OSCE Presence in Tirana Holds Online Meeting on Albanian Municipalities’ Response to Pandemic

"The COVID-19 pandemic reminds us all that the local government level is the closest to its citizens, and thus better positioned to respond to their specific challenges and needs, stated participants of an online discussion hosted on 19 November 2020 by the OSCE Presence in Albania, with support of the Ministry of Interior," said a press release issued by the press office of Tirana based OSCE Presence in this country on Monday.
The meeting was held to discuss the key findings of a situation assessment report on the response of 13 targeted municipalities to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The aim of the report – which focused on the first six months of 2020 – is to shed light on how the 13 local government units reacted, what changes they took, and how these changes affected their citizens’ life during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also aims at creating local governance knowledge sharing on disaster governance and recovery for the future," said the press release.
Attending the meeting were the representatives of the 13 municipalities, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Finance, the Agency for the Support of Local Self-Government, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Albania - AlbEITI, and the Association for Local Autonomy and the Albanian Association of Municipalities.
The municipalities covered in the report were Vlora, Berat, Skrapar, Kukës, Mat, Klos, Mirdita, Bulqiza, Roskovec, Patos, Selenica, Fushë-Arrëz and Ura Vajgurore.
"Discussions focused on the negative impact of the pandemic on local incomes and revenues in the targeted municipalities, and stressed the need for a revision of the shared taxes distribution such as the mining royalties," the press release noted.

The report was prepared based on findings from a targeted survey, direct meetings and desk research that the Presence, in close co-operation with the Ministry of Interior and the Agency for Support of Local Self Governance, conducted during the period August–October 2020.