Reorganization or transformation of governing cabinets: What does the people and the economy gain, in the end?

7 Shtator, 20230

A Cabinet reorganization is when government ministers are moved between ministerial posts. There can be minor changes, such as if a minister resigns and needs to be replaced.

In the case of the changes of the governing cabinet at the beginning of September 2023 in Albania, the changes of the ministers are considered to be quite significant transformations if we also count the changes in the Rama 1, 2 and 3 Cabinets, with many cabinet ministers who have changed departments or have left government, as well as ministerial roles (or even entire departments) that have been created new or deleted altogether.

Why did the prime minister decide to continue with the transformation of the cabinet?

First, as an obvious reason behind the corrosive ethical and political events, it seems that the Prime Minister, through the management of the cabinet, intends to make a new modeling of the party management, which is now mostly led by new political figures. Meanwhile, with the appointment and dismissal of ministers, the transformed socialist party is continuing to adapt to the conjuncture, and this moment is an important part of a prime minister’s power. Through government patronage, he can reward loyalty and punish dissent, build alliances, and manage the party ensuring that all factions within it feel represented in government.

Secondly, it is necessary that after fulfilling only 20% of the government program in almost two years of government, as we analyzed in the publication “700 days of Government Rama 3″ the transformation of the cabinet is considered necessary to manage the performance model. These annual changes, in fact, are also an opportunity to promote ministers with high performance, moving them to positions with greater responsibility, or leaving them in the same position, but also to remove those who do not perform well to improve the performance of government departments Rama 3.

Thirdly, starting from the need to overcome the corrupt affairs that have a percentage increase in relation to the previous governing cabinets, the transformation of the cabinet is done by the Chairman of the Party and at the same time the chairman of the governing Cabinet to signal policy changes. The movement of ministers always remains in the leading model of Albanian politics, to show the priorities of a government. Adding new ministerial roles along with changing the ministers who will participate in the cabinet is an indicative way of doing this, as is making changes to the responsibilities of government departments, which also show the dominant and controlling forces within the party that supports a new or old minister.These changes in 6 ministerial sections of the Rama 3 governing Cabinet, where one of them is a complete transformation[1] come precisely to signal the emphasis on the decentralization of power, as well as opening the way for Albanian justice to continue with the finalization of the findings of for the investigation of the figures that were replaced. So, in the essence of the transformation of the cabinet this year, we are dealing with minor changes, but in fact it follows a big transformation to serve the future that should not harm the current fragile integrity of the party even more. beyond the accusations of Albanian justice.

Fourth, the timing of the Cabinet changes can also be considered as a secondary effect of the reasons above, where the need to refresh it is more of a consequence than the main reason. This refresh, although not comprehensive in response to demands outside the party, but also within it from small factions, seems to be a way to avoid criticism, which comes from party deputies for politicians who should embrace the new spirit of renewal of party leadership. Government refresh, if it can even be called that, is the unspoken part of the next transformation as an attractive option when the government is not as popular as before, following the disappointing corruption and ethical scandals of its key figures at the center and at the grassroots.

But what does the public and the country in general benefit from this ongoing transformation of the Rama 1-3 governing cabinet for years?

In fact, the excessive movement of ministers and changes in the focus of ministries throughout these years (as the cabinet transformation is a continuation and not a novelty of this year) makes it more difficult for ministers and the government to create expertise related to their department. and makes it more difficult for parliament to hold ministers to account for the results of their actions.The regular change of the leadership of a government sector has negative effects as it has an impact on the implementation of policies resulting in unnecessary changes of direction. Since 2013, the average tenure of a cabinet minister has been less than 2.5 years.

On the other hand, the use of changes in the departments and management names of the governing cabinet is seen as a tool for exercising party discipline and this may result in negative effects on the performance of important governing sectors, such as: FINANCE and ECONOMY, INFRASTRUCTURE and ENERGY, HEALTH, EDUCATION and up to ENVIRONMENT, TOURISM, CULTURE.Considering the change of the governing Cabinet combined with the change of the party leadership, the transformation of governance is turning into a moment of penalization for the “prominent corrupt”. In recent years, it has often been said in the public statements of the President of the SP, that one reason for changes in direction is to free the party and the governing Cabinet from collective responsibility. This has really made the Chairman of the party and the ruling Cabinet free to criticize the government openly, influencing to this day not to potentially undermine the authority of the prime minister.

In reality, although the public and the economy benefit a little from the periodic 10-year transformation of the governing cabinet, it seems that the big beneficiary is the president himself and the group of loyalists around him, who with the annual changes do not create opportunities for political opponents to discover weaknesses by part of the reasons for doing opposition with this argument was removed.

It is common for ministers who are unhappy with the change in their leadership position and are not consistently promoted to higher management levels (political or executive), sometimes they may even gamble with their careers by refusing to take a less critical position, or threatening to resign, or worse yet, quietly collaborating with political opponents and other influential forces in the country.

Naturally, the main part of the ministers has been under investigation for years, and now the effects of the investigations do not leave any room for them to remain abusive in leadership positions.

This happened with the changes in the position of the Minister of the Interior, of the Deputy Prime Minister of the cabinet or even with ministers of important departments of the cabinet in the last 5-6 years. In all cases, the prime minister chose to advance rather than retreat, losing ministers/deputy prime ministers and placing them on the back benches of the ruling political party has revealed an unfavorable balance of power between the prime minister, the ruling party and Cabinet.

However, based on an analysis that our experts have done over at least the last 15 years[2] it is observed that successive governments have been frustrated by the lack of dynamism, the lack of skills, the lack of responsibility for risk, the reliance on established processes and high staff turnover in government cabinets.All the changes undertaken by the Albanian prime ministers after the nineties have served truly little to their people and much more to the empowerment of corrupt parties in governing wills and individuals connected to politics.

All this symbiosis between politics and political corruption has created an economy with unnecessary and very harmful informality, an economy that is voluntarist to every little blow dictated by regional competitors and the global economy, but also a power that does little for people outside the circle of party loyalists and much more empowers the latter who gather around the pivot of the party, their leaders.

[1] merging the function of the Minister of State for Standards and Services, which was headed by Mrs. Milva Economy and transformation in the function of the Minister of State for Local Government, which will be headed by Mr. Arbjan Maznikut, currently one of the vice-mayors of the Municipality of Tirana.

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