TIRANA – The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee approved a draft-resolution on Albania in a 62 to 6 vote on Tuesday afternoon, underlining that Albania needs to implement EU-related reforms credibly, and ensure that its June parliamentary elections are free and fair, if the country wants to start EU accession negotiations, ATA news agency reports.
The document recognizes Albania’s steady progress on EU-related reforms and further efforts to reform the judicial sector, which is a key demand of Albania’s citizens and a factor in restoring trust in public institutions.
“However, Albania needs to implement EU-related reforms credibly, and ensure that its June parliamentary elections are free and fair, if it is to start EU accession negotiations,” ATA quotes EP’s Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs .
The Bulgarian rapporteur on Albania, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, proposed an amendment to the draft resolution on the electronic voting in Albania.
MEP encourages Albanian authorities to allow any citizen living abroad to cast their vote in the upcoming parliamentary elections, report says.
An amendment proposed by right wing MEP, Eduard Kukan, appeals Albanian authorities to give justice without further delay for the victims of January 21st, 2011.
MEPs note that credible implementation of these reforms and holding free and fair elections in June 2017 could prove to be a key to advancing the EU accession process and starting negotiations.
Albanian Minister of European Integration Klajda Gjosha welcomed the resolution, saying the document provides a strong impetus to press ahead with the reform efforts that would step up the fight against corruption and organised crimes and swift finalization of the electoral reform in the country, according to ATA news agency.
“These are the key criteria that will raise standards of democracy and will advance the country’s EU integration process,” Gjosha’s office said in a statement.
“Calling for constructive dialogue and readiness for political consensus, the resolution clearly indicates the hard work ahead, with all stakeholders working together and constantly reminding that European integration tops the country’s agenda,” ATA quotes the statement.
The draft resolution on Albania approved by 52 votes to 6, with 4 abstentions is expected to be adopted by the European Parliament in a plenary session after two weeks.