Opening the Academy Democratization and Decentralization

Place: Hotel Harmonia, Republic of Albania
Date: 1-4 November 2012

Lecturers:

Prof. Neritan Sejamini, Master of Science from the George Washington University, Washington DC, and former advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania

Erion Veliaj, Master of Science from the University of Sussex, UK
Former founder of movement MJAFT and former director of G-99|

Besnik Tahiri, Master of Science for Decentralized Governance and International Development

Besnik Osmani, Master of Science – American University of Kosovo, Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government

Fatmir Haxholli, Master of Contemporary European Studies

Agron Maxhuni,
Legal Director Ministry of Local Government

Topics:

•    Decentralization in historical, academic and study terms - International Context of Local Government and Local Government Development

•    Basic Concepts of Decentralization: Administrative Decentralization and Deconcentration – Rondinel’s Principles

•    Democratization in relation to Decentralization – The case of Kosovo - Presentation of Publications of the Kosovo Local Government Institute

Publications  



•    Public Choice Theory - Governance, Institutions and Democracy
•    Democracy and active participation of citizens in society - Civil Society, Institutions and Political Parties
•    State-building in relation to the Decentralization - The Case of the Republic of Kosovo
•    The organization and functioning of Local Government in Kosovo - Legal Basis of the organization and functioning

Local Government Reforms prerequisite for European Integration

Kosovo Local Government Institute organized a solemn ceremony during the official opening of the Local Governance Academy - Second Generation. Ceremony and the opening were held in Golem of the Republic of Albania, from 01 – 04 Nov 2012.

Kosovo Local Government Institute through Local Government Academy offers an educational program genuine and substantial in the field of local governance in Kosovo. The nominees from five municipalities (Kamenica, Vushtria, Decan, Klokot and Fushe Kosova) constitute the second generation of this program, and among them there are a number of officials from the administrative office of North Mitrovica. The level of representation includes senior municipal official (Deputy Mayer and director) as well as president of the Municipal Assembly.

Executive Director of the Kosovo Local Government Institute, Mr. Besnik Tahiri in the opening of the program pointed out that there are 4 key elements on which the program is based on: 1. Findings from the research and periodic work of KLGI; 2. Assessment of needs for capacity building of municipalities; 3. Professional and methodological support of the University of Birmingham; and 4. exhibitions of international, local and regional lecturers. According to Mr. Tahiri, this will enable the interconnection of regional practices, international theories about local governance and current developments, including the current needs of Kosovo.

Mr. Tahiri elaborating theories “Theoretical concepts of Decentralization” stressed that prior to a decentralization policy push, a society must have at least three preconditions for it:

The first refers to the high degree of central state capacity. Because the effective implementation of decentralization requires coordination between levels and requires more regulations to ensure basic transparency, accountability and; a weak state cannot implement a successful decentralization. The second requirement is a well-developed civil society. This is important not only for a participatory, but also because it would provide additional resources for information and comments as constructive criticism for local government. The third is a political project in which an organized political force supports decentralization and ensures its implementation. Also we should not forget that effective local governance depends on available resources, which are adequate and sustainable.

Professor Neritan Sejamini in his presentation on "Public Choice Theory" explained the role of this theory to the analysis and study of political processes and actors, as well as its importance to make the right policy choices in the public interest (morally, economically ), and improving the organizational side (information and structure management). Analyzing the notion “Good Governance”, Prof. Sejamini stressed that there is still much work to be done to achieve good governance with a clear transparency and accountability.

On a different topic, Mr. Erion Veliaj in his presentation "democracy and active participation of citizens in society" elaborated society’s active role in relation to the institutional mechanisms to encourage processes and improving the lives of citizens. He also said that institutions often lack the vision, but it must come from other actors being active in policy-making and decision-making.

During this module was discussed on topic of state-building in relation to decentralization. In this topic, Secretary General of the Ministry of Local Government Administration was focused on the elaboration of dimensions: Organization and Functioning of Local Self-Government in Kosovo; and the role of municipalities in the process of European Integration.

Local Government Academy will continue the work with the next session scheduled for late November. The general impression among participants in AQL was that this program will help improve local governance in general, as well as strengthening institutional capacities in particular.