On the basis of the results of the project on Reinforcing Local and Regional Government Structures in Albania (Phase I) implemented by the Council of Europe from 2009 to early 2012, a follow up project on Strengthening Local Government Structures and Cooperation of Local Elected Representatives in Albania – Phase II (2012 – 2015) (“the Project”) has been developed with the aim to foster local and regional democracy, and to contribute to further reinforcement of local government structures.

In this context, inter-municipal co-operation (IMC), human resource management (HRM) and co-operation and capacity building of local elected representatives have been identified as key areas where further efforts are required to consolidate the legislation and practice to strengthen local and regional governance in Albania.
 

Objective

To strengthen the local and regional government structures and reinforce co-operation of local elected representatives in Albania, in order to ensure effective decentralisation and local self-government, in line with the principles enshrined in the European Charter of Local Self-Government.

The Project is conceived as a consolidated intervention with two lines of action:

Line of action I - Support to strengthen local government structures in Albania, to:

  • improve the conditions for and foster the implementation of inter-municipal co-operation (IMC) initiatives between Albanian Local Government Units (LGUs);
  • support the creation of standards and benchmarks on Human Resources Management (HRM), transposed into legislation and practices.
     

Line of action II - Building a sustainable pluralistic and unified platform of dialogue for local government elected representatives in Albania, to:

  • promote an open dialogue and effective co-operation amongst local and regional elected representatives;
  • assist LGUs to develop a unified and pluralistic representative platform which will enable LGUs to engage in a political dialogue with central government.
     

Outcomes and outputs

For Line of Action I

  • improved legal environment on inter-municipal co-operation initiatives (IMC); increased understanding of IMC, its advantages and risks; IMC initiatives on various public services implemented in at least 12 LGUs; good IMC practices spread at national level;
  • HRM tools adopted and implemented in pilot LGUs; assistance provided in drafting secondary legislation on the basis and in the framework of the (new) law on civil servants status with a particular focus on local government administration.
     

For Line of Action II

  • an operational platform for dialogue and discussion among LGUs on issues of common interest and decentralisation reforms is established and formalised;
  • an agreement is reached among LGUs on a shared vision, cooperation objectives and means so as to strengthen the political and social impact of local government;
  • LGUs are consulted and represented in political processes when negotiating with the central government on decentralisation issues.
     

Timeframe: 01/10/2012 – 31/12/2015

Swiss Cooperation contribution: 1,480,000 Euro

Council of Europe contribution: 443,000 Euro

Main partners
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
Government of Albania
Local government units and their associations