The 9th meeting of the Public Administration Reform Special Group for Albania took place on 23rd June 2020. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Erion Braçe, Deputy Prime Minister, and Ms. Michela Matuella, Head of Unit for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission.
Participants discussed the main developments on public administration reform, including civil service reform, public finance management, policy development and coordination as well as the establishment of the EU negotiation structures. The European Commission noted the progress achieved and encouraged the Albanian authorities to maintain and accelerate the pace of public administration and public finance management reform.
The EU side welcomed the appointment of Albania’s chief negotiator and the negotiating team and reiterated the importance of strengthening the public administration also in view of the challenges of the process of alignment with the EU legislation, in the context of the EU accession process. In the area of policy development and coordination, it acknowledged the progress achieved in establishing the integrated policy management groups and in the implementation of the national plan of European integration. Additional efforts are needed to better link the policy planning and the budgeting system.
With regards to the civil service reform, the European Commission noted the progress in the digitalisation of the recruitment system, and the development of a human resource management platform linking data collection at central and local level. It also reiterated the importance of focusing on establishing a merit-based civil service and in particular encouraged to keep within the scope of the civil service the public employees affected by the ongoing process of agencies and subordinated institutions restructuring.
Finally, in public finance management, Albania was encouraged to strengthen reform efforts in the field of decentralisation. In light of the Covid-19 emergency, the Commission reiterated the need for Albania to improve domestic revenue generation and strengthen the oversight of the Ministry of Finance and Economy on public investments.