Institutional and Governance Review

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Actionable Regulatory Governance Indicators for UE Regions

2018-06-13, World Bank

The European Union’s Cohesion Policy is its biggest investment instrument. It supports the Europe 2020 strategy of smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth. With a budget of €351.8 billion for 2014–2020, the Cohesion Policy accounts for around one-third of the EU budget. The Cohesion Policy is primarily implemented through investments in EU regions and cities. Local and regional governments in the EU are responsible for more than half of all public investment. There is a growing focus on the importance of good governance to ensure effective implementation. The European Commission’s 6th Cohesion Policy report notes that governance problems not only delay the implementation of Cohesion Policy programs but also reduce the impact of these investments. The report states: ‘a lower standard of governance can affect the impact of Cohesion Policy both directly and indirectly. In the first place, it can reduce expenditure if programs fail to invest all the funding available. Secondly, it can lead to a less coherent or appropriate strategy for a country or region. Thirdly, it may lead to lower quality projects being selected for funding or to the best projects not applying for support at all. Fourthly, it may result in a lower leverage effect because the private sector is less willing to co-finance investment.’ The purpose of this report is to develop and test a set of actionable indicators for the regulatory frameworks of EU regions. Deregulatory measures focusing on ‘fixing broken regulations’ are a necessary and important element of investment climate reforms. However, gains from one-off initiatives aimed at cutting costs and procedures are often reversed if the responsible institutions, tools, and incentives are not changed.

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Governance in Albania : A Way Forward for Competitiveness, Growth, and European Integration

2011-06, World Bank

Since its emergence from a turbulent post-communist transition, Albania has achieved remarkable progress in economic and social development. Governance improvements, especially in the effectiveness of public administration, have been instrumental to the country's impressive economic performance and improved human development outcomes. The Government has taken steps to improve public order and personal safety, particularly through efforts to crack down on violent and organized crime. Despite these positive developments, Albania continues to face significant governance challenges that will need to be overcome if the country is to achieve critical development objectives. Enduring politicization of the public administration and incomplete separation of powers, exemplified by instances of political interference in judicial processes, remain serious obstacles. The Government recognizes the need to accelerate progress on several dimensions of governance reform, particularly in light of its aspirations to European Union (EU) accession. This issue brief seeks to analyze the nature and recent evolution of Albania's governance environment, to identify the principal governance constraints to the achievement of development priorities-overall and in key sectors, and to outline recommendations for the way forward.

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Trade Facilitation in the Caucasus : Final Report

2003-10, World Bank

From 15 May to 2 June 2000 COWI conducted a mission to the three Caucasian republics of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, spending about one week in each country. The mission established an initial overview of trade facilitation issues and conducted an outline Trade Facilitation Audit for the region. The purpose of the mission was to prepare for possible progress towards the re-opening of borders in the region, in the event that a peace agreement is reached in Nagorno-Karabakh. This chapter commences by summarizing some of the most interesting facts, relating to the movement of a generic consignment in the Caucasus region, which emerged from the discussions with stakeholders during the mission. Section 1.2 addresses what can be considered the key issue of the study; namely, whether, in the event of peace, the region would realize the maximum potential benefit, given the current institutional and operational context. A subsidiary issue is whether all the constituent countries in the region would benefit, or whether some would suffer some initial dis-benefits. The final section of this chapter provides a summary of the key regional and national recommendations, which have been identified to try and ensure that the potential benefits of any settlement are not dissipated in the current institutional and operational mire. A more detailed breakdown of the provisional recommendations, by component and sub-component, together with an estimate of the required inputs, is provided in Appendix B.

