The overall support of the European Union amounting to €35 million provided for the government to pursue reforms in the public finance sector is aimed at creating efficient and transparent public finance system that allows for more accountable management of public funds and decreases the risks of fraud and corruption.
According to EU Ambassador David Geer, an efficient and transparent public finance system is essential for economic growth in any country. Such a system reduces the risks of fraud and corruption and restores public confidence that public money is spent in the interest of citizens.
“Therefore, reforms in the public sector are key pillar in the EU accession process. Chapter 32 on financial control in the public sector, together with the chapters on justice and home affairs, are usually among the first to open in EU membership negotiations. The public financial management reform is a challenging process that requires ongoing political commitment, difficult decision-making and strong coordination between key institutions in the sector, including international financial institutions and civil society,” Geer said Tuesday presenting the results stemming from the support provided by the European Union in the area of public finance.
Existing training of budget beneficiary staff at central and local levels and the new Public Finance School/Academia, Geer said, will contribute to building a transparent public procurement system. However, further efforts are needed to build fiscal transparency and public confidence in institutions.
“The latter is always the biggest challenge. The basis of these reforms will be the adoption and efficient implementation of the new law on budgeting administration bodies and the law on internal financial control. Although it is complex and full of challenges, the effective implementation of the public financial management reform will directly benefit the citizens. In this way, the citizens will know how their money are spent and they will have more confidence and responsibility. So, we should not miss the opportunity to make progress on this reform despite the economic and social challenges imposed by the pandemic,” Geer said.
Ambassador of The Netherlands Dirk Jan Kop said that the reforms that the country is conducting are necessary and that a strong political commitment is needed.
“The hard change in mentality and the difficulties with implementation require strong political commitment and reform-oriented leaders who are capable of governance,” Jan Kop said.
Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi said that public finance management is one of the priorities adding that despite the pandemic, a number of activities have been implemented.
“We must achieve a consensus that we need to have solid public finances management for macroeconomic stability and predictability of the country’s economy. That is why we see this as a long-term reference and we really appreciate the EU support,” Besimi said.
Public Finance School/Academia, according to Besimi, will provide continuous training for employees in order to create a modern public administration that will be able to deliver fast and quality services to citizens and the business sector.