“The programme “Regional Local Democracy” (ReLOaD), funded by the European Union regionally in the amount of 8.5 mill EUR, is one more chance for Albanian municipalities,” said Vlahutin.
With this initiative, the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme have developed an ambitious initiative to strengthen the cooperation between local governments and civil society organizations in the Western Balkans.
“Lack of transparency in the way local governments support civil society organisations is often an obstacle for the development and functioning of a credible and sustainable local democracy. At the same time, many CSOs lack capacity to design projects, to access public funding, or to raise funds from other sources. This programme will address these challenges,” she explained, adding that the ReLOaD comes at a crucial moment for Albania, as a candidate country, and will help address some of the recommendations from the European Commission.
The EU ambassador to Albania pointed out ReLOad will be a building stone for more transparent and more efficient relations between civil society and local government.
“It will also add to the European Union’s increasing engagement with local governance in Albania. We have just launched “Municipalities for Europe”, an initiative that brings the EU closer to every Albanian citizen through EU specialised desks in all 61 municipalities,” Vlahutin said adding that the EU is also the main contributor to “STAR2”, which supports territorial and administrative reform, and we are programming a competitiveness facility for 2018 that will build on the touristic and cultural potential of Albanian regions.