1- What a good reform!
After a visit in Sweden at the end of April the Minister for Local Affairs started a tour of meetings throughout May. A tour that would focus on young people. Initially in Elbasan, on May 8, afterwards in Tirana at the European University of Tirana on May 18 and, in Shkoder on May 21. During all these meetings Minister Cuci emphasized the importance of the Administrative-Territorial reform. Repeating the same text in each meeting, the Minister is affraid of only one challenge ‘’…how the young generation has to accept and internalize the reform’’. Implying thus that the reform in itself has no flaw, however if anything were to go wrong the fault would lie with young people.
During this month he participated in a seminar organized by the Polish Embassy in Albania, where the minister himself upon hearing the Polish experience on its territorial reform, emphasized that Poland is an inspiring model of decentralization. Showing thus the clear lack of knowledge in International Relations, where we have to emphasize that before and after integration in the European Union, one of the major problems identified by the European Commission in the Polish case was the centralization of their reform. Poland has a population of 38 495 659 inhabitants, against less than 3 000 000 Albanians and the geographical space that Poland occupies is 312 679 km square against less than 29 000 km squares of Albania.
We have to emphasize also that not once during these 18 months of the existence of this Ministry and the platform, if a reform was needed and why..,how it should have been designed and why…what means were necessary to implement it and why…etc. For this, experts in the field were never consulted, with the exception of renown figures affiliated with the governing party, who played the role of decorative experts.
2- stopkorrupsionit.com or stopstatistikave.com
Differently from what was expected this month the ministry did not post any statistics related to its famous online portal that was advertised as the most efficient tool in the fight against corruption. This month, instead of claryfing less than meaningful statistics published so far, the ministry did not even publish this month’s statistics.
However, in light of local elections and the change of government system at this level, the need to continuously monitor all levels of the Administrative-Territorial reform is evident. This means that real work starts after 21 June. Nonetheless, to increase the rigorosity of implementation, this Ministry should turn into an agency. An agency is also the form this Ministry could take because of its organizational chart. Such a change means that the hypotetical State Agency for Local Affairs would exist as a substitute to the current Ministry without a portofolio.