Albania’s accession is a matter of time, says EP rapporteur

Albania’s accession is a matter of time, says EP rapporteur

Tirana, January 8, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

European Parliament Rapporteur on Albania, Knut Fleckenstein, says that Albania’s accession in the European Union is a matter of time.

During a meeting held today (photo) with the Albanian president, Bujar Nishani, Mr. Fleckenstein said that there’s no other alternative for Albania but integration. He said that the European stance is unified, with the conviction that the future of Albania is in the European Union.

“Along with the majority of other colleagues in the European Parliament, we share the conviction that Albania belongs to Europe and Albania’s accession in the EU is only a matter of time”, said Mr. Fleckenstein.

He underlined that the rule of law, a European political culture and the great engagement of civil society are three crucial issues of the process of the integration of Albania in the EU.

The meeting also discussed the progress of the reforms that Albania has made.

This report will soon be approved in the European Parliament. The meeting between the two sides was focused in the progress of the reform in the justice system and cross institutional relations.

The head of the state talked about one of the criteria of accession, the reform in the justice system. According to him, there’s still not a platform of the reform in the justice system, “but there’s a gridlock caused by political rhetoric”.

Nishani accused the government that instead of a full reform, it’s making fragmentary and unilateral legal changes, “which continue in spite of the engagement for an all inclusive reform”. He said that the involvement of the Venice Commission is necessary for this.

Rapporteur on Albania, Knut Fleckenstein, is at the same time vice chairman of the Group of the Progressive Socialist and Democrat Alliance in the European Parliament.

Mr. Fleckenstein is on an official visit to Albania, in an effort to include in the report that will be presented to Brussels, a full picture of the efforts that Tirana is making in order to meet the integration criteria.

Earlier, Mr. Fleckenstein was in Tirana in order to conclude an agreement between the majority and opposition, enabling the return of the right wing to parliament, a few hours before the expiry of the six month deadline that would take away of the opposition MPs’ mandates. /ibna/