The Deregulation Conference: "Initiatives undertaken by MEFA for facilitating services for citizens"

The Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has recently launched a number of initiatives to facilitate services for citizens, mainly to those living and working abroad. One of these initiatives is the implementation of the deregulation reform, as a new approach to reduce the burden of bureaucracy on citizens. At the conference organized for this purpose, Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Etjen Xhafaj, introduced a detailed presentation of the undertaken steps towards this service, which according to him is a continuous process and for which, the involvement of citizens themselves plays a key role.

The Online Consular Service was launched last year with the purpose of facilitating the procedures and as the first major project for the digitalization of the consular services. "SHKO" has brought radical changes in the services MEFA offers for Albanians around the world, including increased quality, facilitated procedures, sparing time and increased transparency as well as fight against corruption.

In this context, official forms and documents that are issued online by the Diplomatic and Consular Representatives have been compiled and standardized. In this respect, all the security elements for each document have been standardized, electronic codifications have been set up, and new registers for to file documents have also been created.  The application through this platform has saved to Albanian citizens time and money" - Deputy Minister Xhafaj said.

In order to facilitate the access to this information, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs has created the E-Consulate application, which can be easily downloaded on the Play Store and IOS of a cell phone, Ipad or computer.

It is important to note that during these years the MEFA has not ceased to facilitate consular procedures. The legalization of documents with Belgium, Germany and Spain has been removed, reducing by 80% the time and bureaucratic procedures. Such efforts are also being made with Greece, with the conviction that it will be accomplished very soon.

The diplomatic and consular representations of the Republic of Albania together with the Ministry of Justice are now cooperating for the issuance facilitation of judicial records. In cooperation with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, an immediate verification of driving licenses that are issued by the Albanian authorities will now be done.

Albania is now the first country in the region that has offered online consular services and modernizing and facilitating these services in the benefit of citizens is still a work on process and for which participation of the citizens plays a key role.

Following, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs will also seek other ways to facilitate issuance of documents for citizens that live abroad, reducing the number of visits to consulates and diplomatic missions where possible.

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