking such reform requires broad consensus and a more democratic approach. Issues, recommendations and suggestions contained in this report take in considerations possible solutions for the future, opportunities for further improvements and revisions.
If you want to read the full text of the Report, click here