"Municipalities, the main beneficiaries of EU grants". MfE holds a meeting in the Municipality of Finiq
"Municipalities for Europe", a project funded by the European Union, has continued the tour of meetings held in all Municipalities of Albania, for the presentation of the Performance Evaluation Report "Municipalities in the process of Albania's EU integration" 2019. This time, the virtual meeting was held with the Municipality of Finiq.
This meeting, was moderated by the head of the European Integration Office in the Municipality of Finiq, Mr. Gjergji Mano and was attended by Mr. Kristo Kiço the Mayor of Finiq, Mr. Bekim Murati the Director of the Agency for Support to the Local Self-Government, Mr. Enzo Damiani, representative of the EU Delegation to Albania, Mrs. Jolanda Trebicka, project manager of "Municipalities for Europe", as well as employees of the Finiq Municipality and representatives of the Municipal Council.
After welcoming this meeting, the Mayor of Finiq, Mr. Kristaq Kiço spoke about the great importance that the work of local government bodies has in the life of the community. "For almost everything, from security to daily supplies, citizens knock on the door of the municipality, even in cases when such things might fall outside its competencies. We are the closest institutions to the citizens, and therefore, in my opinion, strengthening our capacities, especially on the path we have towards the European integration process, should be a priority.
Enzo Damiani, the European Union delegation representative in this meeting, stated that “The EU is paying more and more attention to the provision of technical assistance to Albania. This stems from the fact that what we call ‘the Acquis’, and which is practically the entirety of European Union law, is applied for the most part at a local level. And as Ambassador Soreca has also stated, we see the heads of the European Integration Units, as the ambassadors of Albanian Municipalities in the EU. Therefore, the EU considers them as real actors of development, precisely all the administrators and all the staff of these local government institutions", he expressed.
Further on, Mr. Damiani spoke about “the large package of 34 million Euros of financial assistance, which the EU has already launched to help Albania. And it is important to emphasize one thing he continued: Municipalities are the primary beneficiaries of these grants, and the European Integration Units should be strengthened and put as much as possible in the function of preparing projects and absorbing these funds that the EU allocates to Albania”.
The General Director of AMVV, Mr. Bekim Murati stated that “It is the third year that we prepare the Performance Evaluation Report of the Municipalities, and year after year we have seen an improving trend of their performance. We must not forget for a moment a basic fact in our daily work: over 70 percent of the legal acts that need to be aligned with EU legislation will have to be implemented at the local level. And precisely for this reason, the tasks and duties of the municipalities are extremely important and they have an added value in this process. As such, the consolidation of the European Integration structures, which we set up 3 years ago in cooperation with the local government bodies, the EU delegation and the "Municipalities for Europe" project, is of vital importance.
"Although there has been initial skepticism, or uncertainty about their functioning and role, we as AMVV have provided all the necessary acts for local government bodies, regarding the role of these structures in the European integration process", said Mr. Murati. He then added, “However, for the work to move forward, not only these structures but all local government actors must be in line, starting from the mayors, their direct staffs and the whole municipal staffs, and especially the members of municipal councils will have a very important role in this regard. They themselves should be informed first and should monitor the work that the municipality is doing in the integration process ".
Further on, the Project Manager of "Municipalities for Europe", Mrs. Jolanda Trebicka, made a presentation of the findings and recommendations of the Performance Evaluation Report.