On the Legislative Reform and Citizen Perceptions for the Local Governance and Democracy as Challenges of a Post-communist Society: The Case of Albania

  • Andon Kume Aleksander Moisiu University, Faculty of Law and Political Science
Keywords: local self-government, legislation, citizens' perceptions, post communist period


The purpose of this paper is to analyze the development of legislative reforms for local self-self-government in Albania in order to identify the problems and challenges faced by a society that is developing the capacity for the functioning of local self-government whilst lacking historical experience and is under the influence of the effects of the trauma caused by the communist regime. The analysis of this legislative process and the perceptions of citizens highlights the challenges faced by the organization and functioning of local self-government in developing democracies and the need for interventions to be made in legislation for the effective functioning of representative and direct democracy at the level of local.


Albanian National Archive (2012) The Provisional Canon of the Civil Administration of Albania approved by the Provisional Self-government of Vlora (1013) (Central Albanian State Archive), available at: http://dap.gov.al/images/revistat/revista12.pdf (February 11, 2021).

Androniceanu, A. (2011) Transparency of the Romanian Local Public Administration, Rivista Administratie si Management Public, 2011(17), pp. 33-46, available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227490213_Transparency_of_the_Romanian_Local_Public_Administration (June, 21, 2020).

Bergström, T., Franzke, J., Kuhlmann, S. & Wayenberg, E. (2021) The Future of Local Self-Government: European Trends in Autonomy, Innovations and Central-Local Relations (London: Palgrave Macmillan), available at: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-56059-1 (December 4, 2021).

Berxholi, A. (2014) The history of the administrative division map in the self-government of Vlora, Panorama on line, available at: http://www.panorama.com.al/historia-e-ndarjes-administrative-nga-ismail-qemali-ne-92/ (June 12, 2021).

Biraçi, R. (2015) Vlerësimi i efiçensës së financave vendore në zhvillimin e pushtetit vendor në Shqipëri [Phd Thesis] (Tirana: UAT), available at: https://pdfkul.com/download/raimonda-biraaipdf_59d138151723dd7ee3f2317a.html (June 16, 2021).

Bland, G. (2011) Considering Local Democratic Transition in Latin America, Journal of Politics in Latin America, 3(1), pp. 65-98, https://doi.org/10.1177/1866802X1100300.

Bulmer, E. (2015) Local Democracy, International IDEA Constitution-Building Primer 13 (Stockholm: International IDEA), p. 6, available at: https://www.idea.int/sites/default/files/publications/local-democracy-primer.pdf (June 27, 2021).

Bruno, M. & Pleskovic, B. (eds.) (1995) Proceedings of the World Bank Conference on Development Economics 1994 (Washington, D.C.: The World Bank), available at: https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=Proceedings+of+the+World+Bank+Conference+on+Development+Economics%2C+1994&publication_year=1995 (March 3, 2021).

Chala, N. (2020) Decentralisation and Local Self-government in Eastern Partnership countries, EaP CSF COVID-19 policy paper, available at: https://eap-csf.eu/wp-content/uploads/Decentralisation-and-Local-Self-government-in-Eastern-Partnership-Countries.pdf (January 21, 2021).

Council of Europe (1985) European Charter of Local Self-Self-government, available at: https://www.ccre.org/img/uploads/piecesjointe/filename/charter_localselfself-government_en.pdf (January 21, 2021).

Häikiö, L. (2012) From Innovation to Convention: Legitimate Citizen Participation in Local Governance, Local Government Studies, 38(4), pp. 415-435, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2012.698241.

Himsworth, C. M. G. (2011) Treaty-Making for Standards of Local Self-government: The European Charter of Local Self-Self-government and Its Possible Application Beyond Europe, University of Edinburgh School of Law Working Paper No 2011/24, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1938255.

Hysi, A. (2014) The Reform Strategy of the Local Self-government in Albania, Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, 3(3), p. 541, http://dx.doi.org/10.5901/ajis.2014.v3n3p541.

