PLGP Albanian Mayors in NEXPO Event

NEXPO-fairDo you know that Albania’s local governments are part of a network comprised of 16 Local Government Associations which represent roughly 9,000 local authorities in South East Europe?

Yes, Albania’s local governments are part of NALAS, a network of associations of local authorities of South East Europe. A large delegation of Albanian local officials were active participants in the NALAS International Municipal Fair held in Rijeka and Opatija, Croatia from September 25 to 27. A total of 88 municipalities and communes from Albania were represented at the event. Among the participants were Mayors and Deputy Mayors from 11 of the partner local governments of USAID’s Planning and Local Governance Project (PLGP).

Participants representing  more than 500 local governments from South East Europe and beyond had the opportunity to exchange experience and learn of Best Practices in local governance, municipal management, and service delivery.   All Mayors attended the first day’s session, “The Road to EU Integration-Removing Barriers, Unlocking Our Potential”. A very timely topic as Albania hopes to soon secure EU candidate status. Workshops over the next two days included two sessions specifically targeted to Albanian local officials. One workshop focused on fiscal decentralization and own source revenue collection. This workshop was jointly organized by USAID’s  PLGP and the Decentralization and Local Development Program funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).  The second workshop, organized by the Council of Europe, discussed efforts to build a pluralistic and unified platform of dialogue for local government elected officials in Albania. Both sessions generated lively discussions and contributed to efforts to build a non-partisan consensus on issues of importance to local governance.

  

As Mayors and other local officials returned to Albania it seems that consensus is building on a number of issues of importance to local governance. There was general agreement that there is a large gap between the demand for local services and the resources available to support those services, and the gap is growing. Virtually all agreed with the need for a consultative process that would work to build consensus between central and local government officials on decentralization issues. There was general agreement that an updated National Decentralization Strategy was needed. More immediately, there was much discussion concerning plans for Territorial Reform and an expressed desire for local officials to be actively engaged in the dialogue concerning the plans for reform. 

Here is a Report on Fiscal Decentralization produced in this fair. Click here to download. (PDF, 1.2 MB)

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