The Dutch government supports the findings of the European Commission Progress Report on meeting the conditions for holding the first intergovernmental conference and the start of EU-Albania talks but demands that the remaining two conditions be met beforehand.
These are the functioning of the Constitutional Court and the media law
“The government shares the Commission’s analysis that Albania has shown progress in various areas, but the Commission’s conclusion that almost all conditions have been met is premature,” reads a document submitted by the Dutch government to the European Council.
The European Council, a meeting of EU foreign ministers, will be held on 10 November and will discuss, among other things, the start of talks with Albania and northern Macedonia.
The Dutch government is determined that “only when the conditions set in the conclusions of the European Council of March 2020 are convincingly met can the first intergovernmental conference with Albania be held”.
It seems the government in the Netherlands is stricter in assessing Albania’s achievements in the conditions set, especially in the fight against corruption, organized crime, and illegal immigration.
For this reason, it requires:
Punishment of magistrates involved in criminal activities. The Dutch government says the vetting process is insufficient without punishing corrupt and crime-related judges. Key steps have been taken, particularly in the area of evaluation of high-ranking judges and prosecutors, but this is not yet sufficiently leading to the current convictions of judges charged with criminal charges during the trial.
Punishment of corruption at all levels. Albania needs to take further steps in building a solid track record in investigation, prosecution and prosecution by condemning corruption and organized crime at all levels.
Positive dialogue between political parties on the implementation of electoral reform. The Dutch government welcomes the adoption of the electoral code on July 23, but “despite this positive result, the political dialogue in the country needs to be improved, especially in the area of electoral reform and its implementation.”
They also noted that the media law should be revised in line with the opinion of the Venice Commission. Other concerns include the high number of asylum seekers in Europe, including the phenomenon of unaccompanied minors.
As for Northern Macedonia, the Netherlands has not expressed any remarks on the start of negotiations.