Germany decides to vote against the launch of negotiations between the EU and Albania

Germany decides to vote against the launch of negotiations between the EU and Albania

A worrying political development comes for Albanian from the German Bundestag, which has decided to vote against the launch of negotiations with the EU.

The decision was made public by the German member of the Bundestag, Gunther Krichbaum, who declared in Tirana that the Bundestag will vote against the launch of negotiations for the full integration of Albania in the European Union, because the country has not yet delivered the preliminary requirements, which relate to the strengthening of the rule of law, starting with the reform in justice.

He said that point 2 of the reform, which relates to public administration, has not yet been delivered. According to him, point 3 has not been delivered either. This point relates to the fight against corruption, where more should have been achieved, because no criminal prosecutions have started and no sentences have been delivered.

Fight against organized crime and drug traffic, as point 4, must be strengthened, he said. He even said that steps backwards have been taken in the fight against drug traffic.

“Fight against corruption, organized crime and drug traffic would prevent crime from affecting politics and the judicial system”, he said.

The fifth criterion relates to what is considered to be a “key priority” in the domain of human rights, measures against discrimination and to guarantee property rights, for which Albania must still deliver those points that the European Commission report dating 9 November 2016 mentions.

Krichbaum said that the 2017 elections must be held based on the recommendations of OSCE/ODIHR and in compliance with the new electoral code.

The law on decriminalization must also be implemented in a sustainable way, he added, because it was a very important agreement between the sides, in order to keep incriminated people away from parliament.

“Negotiations with Albania can only be opened when these requirements are met”, said Mr. Krichbaum, adding that “no cooperation is being seen between political forces to implement the reforms”.

During a press conference that he delivered, Mr. Krichbaum said that “Germany will support all political forces in the progress report where the EC proposes the start of talks once significant achievements are made in the judicial reform”.

Gunther Krichbaum is the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for EU Affairs at the German Bundestag.

This committee is responsible for key issues concerning European integration, institutional topics and topics of enlargement. He also has special competences on these topics. Krichbaum said that the start of talks for Albania’s full accession in the EU can only be taken into consideration in 2018.

Basha: Bad news for all Albanians

The stance of the German Bundestag against the start of talks with Albania is seen by the opposition as bad news for Albanians. “Now it is time to work in order to deliver the necessary reforms and take the necessary decisions that serve Albanians and not lie to the citizens and our partners”, Mr. Basha suggests.

“Today it’s time to reflect. It’s time that all of us who want real change, unite in order to fight corruption, crime, drugs and guarantee free and honest elections”, he appeals.

7 undelivered criteria

A key priority is included in the domain of human rights and measures against discrimination and to guarantee the right of property

Reform in the public administration

Reform in justice

Fight against corruption

Fight against organized crime

Electoral reform

Implementation of the law on the Decriminalization of Parliament and central and local government institutions

A sudden blow

Up until today, Prime Minister Rama’s government was enthusiastic about the support that according to it, Germany had given and the positive comments that German authorities had made for the work and the reforms made in the past three years.

This was also stressed in the visit that Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati had several days ago in Germany. The Albanian side reported a visit where the German support for the integration was secured.

But this recent declaration issued by Krichbaum indicated that Germany is not happy with the way Albania has delivered its integration criteria. All the problems that Krichbaum raised during his declaration and that IBNA detailed above and the decision to ignore the EC’s recommendation by voting against the start of negotiations, show that Germany doesn’t see any advancement in many domains that relate to integration. /