On 30 April, the Matra CoPROL Leadership Programme for Security and Rule of Law was, after Ankara and Belgrade, now also launched in Tirana. This programme supports government reforms in Turkey, Serbia and Albania and works towards aligning public management practices in these countries with European standards. The goal of the kick-off event was threefold: to present the project to the main Albanian stakeholders; to secure commitment from the side of the Albanian government; to define topics for the first interactive working session in The Hague, planned for September this year.
The meeting brought together experts from various sectors, including local government officials and municipality representatives, the police, the police academy, and the ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs. The kick-off was opened by the Minister of State for Local Issues, H.E. Mr. Cuci, who stressed the governmental responsibilities for securing safety and freedom for the population and the way they link back to governmental legitimacy. The Albanian Deputy Minister of Justice, Mr. Idlir Peci – a former CILC expert in Rwanda on curriculum development, strategy development and staff development at the Law faculty of two Rwandese universities – underlined the role the Albanian Probation Service could play in the leadership programme.
In recent years, CILC has been working with Albanian enforcement agents (in strengthening the Albanian court decision enforcement system) and prosecutors (in fighting organised crime and corruption). Through this new Leadership Programme, we expand our target to include and link professionals from different sectors (police, municipalities, Ministry of Justice, probation services) and address the cross-cutting issue of leadership in public institutions. In the next two years, CILC will contribute to this programme by organising and moderating working meetings of Albanian and Dutch professionals on leadership aspects in the rule of law domain. These will take place in the framework of three consecutive interactive sessions in the Netherlands, the first of which is to take place in September 2014.
Our vision for this project is that leaders of public institutions determine the pace and path towards a functioning legal order and accountable and democratic public administration. They are the people who will promote institutional adaptations in the public interest and they play a crucial role in organisational performance. Leadership is a critical component of good public governance, which can be described as the way in which the underlying values of a nation (articulated in its Constitution) are “institutionalised”. This has formal aspects such as separation of powers, transparency and accountability. However, for these values to be actualised, they must guide the actions of public officials throughout the system. They must be imbedded in culture. In this regard “leadership” is the flesh on the bones of the Constitution. It is at the heart of good governance and rule of law.
At CILC we strongly believe that how we approach leadership needs to be viewed in the context of the kinds of national challenges being faced and of the current characteristics of the public sector culture. Based on the feedback from participants to this programme launch event, focus areas for strengthening leadership in Albanian public institutions include strengthening public security and transparency and fighting corruption.