Three new projects of the European Union, in support of the Albanian municipalities
An extended meeting was held in Gjirokastra with the presence of the EU Ambassador to Albania, Mr. Luigi Soreca, Albanian mayors, civil society and media, presenting and marking the official start of three projects: "Municipalities for Europe 2.0", "EU for Municipalities" and "STAR III".
Present in this activity were also the Deputy Minister of Interior, Mr. Andi Mahile and the Chief Negotiator of Albania, Mr. Zef Mazi.
All three of these projects, funded by the European Union, support Albanian municipalities in its EU accession process.
The EU is strongly supporting Albania towards improving its public services as well as on the road towards decentralization and economic development at the local level - where EU integration happens every day.
"It is a pleasure to meet again today in Gjirokastra with so many mayors. Bringing local government and Albanian citizens closer to the EU is the essence of the EU assistance to Albania. A very fruitful exchange on the role of local government in the integration process in the EU.
"I was also pleased to inform the mayors how the EU is increasing its support for local public infrastructure and services, local economic development, innovation, job creation, environmental protection and youth empowerment in #Albania," declared the EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca.
The Mayor of Gjirokastra who was also the co-organizer of the event, Mr. Flamur Golemi said that “The start of these three projects funded by the European Union is a very good news for the citizens we represent, as they also are an additional opportunity for the local government in Albania".
"The more we deepen within this process, the more we realize that the real integration of Albania in the EU has to do mainly with standards, which must be implemented at the local level in the first place", declared the Deputy Minister of Interior, Andi Mahile.
The Chief Negotiator of Albania, Ambassador Zef Mazi emphasized the fact that 70% of the legislative corpus of the Union is implemented at the local level. According to him, "it is very important that the administrative and financial capacities of the municipalities are developed in order to comply with the current obligations, but also those of the future".
The Project Manager of “Municipalities for Europe, Mrs. Jolanda Trebicka has further made a presentation of the objectives of this project funded by the European Union, as have done the respective leaders of the two other projects, Mr. Vladimir Malkaj, and Mr. Elton Stafa.