Progress Report on Albania: “There is and there isn’t progress”

Progress Report on Albania: “There is and there isn’t progress”

EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn has declared that the country must do more for the consolidation of the rule of law, by advancing with the reform in justice. The launch of accession talks is not even mentioned. Minister of Integration, Klajda Gjosha: The report reflects our achievements. Berisha: The country failed, Edi Rama is holding it to ransom

Tirana, 10 November 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

The European Commission has presented today the enlargement report for Western Balkan countries. Following an analysis of the developments of one year in Albania, the European Commission concludes that Albania has not delivered the requirements which would enable the launch of EU accession talks. However, the European Commission says that in general, Albania has marked “sustainable progress” in meeting the five key priorities, necessary for the start of EU accession talks and says that it recognizes “a high level commitment” and “systematic efforts” in delivering reforms. But these are not sufficient.

Hahn: There must be a reform in justice and property must be protected

EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn gave a picture of the progress in the countries that aspire EU accession. In the report, Hahn said that Albania must continue with the reforms in order to move forward. Hahn stressed the reform in justice and the protection of property.

“In Albania, I have welcomed the progress made in addressing the main priorities for the launch of talks and reforms. More must be done for the rule of law, taking the reforms in the justice system forward and make progress in the fight against corruption. Human rights must be respected, especially the right of property, the legislation and compensation of properties”, Hahn said in the Foreign Committee of the European Parliament.

Government reacts, Gjosha: The report reflects our achievements

Albanian authorities have welcomed the progress report on Albania published by EU commissioner Hahn. The first one to react was the Minister of Integration, Klajda Gjosha who is in Brussels.

Gjosha says that in spite of the sustainable progress with the priorities, there’s still a lot to do. “We welcomed the sustainable progress concerning the five priorities, but there’s still much to be done in improving rule of law, improving the justice system and basic human rights, focusing on the right of property”.

“This progress report clearly reflects the achievements with the reforms and great challenges that await us in the EU path. We must carefully read this progress report and address the recommendations, as we don’t have time to waste”, minister Gjosha says.

Berisha: The country failed, Edi Rama is holding it to ransom

For the former PM, Sali Berisha, the bad news relates to the fact that Albania could not launch the talks, but also the fact that there will not be a report in spring. According to him, this means that “the country has failed and Edi Rama is holding it to ransom”.

“Today, Albania is de facto the only country in the region which hasn’t yet launched the EU accession talks. The country is being held to ransom by one man, Edi Rama”, Berisha claims.

The democrat MP confirms that European integration is vital for Albanians, but warns that: “With Edi Rama in the government, this process is being held to ransom by him and his gang. We, Albanians, must take this decisive process for our future in our own hands”.

Presentation postponed several times

The presentation of the progress report for Albania was postponed several times. The European Commission warned that it would make it public at the beginning of October and then postponed it to 24 October and then to 5 November, which was again postponed due to the Turkish elections. Earlier, the European Commission justified the postponement with the influx of refugees and the intensive EU agenda.

Some of the key points of the Report

Progress has been made in the improvement of macro economic stability

Measures against money laundering, not adequate

Inflation continues to be low

Further efforts must be made to support fiscal consolidation

Unemployment rate and informal work continue to be high

Work must continue for the development of the energy and transport network

Key findings of the 2015 report on Albania

Albania Report 2015