Dornudo Yao Krah, R. & Mertens, G. (2020) Transparency in Local Self-governments: Patterns and Practices of Twenty-first Century, State and Local Self-government Review, 52(3), pp. 200-213, https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0160323X20970245.

Elezi, I. (2002) “The Canon of Labëria”, available at: http://www.toena.com.al/toena/Botimet_e_reja/Ismet_Elezi_Kanuni_i_Laberise.html (March 11, 2021).

Haxhimali, A., Cacaj, A. & Xhani, B. (2021) Local self-government in Albania, 2020, available at: https://aam.org.al/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Qeverisja-vendore-ne-Shqiperi.pdf (September 21, 2021).

Haxhimali, A., Cacaj, A. & Ajazi, K. (2019) Local self-government in Albania – Report on current situation, available at: https://aam.org.al/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Qeverisja-vendore-ne-Shqiperi.pdf (September 21, 2021).

Gjeçovi, Sh. (1933) The canon of Lekë Dukagjin, available at: http://www.vatrarberesh.it/biblioteca/ebooks/kanuni.pdf (June 20, 2021).

Gjoni, R., Wetterberg, A. & Dunbar, D. (2010) Decentralization as a conflict transformation tool: The challenge in Kosovo, Public Administration and Development, 30(5), pp. 291-312, available at: https://ideas.repec.org/a/wly/padxxx/v30y2010i5p291-312.html (July 4, 2021).

IDRA (2021) Assessment of local self-government in Albania, 2020, IDRA Research & Consulting dhe Human Development Promotion Center (HDPC), available at: https://www.idracompany.com/files/Vleresimi%20i%20Qeverisjes%20Vendore%20ne%20Shqiperi.pdf (March 12, 2021).

International IDEA (2019) Democracy at the local level, The international idea handbook on participation, representation, conflict management and governance, available at: https://www.idea.int/sites/default/files/publications/chapters/democracy-at-the-local-level/democracy-at-the-local-level-handbook-summary.pdf (March 30, 2021).

Kamiński, R. (2018) The autonomy of local self-government units – legal and financial aspects, Central and Eastern European Journal of Management and Economics, 6(3), pp. 51-66, available at: https://ceejme.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/ceejme_3_8_art_03.pdf (June 4, 2021).

Kume, A. (2020) Analysis of the Albanian Legislation Related to the Representation of Citizens in the Local Self-government, available at: https://dj.univ-danubius.ro/index.php/JDSR/article/view/1267/1593 (June 15, 2021).

Kreiken, W. (2020) Principle of subsidiarity, available at: http://www.coastalwiki.org/wiki/Principle_of_subsidiarit (July 21, 2021).

Ladner, A., Keuffer, N., Baldersheim, H., Hlepas, N., Swianiewicz, P., Steyvers, K. & Navarro, C. (2019) Patterns of local autonomy in Europe (London: Palgrave Macmillan), p. 3, available at: https://www.palgrave.com/gp/book/9783319956411 (March 12, 2021).

Law no. 7572, June, 1992, For the organization and functioning of the local self-government.

Law no. 8652, July 31, 2000, For the organization and functioning of the local self-government, available at: http://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/default.aspx?pdffile=CDL(2004)032-e (January 26, 2020).

Law no. 8548, November 11, 1999, On the ratification of the European Charter of Local Self Governance, available at: http://kqk.gov.al/sites/default/files/publikime/ligji_nr.8548_date_11.11.1999-_k.europiane_e_autonomise_vendore.pdf (April 12, 2021).

Law no. 139/2015, For Local Self-Self-government, available at: https://www.erru.al/doc/Ligj_nr.139-2015_date_17.12.2015_Per_vetqeverisjen_vendore.pdf (April 12, 2021).

Michels, A. (2012) Citizen Participation in Local Policy Making: Design and Democracy, International Journal of Public Administration, 35(4), pp. 285-292, https://doi.org/10.1080/01900692.2012.661301.

