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Minister Denaj: Local-business-community cooperation creates more friendly cities

Minister Denaj: Local-business-community cooperation creates more friendly cities

The Ministry of Finance and Economy is engaged in a continuous dialogue with local government units to provide planning, set goals and measure results, which are finally assessed with the level of economic development. This was stated by Minister of Finance and Economy, Anila Denaj, invited at the international conference, “For friendly cities for children”, on the eve of the children’s holiday.

Minister Denaj emphasized the need for sustainable investment growth of Municipalities from the currently 29% average level.

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Also, businesses can do a lot more to create friendly spaces for the new generation.

With the support and facilitation of MFE, the co-operation of the trinomial local government-business community will be even more proactive to funds to create more friendly cities for children.

The full speech of Minister Denaj:

I congratulate you on the initiative and the organization of this conference for the development of cities with a focus on children. Collaboration of the trinomial local government-business community is very important for the development of our cities and the creation of friendly spaces not only for children but also for other community groups.

In relation to the contribution of the government to the part of that pillar I represent, it is important to emphasize what the Albanian government has done in these aspects in some respects. In the first aspect I would mention the decentralization of many roles in decision-making, giving the municipalities a more decisive role in decision-making to determine policies, to determine and run the local country together with its community. Understandably, this is a job that every Mayor pursues afterwards.

I want to take the opportunity from last week’s meeting, a conference organized in cooperation with USAID, which has been a very important partner for us throughout this process, where the official report on local finances was introduced for the first time.

It was a report that showed how this process of decentralization in these first steps can help to better design the second and further steps, both in terms of revenue generated by municipalities and in relation to spending and where these costs are focused.

I want to mention some key figures: 42% of the public spending of the local government on the average level, as I’m not talking here only about Tirana, occupying staff costs, 29% capital expenditures, 29% operating expenses. I do not undertake to judge whether a distribution is right or not, the only invitation I would make is that after a certain time we had other criteria besides these items, how would we read those expenses, in that what will be spending to make the city more friendly to children, to individuals with marginalized skills, or to the most marginalized citizens, and other objectives that should have the respective municipality and the City Council.

It is important that in this decentralization project we set goals and measure performance. It is understood that central and local government co-ordination is permanent, based on objective planning principles, but setting performance and indicators is just as important and I believe that in this conference we will all know who those criteria would be to help us make the city more friendly, first to build it, together with the community, and then to measure whether we are doing the right thing at the right time.

Understandably, there is an important pillar, the third pillar beyond that of the municipality that the mayor will speak is the pillar of the community and I would invite businesses to look a bit more open to this approach today, to think of them besides the central government or local ones what they can do to make their facilities more open to accepting children in the concrete case or increasing customer satisfaction if we consider them children as a consumer because it is not just related to satisfaction, but relates to their business so it is an invitation and for them and this conference contributes to a greater understanding of all parties in these relationships, in order to advance the community.

One of the children mentioned the need for him to build some palaces, to create a better base and shelter. It is important to take this as an example of the target of the Albanian government to assist in some other aspects at the central level. In 2018, the budget share of housing is increased by almost 30 percent. This is an indicator of the government’s commitment to pushing reforms in all respects, but also in support of social assistance.

I do not want to mention the latest Law on Employment Promotion, which gives a very important focus to the promotion of employment of those categories which today can be a bit under-estimated, with disabilities, but who are capable of entering the labor market and may be as productive as all of us.

These are some of the elements I wanted to mention today.

I wish this conference good work, fruitful discussions, give us as much information as to how to further build our objectives, how to set some criteria, and measure performance later on, and above all to accomplish that central government-local government-community trinomial work together in a permanent dialogue to further pursue the objective.

Thanks and success.

News Source: Ministry of Finance and Economy

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