20 years of Swiss-Albanian Cooperation: decentralization in focus

TTimes
By TTimes October 15, 2020 11:37

20 years of Swiss-Albanian Cooperation: decentralization in focus

At the occasion of the first day of the Democracy Week, the Embassy of Switzerland launched a publication on the best achievements and lessons learnt in working to further  decentralisation and strengthen local governance in the last 20 years.

“I am glad to be here today to launch the capitalization of the Swiss support for decentralisation. Reflecting on what hinders and what helps democracy, is very important. Sharing results and lessons learnt from more than 2 decades of partnership with Albania in this important topic is a pleasure”, said Swiss Ambassador Adrian Maître. He added: “Decentralized and strong local governments as well as a consolidated regional development policy are part of requirements for Albania’s European integration. Let’s not forget that decentralisation is not an end in itself but a means to strengthen democracy and improve the delivery of services to the citizens”.

Mayors, municipal councilors and civil activists presented three cases of successful work in decentralisation, local government functioning and service delivery. These innovative examples led by initiatives of citizens touched upon public lighting in Durrës, a network of women in politics, and waste management in Pogradec. A discussion followed with civil actors about their engagement and actions and responses by municipal authorities. At the closing of the event, the head of governance at the Embassy of Switzerland, Chantal Nicod, spoke about the importance of information on the part of municipalities and of having “organised citizens who are active and persevering, both formal and informal”.

Switzerland has assisted Albania for over 20 years in its efforts to consolidate local democracy and further the process of decentralising power from the central government to the local ones. 

TTimes
By TTimes October 15, 2020 11:37