Morina, V., Muçaj, F., Nikaj, E., Shasivari, J. & Balaj, L. (2021) Vetëqeverisja lokale: Shqyrtime teorike dhe krahasimore (Prishtinë: Fondacioni-Konrad-Adenauer), available at: https://www.kas.de/documents/286052/0/Book+21-04-26+Local+Self-Self-government+-+A+constitutional+and+comparative+review.pdf/d9c27b3b-2ec2-ba63-1515-0992baa12b72?version=1.0&t=1622020053402 (October 2, 2021).

Organic Statute of Albania Vlora, April 10, 1914, Chapter VI: Local administration, pp. 100-08, 109-118, available at: https://www.scribd.com/document/272530081/Statuti-Organik-i-Shqiperise-1914 (June 27, 2019).

Panara, C. & Varney, M. R. (eds.) (2013) Local Government in Europe: The ‘fourth level’ in the EU multilayered system of governance (USA, Canada: Routledge, Taylor & Frencis Group).

Parrado, S. (2005) Assigning competences and functions to local self-government in four EU member states: A comparative review, available at: https://www.sigmaweb.org/publications/40987105.pdf (January 29, 2019).

Petrova, T. (2011) Citizen Participation in Local Governance in Eastern Europe: Rediscovering a Strength of Civil Society in the Post-Socialist World?, Europe-Asia Studies, 63(5), pp. 757–787, available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27975579 (February 6, 2020).

Popovikj, M. (2012) Transparency of municipalities in Macedonia: case study analysis and a view towards examples from Slovakia, Policy paper (Institute for Democracy, Societas Civilis - Skopje), available at: https://idscs.org.mk/en/2012/09/29/transparency-of-municipalities-in-macedonia-case-study-analysis-and-a-view-towards-examples-from-slovakia/ (June 2, 2020).

Rodríguez-Pose, A. (2008) Decentralisation and local and regional development, CAF Working paper, N° 2008/04, available at: https://scioteca.caf.com/bitstream/handle/123456789/238/Decentralisation_and_Local_and_Regional_Development.pdf?sequence=5&isAllowed=y (November 12, 2020).

Rodrígues-Pose, A. & Krøijer, A. (2009) Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth in Central and Eastern Europe, LEQS Paper, No. 12/2009, available at: https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= (November 12, 2020).

Shkodrani, L. (2000) The Canon of Lekë Dukagjin, available at: https://www.luigjipress.com/luigj-shkodrani-kanuni-i-leke-dukagjinit/ (March 16, 2019).

Toska, M. & Bejko (Gjika), A. (2019) Decentralisation and Local Economic Development in Albania, Journal of the Western Balkan Network on Territorial Governance, Annual Review of Territorial Governance in the Western Balkans, pp. 53-68, https://doi.org/10.32034/CP-TGWBAR-I01-05.

Tiebout, C. M. (1956) A Pure Theory of Local Expenditures, The Journal of Political Economy, 64(5), pp. 416-424, available at: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1826343 (June 12, 2019).

Venice Commission (2010) Final opinion on the draft constitutional law on amendments and changes to the constitution of Georgia, CDL-AD (2010)028, p. 8, available at: https://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/default.aspx?pdffile=CDL-AD(2010)028-e (March 14, 2017).

Venice Commission (2003) Opinion on the draft revision of the constitution of Romania, CDL-AD (2003)004-e, available at: https://www.venice.coe.int/webforms/documents/?pdf=CDL-AD(2003)004-e (March 21, 2017).

Wallace, E. O. (1994) The Potential and Perils of Fiscal Decentralization, Paper prepared at the Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector (IRIS) Program (August, University of Maryland).

Welch, E. W. (2012) The relationship between transparent and participative self-government: A study of local self-governments in the United States, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 78(1), pp. 93–115, https://doi.org/10.1177/0020852312437982.

Wolman, H., McManmon, R., Bell, M. & Brunori, D. (2008) Comparing Local Self-government Autonomy Across States, GWIPP Working Paper (Washington, DC: George Washington Institute of Public Policy), available at: https://gwipp.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2181/f/downloads/Working_Paper_035_GovernmentAutonomy.pdf (February 24, 2021).