Dear Colleagues and Partners,

The organization AIS, also known as Open Data Albania, expresses concern regarding the Council of Ministers’ revisions of the 2024 State Budget through a Normative Act with the Force of Law. This action is considered a violation of the principle of separation and balancing of powers outlined in Article 7 of the Constitution.

On February 21, 2024, the Council of Ministers approved the Normative Act no. 1/2024, entitled “For some Changes in Law no. 97/2023 for the Budget of 2024”.

Normative Acts become effective immediately upon approval and are subsequently confirmed by the Parliament ex-post without undergoing parliamentary debate and review. This process is characterized by a lack of transparency, accountability, and parliamentary oversight.

Through such actions, the Council of Ministers (the Executive branch), assumes attributes typically reserved to the Parliament, thereby encroaching upon the domain of the legislative power.

The AIS organization considers the Budget Law as a significant document that mirrors the economic and social progress of the country.

Likewise, the Law that approves Public Investment Plans and allocates financial resources to national projects under financing holds similar importance.

More specifically, in Normative Act no. 1/2024, the source of financing for a significant public investment, such as the New Commercial Port Porto Romano Durrës, has been altered. Through the Normative Act, the Council of Ministers reclassified this project, part of Corridor VIII (Pan European corridor), from Foreign financing to a project with Domestic financing.

The organization contends that in this case there is no apparent emergency for the delegation of legislative power to the Executive. Decisions regarding significant public projects, particularly those integrated into European corridors and their financing, should undergo through scrutiny and decision-making within Parliament. This includes considering the potential for Foreign Financing through aid instruments and cooperation with European and international organizations.

AIS has expressed its concern regarding this Normative Act, wherein the Executive assumes attributes of the Legislative. AIS has directed this concern to the Assembly, urging it not to grant consent and to repeal the Normative Act during the parliamentary session scheduled for March 21, 2024.The attachment to this email is the correspondence from AIS addressed to the Parliament. Opinion on Normative Act with the authority of Law

Accordingly, the AIS Organization, also known as Open Data Albania, expresses concern and urges the Parliament to withhold consent for Normative Act no. 1/2024, and exercise its competencies in overseeing the budget and public finances through proper legislative process. Likewise, we stand prepared to present and argue our stance at a hearing in the relevant committees.