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24/10/2020
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EC report: Albania meets all conditions for First Intergovernmental Conference but has yet to reconstitute the Constitutional Court

Euronews Albania correspondent in Brussels, Ernest Bunguri has managed to secure the European Commission report, where Albania is estimated to have made an overall good progress with key reforms.

According to the report, the Constitutional Court remains the only condition still unfulfilled prior to the First Intergovernmental Conference.

The Political Climate also remains a problem, and is described in the report as “intensely polarized”.

Reforms

Despite the positive outcome of the agreement reached on 5 June 2020, the political dialogue in the country needs to be improved, in particular on electoral reform and its implementation.

Albania is moderately prepared in the reform of its public administration.

Efforts continued in several related areas. These tangible achievements need further consolidation.

Albania’s judicial system has some level of preparation  is moderately prepared. The implementation of a comprehensive and thorough justice reform has continued consistently, resulting in good progress overall. The new institutions for the self-governance of the judiciary have been performing their duties, including managing the processes to fill the vacancies at the High Court and the Constitutional Court.

The temporary re‑evaluation of all judges and prosecutors (vetting process) has advanced steadily, continuing to produce tangible results, hence meeting the condition for the first IGC. Under the aegis of the European Commission, the International Monitoring Operation has continued to oversee the process. More than 286 dossiers have been processed thus far, resulting in 62% dismissals, mostly for issues related to unjustified assets or resignations.  

Corruption

Albania has some level of preparation in the fight against corruption. Good progress was made in the reporting period. Albanian authorities strengthened operational, coordination and monitoring capacities in the fight against corruption, thus meeting the condition for the first IGC. While the number of ongoing investigations remains high, to date, final convictions in cases involving high-level officials remain limited. 

However, overall, corruption remains widespread and is a serious concern.

Organised crime

Albania has some level of preparation in the fight against organised crime. Albania has made good progress in strengthening the fight against organised crime, including through cooperation with EU Member StatesAlbania has some level of preparation in the fight against organised crime. Albania has made good progress in strengthening the fight against organised crime, including through cooperation with EU Member States. As in the past years, Albania showed also in 2019 a strong, constant commitment to counter the production and trafficking of cannabis. 

Properties 

Swift progress is needed on this, and on the advancement of the process of registration of properties. Concerns have been raised by citizens belonging to the Greek minority in relation to property rights in the southern coastal region.

Media

As regards the freedom of expression, the country has some level of preparation is moderately prepared. In December 2019, the Parliament approved a set of amendements to the media law. The amendments fall short of international standards and principles of media freedom and raise concerns about increased censorship and self-censorship, and about possible setbacks on freedom of expression in the country. Representatives from the ruling majority publicly committed to follow up on the guidance of the Venice Commission opinion. The draft media law is currently being revised.

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