Published on : 08 October 2017

Challenges of the ruling team in the first 100 days

Speech by Prime Minister Edi Rama in the meeting with ministers and deputy ministers of the cabinet:

 

Good evening,

First of all, I would like to welcome four colleagues from Kosovo, Besa, Iliriana, Valbona and Hajrullah, and thank them for accepting my invitation to become part of Albania's leading team for the next four years, being highly convinced that they will bring an added value to our governance with their own ideas, passion and energy.

Welcome everyone on this difficult journey with as serious as inspirational challenges with regard to which I am very confident that each and every one of you will be a strong and productive support for the ministers of the new government.

As far as it can be remembered in these 27 years, there has never been a process such this one we carried out to collect proposals, find resumes and select candidacies for deputy ministers.  

Never before has had an Albanian government in the leadership of the central ministries teams like these we have created in a process in which we went beyond the old political and party boundaries with the good purpose of identifying and selecting the appropriate members of every team also in the spirit of the red-and-black mandate we have been given.

Never before, members of the government cabinet have had at their decision-making table a circle of people like the teams they will have from now on, for four years in a row.

Having said all this, I want to underline that we are only at the good premise which requires good will and great patience, by the ministers in the first place, as well as by any of their deputies in order to create a team, think as a team, decide as a team and work as a team.

It is not easy because the tradition is against this new spirit and approach, which has determined not only the process of appointing deputy ministers, but the whole process of structural reform of the government and of the dependent institutions on which we have embarked. Tradition is against internal discussions at the decision-making table of each ministry. Tradition is against the real delegation of responsibilities to ministers for specific areas, programs and projects.

This is not only possible but it is necessary to have the success we want, and we must absolutely do it. Therefore, my request for every minister is: Make it possible so that your vision can lead your team; your leadership dictates the path and pace of your team; your attention makes each of the deputy ministers be heard, have full access to the decision-making process, as well as full power in the field or ad hoc operations they will cover on your recommendation and under your orientation.

We have 100 days to completely master this new mechanism, but you should sit down immediately to discuss and set among you concrete duties of each deputy minister on this journey.

I believe that it will not be difficult for the very fact that when the selection was made, the roles that each of the deputy ministers will cover has been thoroughly considered, and what remains to be done is determining the concrete tasks for each role.

Let’s not forget though that the division of roles and duties is of special importance to cover the whole field of responsibility and successfully cope with every task of the ministry, while the foundation of success is the spirit of the team, the interaction among you under the leadership of the leaders of each team.

The same applies to the administration under your leadership, as it should know your vision, objectives and the strategies to achieve them, being informed, motivated, guided and managed as an indivisible part of the team.

We are in a deep restructuring process, in view of our vision and our great goals, where we should be led in every step by the principle of finding the right person for the work, instead of finding a job for somebody we know. Our administration has not small problems, but it has also plenty of good, talented and hardworking people who are good at their job. They must be identified, trained and treated with respect on an ongoing basis because they are the irreplaceable key to our success.

We all need to work in order not only to open accession negotiations next year, receiving a clear positive signal from the European Council in the first 100 days, but also to be ready for the negotiations which are an extremely intricate process with the network of people in every ministry and with a well-organized and comprehensive system at the level of ministries.

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs will guide this process, but it should be supported by all ministries and by each of your leading teams.

In these 100 days we should start the second phase, the most challenging one in the fight against crime and for the reconstruction of the State Police. After the revival of the State Police and the elimination of cannabis as epidemic phenomenon, we must carry out in the same successful way the National Operation against Criminal Networks, in addition to thoroughly cleaning the Police ranks from the incriminated, corrupt or incompetent elements by means of the Vetting in the State Police.

The new team of the Ministry of Interior can be considered as fit for purpose without any reluctance.

We need to win the battle against informality, free business from every bureaucratic barrier and chain, increase employment, further strengthen professional education, and create the auditing capacity we have been lacking within the executive power pyramid. They are very ambitious targets, for which I am convinced that the new team of Finance and Economy has the right people.

We need to open another progress page in healthcare and further strengthen the social protection net, by guaranteeing better service at every link in the health system, full transparency in the economic aid system, a significant facilitation of procedure for each category, starting by that of people with disabilities. In my view, the team of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection is fit to meet these objectives.

Education is an open site where all reforms are still under development, and with the new team we have all the reasons to believe that we have the ideas, experience and energy needed to deepen the reforms and to concretize all the ambitious plans of these four years, be them for education, for sports and for youth.

Now we can show what national road infrastructure with European standards means; how a functional water supply system can finally be built in Albania; how much can the Albanian people still benefit from natural resources, and how much more should and can be done for energy as a primary resource for our economy. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy has a huge burden but it has also a leading team that can totally live up to the challenges in its area of responsibility.

Likewise, I believe that there is the right leadership team also in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which has the burden of providing in these four years a historical development in the area of its responsibility through the structural modernization of all its organism and dependent agencies in this sector, the structuring of a quality support to the countryside to maximize the effect of funds available to the sector, the ultimate guarantee of ownership titles for farmers as well as irrigation and drainage on every square meter of land in the country's territory, indispensable in the field of fisheries as well as, of course, the creation of a proper level of cooperation and interaction with local government deriving from the territorial and administrative reform.

The new justice requires a Justice Ministry with a new vision, new abilities, new energy, for which I believe that the new team of this ministry has the required attributes. This ministry should be a constant supporter of the Justice Reform as well as of the citizens' access to the services under its control, a guarantor of the legislation quality for the next four years, as well as a guarantor of the transformation of the mortgage and prison system into safe functional systems for the citizens and for the state.

The Ministry of Defence must ensure continuity in everything that has been done, and further enhance the quality of its decision-making of the organizational and administrative nature, given the fact that civil emergencies will be the responsibility of this ministry.

Tourism and the environment require a new driving force to bring to a new level the development of an industry that has a tremendous and untapped potential for the Albania that we want, with jobs and welfare, as well as to build on a new level of protection of the assets of our nature. The new leading team of tourism and environment has not only a great challenge but also the qualities needed to cope with the challenge.

Also, the culture, to which the Ministry should bring still more contribution to the overall results of the government and through which our nation, as well as our economy and society, should benefit even more.

Being all this said, this new team is today, only on paper, a team ready to meet the challenges that must be met every day in reality. This means that a group of well-versed and motivated individuals is not enough to make a winning team. It takes team spirit, team play, awareness of the team's importance and sacrifice for the team's sake.

Once upon a time there was a team which was called the team of the galactic ones due to the quality of its individuals, but the “galacticos” didn’t ever win a trophy because they never became a team, a group, a spirit in the game filed.

And our opponents in our field, which is all but a game, are not at all weak. On the contrary, they are wild and dangerous!

Unemployment! Corruption! Cynicism! Just to mention the main ones.

We also have a weak opposition that screams like a coward who cries to cross the forest at night, but this is a danger for our team, rather than a convenience.

We have only two great alliances in this not at all easy battle: the people we need to win every day with concrete results and our desire to make the Albania we want, with a state, work, welfare, a desire we must feed daily by being closer to average people and by increasingly supporting each other.

So, come on everybody! Best wishes to our new colleagues who are joining us in this not easy path, and we hope we will live up to the unparalleled privilege to serve our country and our people.

This is so exclusive that for the first and last time I am giving a speech in the hall of the government, which has been a tradition before and I have pledged not to do it, but it happened today and will not be repeated again, and I believe that this underlines the importance of this moment when we have shaped the team which, I repeat, I wish will have  the passion and the will to win in the field of real battle, what seems to be possible if we start from the individual qualities on the paper.

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