Swiss and Albanian governments sign agreement for project supporting local democracy and civil action

Swiss and Albanian governments sign agreement for project supporting local democracy and civil action

WhatsApp Image 2021 05 21 at 3.09.20 PM

An agreement signed today formalizes Swiss-Albanian cooperation for strengthening civil action at local level through LevizAlbania – a project that funds initiatives for improving democracy and services at municipal level

The Deputy Minister of Interior Romina Kuko and the Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Embassy Patrik Meier signed today an agreement that ensures implementation of the project LevizAlbania – a grant programme that funds civil action and citizen initiatives for more democracy and better services at local level.

“Today’s signing formalizes the second phase of this project that will last till 30 June 2023. The total amount foreseen for this phase reaches 6.9 million Swiss francs. This project has the main goal of strengthening good governance at local level, through engagement of civil society actors. Having the support of the Swiss side that represents a perfect model of local self-government, we are sure that this project will meet its goals in the best possible way”, said Deputy Minister Romina Kuko.

The bilateral agreement ensures that both governments cooperate in steering and implementing the grant project towards an improved democracy at local level. A wide range of actions, initiatives and projects supported and funded by LevizAlbania include increased transparency, better financial management and new services at municipal level. Other initiatives address social inclusion, youth issues, culture and environment.

“We view civil engagement as crucial for democracy. The presence and action of civil society actors is very necessary for ensuring that decisions are made for the best interest of citizens and the public. Active civil groups and individuals bring before elected officials concerns and solutions that cannot and should not be ignored”, said Patrik Meier, Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Embassy.

LevizAlbania aims at enabling civil actors to influence local governance and improve democracy and service delivery at municipalities. It is a project of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC and will provide support to active civil organisations, informal groups and individuals until 2023.