Decentralization of Government Functions, a European Principle of the Albanian Modernization Process: A libertarian approach to territorial issues


  • Gentian Kaprata European University of Tirana


words: classical liberalism, etatism, centralism, decentralization, central government, local government, territorial strategy, local instrument of territorial planning


Albania, for 30 years, has entered the phase of transition from a society organized into a one-party central governing regime to a democratic society of a free market economy. But the pace of moving in this direction and modernizing the country is not the expected one, because the centralized proclamations of the political elite and expertise have not allowed liberal approaches to enter Albanian legislation and governing practices. This has been the case in particular in the sector of territorial planning, where central governments have aimed and managed to not allow the actual decentralization of the governing function of drafting and adopting local territorial planning instruments. This has resulted in a shortage of local instruments, in general, but even when managed to ensure they are presented far beyond the needs, problems and objective local imbalances. This is because their distance mapping from the actual municipality for which they were designed failed to recognize the specifics and characteristics of each of them. The result has been evident; in both cases, planning has been inexistent to drive sustainable, smart and inclusive urban development processes. In this paper we aim to build another approach for future development in Albania, a country which aims at integration into the European Union. This path should be development based on previously adopted territorial planning instruments, drawn up in democratic and parliamentary processes as a local political activity. Central government must understand and accept the new and different role than the one it played 30 years ago in territorial development issues, and that the process of drafting and adopting local territorial planning instruments should be a function of local government itself.