FORMAL DECENTRALIZATION OF LOCAL GOVERNANCE IN ALBANIA

Roland Lami

Abstract


This article presents an argument on the regional effects of migration on Albanian administrative-territorial reform and its consolidation. Many researchers of local politics support the thesis that an important demographic change is accompanied by a change related to the quality of service at local governance level.  Compare to the Western and Eastern European countries, only in the early 1960s, Albania witnessed the introduction of the first regional and urban strategies.  The strategy was used to limit the expansion of large towns and to encourage the development of small and medium-sized towns. Furthermore, there are a limited number of case studies based on migration data at regional level.  This is why territorial reforms should often reflect ongoing demographic changes to minimize the effects caused by overpopulation, or significant reduction of the number of population in a local unit, with respect to quality of service offered to the citizens.  We discuss the research question of “how will the demographic development, i.e. natural development of population as well as internal migration, affect different types of Albanian regions?” as well as “what is the impact of demographic movements on the quality of local governance?”

Based on the interpretation of some regional units, i.e. Tirana, Durres, and Fier, it is confirmed that the demographic movements in the last twenty years in Albania have brought about some changes.  In some local units, the number of inhabitants is significantly reduced, while some other local units are overpopulated. This new reality leads to implications in economic, social and cultural aspects; and most importantly, we noticed an increasing dependency of local government on the central government.  We further claim that local and regional authorities must participate in accordance with the “partnership” principle. Under these conditions, it is necessary to plan a new territorial division.


Keywords


decentralization, territorial reform, demographic development, local government, central government

Full Text:

PDF

References


Albanian Institute for International Studies (2007). Rritja e Transparences ne Nivel Lokal [Transparency Increased at the Local Level]. Tirana: NED Publisher.

Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) (2011). 2011 Population and Housing Census in Albania: Preliminary Results. Albanian Institute of Statistics. Retrieved from https://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sources/census/2010_phc/Albania/Albania.pdf

Davey, K. (2011). Local Government in Critical Times: Policies for Crisis, Recovery and a Sustainable Future. Strasbourg: Council of Europe. Retrieved from http://www.ccre.org/docs/Local_Government_in_critical_times.EN.pdf‎

Ericsson, E. L., Rudebeck, K., Sundström, B., & Young, D. (2012). Territorial Reform in Albania. Study for the Albanian Association of Communes. Project Number 122210310. Tirana, Albania. Retrieved from http://www.shtetiweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/121218-SKL-Albania-final-lores.pdf

Grindle, S. M. (2007). Decentralization, Democratization and the Promise of Good Governance. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Harriss, J., K. Stokke, & Törnquist, O. (Eds.). (2004). Politicizing Democracy. Critical perspectives on the new local politics of democratization. Houndmills: Palgrave-Macmillan.

Levitas, T. (2010). Local Government Taxes, Fees and Charges in Albania: Current and Future Challenges. Study on behalf for the Association of Albanian Communes, SKL Publisher.

Miller, L. K. (2002), Advantages and Disadvantages of Local Government Decentralization. Retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.134.5990&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Ministry of Finance (2013). Economic and Fiscal Program 2012 – 2014. Country Report. Republic of Albania. Retrieved from http://www.mete.gov.al/doc/Programi_Ekonomik_dhe_Fiskal_2012_-_2014.pdf

Stoker, G., & John, P. (2009). Design Experiments: Engaging Policy Makers in the Search for Evidence about What Works. Political Studies, 57(6), 356-373.

Wilson, D. (2011). Beyond Administrative Borders: IMC in Albania, In: Swianiewicz, P. (Ed.), Working Together: Intermunicipal Cooperation in Five Central European Countries (pp. 19-98). Retrieved from http://observgo.uquebec.ca/observgo/fichiers/85195_GLR-3.pdf

World Bank (2004). Albania: Decentralization in Transition, Report No. 27885-ALB, February. Retrieved from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTALBANIA/Resources/DecentralizationInTransition1.pdf




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12955/cbup.v2.466

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Print ISSN 1805-997X, Online ISSN 1805-9961

(c) 2016 Central Bohemia University