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The quality of life for each citizen in urban and rural areas largely depends on the quality of services, public infrastructure, and public spaces created and managed by municipalities. These play an exceptional role in the European integration process since 70% of EU legislation is precisely implemented at the local level. 
In this spirit, on Friday, October 13, 2023, "EU for Municipalities" and "Municipalities for Europe," two projects funded by the European Union, in cooperation with the Ministry of State for Local Government, the Agency for the Support of Local Governance, the Association for Local Autonomy, the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of Southeast Europe (NALAS), organized the Local Governance Forum: "Municipalities and the EU Integration Process: Exchange of Best Practices in Southeastern Europe." 
The meeting, held just a few days before the Berlin Process Summit, aimed to create a platform for dialogue and exchanges between mayors and officials of local authorities from Albania and Southeastern European countries to share best practices on the role of municipalities in the EU integration process and instruments to facilitate the absorption of EU financial assistance for local authorities. In the opening session of the Forum, dedicated to "Local Governance Bodies and the EU Integration Process," present and sharing their thoughts and ideas were Mr. Arbian Mazniku, Minister of State for Local Government; Mr. Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana; Mr. Hubert Perr, Head of the Cooperation Department at the EU Delegation to Tirana; Mrs. Emiriana Sako, Mayor of Durrës; Mr. Gledian Llatja, Mayor of Elbasan and Mr. Kelmend Zajazi, Executive Director of NALAS. 
The session was moderated by Mr. Elton Stafa, Project Manager of "EU for Municipalities." A special session was dedicated to the "Structural Role of Municipalities and Their Associations in the Accession Process to the EU," during which the director of the Project "Municipalities for Europe," Mrs. Jolanda Trebicka, presented the report on the "Performance of Municipalities in Fulfilling the Obligations of the EU Integration Process," conducted by "Municipalities for Europe and NALAS. 
In this session, shared their ideas: Mr. Ermal Elezi, General Director of NALAS; Mrs. Eriselda Sefa, Mayor of Lushnje; Mr. Fisnik Qosja, Mayor of Kavajë; Mr. Thomas Prok, KDZ Center for Public Administration Research, Austria; Mr. Sazan Ibrahimi, Executive Director, Association of Kosovo Municipalities. Meanwhile, Mr. Marko Ercegović, Association of Croatian Municipalities, addressed the attendees via a video link. 
The session on "EU Financial Assistance for Local Government Authorities and Local Communities – Capacities, Systems, and Lessons Learned to Support Municipalities in Accessing EU Financial Assistance" was moderated by Mrs. Jolanda Trebicka, project manager of "Municipalities for Europe." In this session, shared their thoughts, observations, and ideas: Mr. Ilir Beqaj, Director of the State Agency for Strategic Planning and Coordination of Assistance; Mrs. Alma Hoxha, Mayor of Përmet; Mr. Hil Curri, Mayor of Fushë-Arrëz; Mr. Fran Brahimi, Director of Local Finance at the Ministry of Finance and Economy; Mr. Elton Stafa, Project Manager of "EU for Municipalities"; Mrs. Vanja Starovlah, Deputy General Secretary, Union of Municipalities of Montenegro; and Mrs. Afërdita Dema, Deputy Executive Director, National Association of Local Self-Government Units of the Republic of North Macedonia. 
The closing remarks, summarizing the messages and conclusions drawn during the discussions at the Forum sessions, were delivered by Mrs. Marie Augoy, Program Manager at the EU Delegation in Tirana, and Mr. Elton Stafa, Project Manager of "EU for Municipalities."