27 Feb Transparency and accountability in the extractive industry in Albania
Agency for Support of Civil Society in cooperation with EITI Albania Secretariat organized on Monday, February 27, 2017 a round table on “Transparency and accountability in the extractive industry in Albania”. This discussion table between the Secretariat and civil society, organized for the first time in the country, aimed at creating the foundations for cooperation between civil society organizations and EITI Albania to intensify dialogue between two important actors influential in increasing transparency in extractive industry. EITI standard means establishing business transparency in the extractive industry, so that the income from this business to contribute more to the development of the country. EITI in view of transparency, monitoring the income of companies operating in the extractive sector, as well as payments that companies make in state institutions, which are considered income for the state. While civil society organizations, which are steadily closer to citizens and demonstrate their interests can bring to the table extremely valuable issue as encountered problems, cases that require special attention and proposals for continuous improvement in order to increase the transparency of these industries. Continued cooperation between Albania EITI and civil society organizations is essential to the fulfillment of the EITI mission.
The invitation to participate in this meeting was sent on February 22, 2017 to 18 civil society organizations from IQ Consulting, a consultancy organization contracted by the EITI Albania for organizing and running the event. IQ Consulting also contacted with the support of Civil Society Agency and Partners Albania to ensure dissemination of information on a much broader organizations. And despite ongoing efforts to ensure participation and constructive dialogue, only six civil society organizations responded to the invitation and were presented at the meeting. The low participation of civil society in this meeting is an important indicator of the fact that civil society in Albania is still unclear for its essential role in this important sector of the economy that has a direct impact on quality of life. The role of civil society as a catalyst of change and social mobilization is very important to mobilize public opinion to support the EITI process Albania, promoting the healthy and constructive pressure to influence the formulation of policy or legislative process. EITI Albania is worth neutral adjudication of civil society and especially signaling violation cases that require special attention by the Secretariat.
By participating organizations during the meeting, they discussed ways on how to promote the active engagement of civil society organizations in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the process of increasing transparency in the extractive industry. Legal or regulatory factors that represent obstacles and hinder the free and active participation of civil society in implementing mission of EITI were an important part of the discussions. The meeting also discussed the construction of proper supportive legal framework, procedural and practical that would help civil society organizations in promoting dialogue on the implementation of EITI principles.