Start of accession talks, Tirana demands a date, Brussels is silent

Start of accession talks, Tirana demands a date, Brussels is silent

IBNA Special Report

Tirana, March 24, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

The European Union seems to be raising the level of demands toward Albanian politics. The EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, put forward two concrete demands for Tirana in the fifth meeting of the dialogue of high Level between Albania and EU: “Albania must deliver quality reforms. Dialogue between majority and opposition must continue not only in the meetings where English is spoken”.

The first demand relates to the confirmation of Brussels’ condition that Albania must meet the five requests where the reforms in the justice system dominate. The second request is a meaningful request: The EU notices that in Albania, the majority and opposition only gather in meetings with a European presence, while outside of them, no.

Rama: The start of negotiations must not be delayed

Albanian PM, Edi Rama was critical in the joint round table as far as accession stages are concerned. He demanded for Albania’s start of negotiations not to be delayed or for other demands to be added.

IBNA Rama Hahn

“The work for the five priorities has been intensified. The quality of process, for us and not for the EU, is very important along with the speed. In autumn, we will submit to the Commission everything that has been fulfilled in relation to the five priorities. For this, I demanded to Commissioner Hahn for the process to be sustainable and predictable in order not to have extra things along the way”, Rama said.

Gjosha demands the recommendation

Minister of European Integration, Klajda Gjosha has demanded for Albania to be granted the recommendation for the start of negotiations. In the meeting with Mr. Hahn, she suggested for the recommendation to be granted as an important step that can encourage Brussels to launch the accession negotiations.

IBNA Gjosha Hahn

Bregu: The reforms must be immediately delivered

Former minister of Integration, Majlinda Bregu, current democrat MP, has an opposite opinion from the government. She says that the process of integration is moving slowly and adds that government optimism is unfounded. “I would like to join to the optimism of the PM and his Government for the situation in the country. Unfortunately, the situation is not promising for the opening of negotiations”.

According to her, a number of problems are yet to be solved, problems that relate to organized crime, public administration and human rights.

IBNA Bregu

“Reform in the justice system is neither sustainable, nor comprehensive for the moment. In order to offer an opportunity to examine every detail of it, I have proposed on behalf of opposition, for the reform in the justice system to start immediately”, Bregu said.

Bushati demands a date

In the meeting with Mr. Hahn, Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati pointed out the importance that the issuing of a date for the start of negotiations has as far as the reforms, motivation of administration and public support are concerned.

IBNA Bushati Hahn

Officially, it is not known what Mr. Hahn replied, but in a public declaration, he clarified that there’s still no date. He said that the speed of this process depends on the implementation and the sustainability of the reforms that have been delivered. Meanwhile, he said that there’s been progress with the five reforms, but added that the focus must be in the efforts for the rule of law.

Nishani-Hahn for the deadlines of integration

President of Republic, Bujar Nishani, said in the meeting with Hahn that he briefed him “on the realistic way that the process of integration and the wide and solid support that this process has in the Albanian society are perceived”.

IBNA Nishani Hahn

The head of the state stressed the necessity of meeting European standards, as an obligation first of all and above all toward the Albanian citizens and not considering them as a European formality.

Referring to the ambition for the start of negotiations for EU accession, Commissioner Hahn said that West Balkan’s place is in the EU, but he added that “the standards are non negotiable” and that in this context, he doesn’t see it fit “to discuss deadlines”. According to him, “this will depend by the performance of every country”.

Basha: The opposition in a war with the crime linked with the government

The head of the Albanian opposition, Lulzim Basha focused during the meeting that he had today with Mr. Hahn on the process of integration. He said that the DP supports the five priorities and every other measures which help for a quick accession of the country in the European Union. Meanwhile, Commissioner Hahn praised the important role that the Albanian opposition has in this process and he said that this should be a comprehensive process.

Basha shared with Commissioner Hahn the concern for the backward steps that have been made as far as the standards and the priorities of integration are concerned. “Albanian opposition is in a war without compromise with the crime that is linked with the government, which has captured institutions and the highest levels of parliament, whereby it’s escalating in physical violence and threats for the life of the representatives of Albanian opposition, in order to keep the opposition quiet. This has spread a climate of terror and fear, by intimidating institutions of justice, enterprise, journalists and Albanian media like never before”, said Mr. Basha to Commissioner Hahn.

“The crime that has ties with the government is spreading its oligarchic power by monopolizing the Albanian economy and it’s being enriched on a daily basis with corruption that is spreading in all parts of the country”, Mr. Basha added.

Meta: The opposition has all the necessary space

In the meeting between Meta and Hahn, the speaker of Parliament said that the majority is engaged in having a constructive cooperation with the opposition. He mentioned the fact that the National Integration Committee will be chaired by the opposition.

IBNA Meta Hahn

“The opposition has been guaranteed all rights and space in parliament and has been given the right to speak more than the majority in the plenary session”, Meta added.

Mr. Hahn’s comment was: “Consensus is important, but political sides have the necessary legitimacy to have different stances on given issues”. /ibna/