EU Ambassador, Romana Vlahutin expressed her very critical opinions regarding the performance of domestic local governments.
According to her, the revenues collected by the local governments are only 14%, putting Albania in last position when compared to the region.
The European diplomat called on municipalities to collect their income and turn it1 into services for citizens.
"The report of local revenues is only 14%, the lowest in the region. Local government revenues in Albania represent only 9% of GDP per capita, but the EU average is 25%.
"Municipalities must be able to better collect their incomes and invest in services for citizens," said Romana Vlahutin.
Vlahutin took the example of Kukës, Bulqiza and Mirdita, that eventhough they are rich in energy and mining resources, the municipalities still do not receive any financial benefits.
As such, fiscal decentralization is needed, which means that profits from natural resources will remain in the respective municipalities.
"Fiscal decentralization is essential. At least 70% of energy at the national level is produced in Kukes, but the municipality still does not receive any financial benefit.
"Even in Bulqiza, only 5% of the income goes to the municipality from the mining industry.
"I have been in Mirdita, where the entire region could experience a business industry revolution with an amount of just €25million, could can be invested projects such as wine production," explained Romana Vlahutin.
According to the Ambassador, the next stage for Albania's approach to EU standards should be full co-operation between the federal and local government units.