Central Election Commission Electronic Platform on Financial Reporting – increasing the transparency and accountability of political parties and electoral campaigns in Albania

The Central Election Commission (CEC) launched today the Electronic Platform on Financial Reporting at a high-level event supported by the Action against Economic Crime in Albania. The electronic platform constitutes an innovative and sustainable mechanism to increase the transparency and accountability of political parties and electoral campaigns’ financing and prevent the misuse of state resources in Albania.

Developed with the support of the European Union and the Council of Europe joint Action against Economic Crime in Albania, the platform aims to improve and digitalise multiple reporting processes, timing and accuracy of data collection, data-driven insights, and ultimately, the CEC oversight of the aforementioned processes. It will increase the effective implementation of the legal safeguards of the Electoral Code and facilitate the engagement and monitoring initiatives of the civil society and media, increasing public scrutiny and accountability in political financing.

In his opening remarks, the State Elections Commissioner Ilirjan Celibashi described the Electronic Platform for Financial Reporting as one of the most important digital projects of the Central Election Commission and emphasised that it creates a very good opportunity for complete and accurate administration of the data reported on the income and expenses of political parties, both annually and during election campaigns. "This platform is not the mechanism that permanently solves problems related to the financing of political parties, but it enables efficient monitoring and supervision for all categories of reporters: monitors, legal auditors, finance officers of political parties, and candidates. The purpose of this Platform is to improve and increase access to information, ensure transparency, and improve the quality of data processing by all users of the platform" – Celibashi stated.

The Ambassador of the European Union Delegation in Albania, Christiane Hohmann, highlighted that "Fair competition is based on transparency. This is what we are delivering with this platform. The project is part of a bigger effort to fight not only the perception but also the reality of corruption. Because with transparency, corruption does not have a chance to stand because we shed light on it. This is a real opportunity to have free and fair elections. I am convinced that the platform will also be there for political parties, as they should strive for transparency".

Acting Head of the Council of Europe Office in Tirana, Olsi Dekovi, underlined that the Electronic Platform will strengthen the implementation of GRECO and Venice Commission recommendations regarding the financing of political parties. The Central Election Commission and other relevant actors now have a powerful instrument of transparency and accountability that needs to be used effectively.

The functionalities of the platform were introduced to representatives of the political parties, public authorities, Central Election Commission monitors, political parties’ financial officers, legal auditors, international organisations, civil society, and the media, who further exchanged on their respective roles and responsibilities.

The development of the platform and the organisation of the roundtable were supported by the Action against Economic Crime in Albania, within the framework of the European Union/Council of Europe joint programme Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye (Horizontal Facility III), co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe and implemented by the Council of Europe.