5 JUNE 2019/ PUBLIC APPEAL/ Civil Society and Citizens Urge Political Dialogue

Tirana, 3 June, 2019. The “Juxtaposing Political Offers – POP 2019” organized by 11 civil society organizations and supported by the Olof Palme International Center and the Swedish Embassy in Albania, comes during electoral processes for the fourth consecutive time as an opportunity for Albanian citizens that through public debate be informed about the electoral platforms of the parties and mayoral candidates, creating all the necessary space for the citizens’ priorities to become part of the governing alternative.

POP network believes that, strengthening the voice of the citizens influences their involvement in local decision-making processes. Consequently, it promotes transparency and accountability, directly affecting the strengthening of Albanian democracy. Public forums organized under the POP 2019 aim to promote democratic culture and aim to provide an open and equal space for political party representatives to present their platforms and discuss with citizens on priorities,needs and concerns of their community.

From January 2019 to date, we have defined the priorities of the citizens of the municipalities of Tirana, Kamza, Shkodra, Puka, Kukës, Durrës, Fier, Vlora and Pogradec. These priorities, which are also published on our website http://popalbania.info/ , are formulated in the form of a personalized Social Contract for each municipality.

POP 2019 activities could have been one of the only activities where citizens found a free environment from politics. They had the opportunity to express their needs and other shortcomings at the local level.

As aforesaid, starting from the current political situation where the main forces are expressed in opposite positions, which create numerous questions to ensure the representation of the citizen’s interest, the POP network POP 2019 calls on all political forces to find the way of dialogue and communication as soon as possible, putting the citizens’ interests in the foreground and addressing their problems that require increased attention.

We believe that only the language of dialogue and understanding can provide the right conditions for citizens to freely and independently choose their own governing alternative.

Strengthening citizen voice and increasing involvement in local decision-making also affects the way of integrating our country in the European Union, which brings about the establishment of better opportunities for Albanian citizens.