Albanian municipalities have increased transparency, providing citizens with more information, but the effort to fulfill the promises made by local candidates during electoral campaigns still lags behind.

Jona Plumbi

Faktoje Center published the findings of the performance monitoring report on the transparency of 10 local government institutions in Albania as part of the project ’40 promises, 10 municipalities’, which is supported for the fourth consecutive year by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

The analysis indicated that out of the 40 electoral promises from the May 2023 campaign in ten municipalities, only 5 have been fully kept, with 11 partially fulfilled. In the meantime, 24 promises, or roughly 70% of the promises made by municipalities or their mayors, have not been kept. The fulfillment of electoral promises, even when recycled from previous mandates, remains problematic.

Transparency, accountability, and the importance of the efforts by local governance institutions towards European integration were the focal points of the conference ‘Enhancing Accountability of Local Governance Institutions,’ organized by Faktoje in collaboration with the C1-EU-NPA project and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana.

‘Municipalities have a very particular importance for the European Union’ – was the message of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Tirana. Reinout Vos.

Europe is full of municipalities and we in the EU expect a lot from them. This is because Municipalities will have the chance to manage EU funds, as well as be accountable for how they are spent. And I assure you, it is not an easy task. The EU is very stringent in demanding accountability on behalf of European taxpayers when it comes to fund management. This requires the development of local governance institutions and strengthening them so they can serve the citizens.’

Regarding the accountability and transparency of the work of local governance institutions, Klodiana Kapo, the Executive Director of Faktoje Center, mentioned the work done to monitor several municipalities in the country through the ’10 municipalities, 40 promises’ project, funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and implemented by Faktoje over the past 4 years.

Throughout these years of monitoring municipalities in the country, we have faced several challenges, but at the same time, we have also noticed a reflection from some municipalities that have improved their performance, mainly in terms of transparency. The greatest challenge remains the fulfillment of electoral promises made by candidates who later assume the position of Mayor.’

Video presentation of the project ’10 municipalities, 40 promises’ supported by the National Endowment for Democracy and implemented by Faktoje

The findings and results of the monitored municipalities during the past year were presented to the participants by the Editorial Manager of Faktoje, Aimona Vogli.

The municipalities with the highest transparency performance towards citizens are those of Shkodra, Korça, and Lezha, all scoring 100%, followed by Dibra with 87.5%. Meanwhile, the Municipality with the lowest transparency performance is Kavaja, with only 18.7%.

*Findings of the Faktoje Report on the monitored municipalities in 2023 *findings of the Faktoje Report on the monitored municipalities over 4 years for transparency


Mr.  Rudin Beka, the Deputy Mayor of Shkodra Municipality, one of the monitored municipalities with the highest transparency performance, emphasized the importance of ensuring that this measured transparency in procedures and paperwork is also conveyed to citizens’ perception and its impact on their daily lives.

In these 7 months of work in Shkodra Municipality, our focus has been on creating an open municipality not only on paper, but also in how it is perceived by the citizens. We re-conceptualized the way the Municipality is structured. We established several new structures, such as Bio Strajca, a new company that will manage the markets. These markets were also a focal point of Faktoje’s monitoring regarding the fulfillment of promises. These restructuring efforts translate the perception of the municipality’s openness from existing on paper to now being a reality experienced by citizens, with an impact that is felt throughout the city.

The expert on European integration issues from the C1-EU-NPA Project, Geron Kamberi, provided some figures that demonstrate the importance of managing public finances at the local level, particularly as part of the European Union.

Cities in Europe are seen as a resource and a solution for today’s economic, environmental, and social challenges. Over two-thirds of the population lives in the EU’s urban areas, consuming about 80% of the energy and providing up to 85% of Europe’s GDP. Between 2014 and 2020, about 115 billion Euros from the EU Cohesion Policy funds were invested in cities, towns, or suburban areas. Around 81 billion Euros were funded exclusively in urban areas.

Erjon Tase, the Director of the Academy of Political Studies, emphasized in his speech that municipalities should be more innovative and competitive in ideas and vision.

The main issue remains the imbalance between large municipalities, which generate income from construction or business, and small municipalities that lack financial autonomy. Moreover, these municipalities have been increasingly abandoned in recent years and do not have the opportunity to create income even with improved financial management. Moreover, Mayors need to understand that they should not only be service providers but also foster economic development in the units by drafting strategic development plans.’

The monitoring conducted by journalists and civil society activists aims to assess the level of transparency in local government institutions in Albania and to encourage the sharing of information with the public, as well as public accountability regarding decision-making and the management of work of these institutions.

Download the summaries of the findings of Faktoje’s report on the monitoring of municipalities during 2023 at the following link: Monitorimi-i-10-bashkitve-viti-2023-Faktoje



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