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Building Institutional Capacity for Implementing the National Climate Change Strategy in Romania

2015-11, World Bank Group

Romania has already been affected by climate change. The IPCC projections indicate that the climate will warm up over this century at least in line with global projections and precipitation patterns will shift so as to make winters wetter and summers drier. Already, in 2007, Romania experienced the warmest year in two decades (average temperature 11.5° C against a 25 year average of 8.4° C) and the most severe drought in the last 60 years while in 2005 there were historic floods, which caused 76 deaths and significant property damage. The effects of these extreme weather events adversely affected the country through significant economic loss in agriculture, transport, energy supply, and water management. Consequently, mitigation and adaptation to climate change are increasingly important priorities for Romania. After the introduction chapter, the current situation as well as the CC commitments that Romania has undertaken are presented in chapter two. Chapter three provides the possible good practices that could provide inspiration for further reform. A contrast of the commitments with the current capacity and the available good practices has been substantiated in the analyses of capacity gaps that need to be addressed in chapter four. The next chapter provides the avenues for breaching those gaps and sustainably building CC capacity in order to ensure the smooth implementation of the strategy. Project management and financing is treated separately in chapter six since it has been an issue of particular concern and difficulty for the GoR. Finally, chapter seven sets out the basic elements of a public engagement campaign that will be essential for making CC a national issue present in the awareness of the public authorities, civil society and general public alike. A comprehensive list of the proposed measures and their time horizons can be found in annex one.

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Decentralization and Service Delivery in Albania : Governance in the Water Sector

2011-04, World Bank

This review of the water sector in Albania was prepared as a background paper to the World Bank s Country Partnership Strategy for Albania for 2011-2014. It draws on past analytical work on decentralization in Albania as well as relevant World Bank-financed operations such as the Water Sector Investment Project. Over the past decade, the World Bank has intensified its focus on governance as a key factor accounting for variations in development effectiveness. Through its long-standing engagement in Albania, the World Bank has supported institutional development and governance reforms to help strengthen the capacity of state institutions to deliver public goods and achieve development outcomes more effectively and efficiently. Governance is a key pillar of the Government s National Strategy for Development and Integration for 2007-2013. In an effort to improve the performance of water supply and wastewater services, the Government has designed reforms on the basis of international best practice. In spite of these well-intentioned policy decisions, utility performance has been disappointing, in part because of excessively complex design and implementation of sector governance arrangements. There is a need to address water sector governance on several fronts - legal, institutional, economic, administrative, and social - all of which have implications for service performance.

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“Governance in the Protection of Immovable Property Rights in Albania: A Continuing Challenge” : A World Bank Issue Brief - Second Edition

2012-04, World Bank

Despite several attempts at reform, immovable property rights in Albania are not adequately secure and represent an important governance challenge. Problems have resulted from incomplete first title registration, the lack of accurate cadastral records, and, in many cases, the absence of reliable evidence of ownership. Although Albania has adopted legislation calling for restitution or compensation for owners whose property was expropriated under communism, implementation is incomplete. In Albania, rapid internal migration has resulted in informal occupation of land and unauthorized construction on a mass scale, thus compounding the problems associated with the incomplete transfer of property. During the 1990s, as much as one-third of the population of some northern and mountainous regions migrated to urban, peri-urban, and coastal areas in search of income generation opportunities, despite the lack of adequate housing infrastructure or public service provision. Internal migration continues, albeit at a slower pace. Gaps in territorial planning legislation and administrative failures in the issuance of construction permits have made it difficult to obtain an appropriate construction permit, even when occupiers have legal title to the land. State authorities have largely failed to prevent new illegal occupation of land and illegal construction, and it is estimated that up to one-third of all buildings in Albania are illegal due to the occupier's lack of clear title and/or appropriate construction permit. This review of immovable property rights in Albania draws primarily upon this definition, which takes into account the popular legitimacy of state institutions and respect for the law among citizens and government institutions the softer aspects of governance that are essential to understanding how policies are made and implemented in practice and how public resources are used.

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Republic of Belarus : Corruption Vulnerability Scan

2007-05-23, World Bank

The Corruption Vulnerability Scan (CVS) is an internal Bank document aimed at providing a better understanding on the Bank's vulnerability in extending assistance to Belarus, and making suggestions as to how to reduce risks in the use of Bank funds, while improving results on the ground. The CVS team visited Belarus in March 2007. Its main conclusion is that the vulnerability to corruption of Bank funds and activities funded from loan proceeds in Belarus is low, as long as Bank fiduciary procedures are used and implementation is closely supervised. The report is in three parts: Corruption and Anti-Corruption in Belarus, Public Finance Management and the Bank Portfolio.