The constitutionalization of the referendum and law making citizens’ initiatives makes them important institutions and also important tools for exercising direct democracy. The question that arises today is the effective usage of these tools, in the framework of enhancing the direct participation of the citizens in governance. Particularly, in countries like Albania, which represents one of the newest democracies established after the fall of the Communist regime in Europe, the exercising of these instruments encounters different challenges, coming up especially due to lack of traditions and practices in exercising direct democracy, legislation vacuum and the insufficiency of organizational experiences of the civil society. Nevertheless, some experiences in particular have been achieved in the last 15 years, after the current Constitution of the Republic of Albania was enacted. Out of the
direct democracy instruments that are sanctioned in the Constitution of the Republic of Albania, this paper will focus only upon the law making citizens’ initiative and on the abrogative referendum initiative, as well. Legislation, jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court and some other issues identified through the experiences established in Albania will be treated in this paper. These experiences are analyzed in a comparative point of
view with the experiences of other countries, particularly Italy.