European Western Balkans

Fleckenstein: EP supports Albania’s integration, implementation of reform

Knut Fleckenstein; Photo: European Union

TIRANA – Judicial reform and June 18 elections were the focus of discussion between MEP Knut Fleckenstein and Albanian senior officials in Tirana, ATA reports.
During a press conference at the EU delegation headquarters on Wednesday, EP’s standing Rapporteur on Albania Fleckenstein stated that if the judicial reform and June elections progress on the right path, he will advice EP to officially open accession negotiations of Albania towards the EU.

Referring to the resolution on Albania adopted a few days ago, he furthered clarified that this expectation is shared from the whole European Parliament and not just a party in the European Parliament, however mentioning the fact that there are still things to be done

“We have even addressed the European Council that if the elections and justice reform is not undermined and is implemented, then negotiations should be opened with Albania”, he added.

Focusing on the justice reform, Fleckenstein said that it is not implemented to satisfy Europeans, but for Albanian citizens to have an independent and efficient system of justice as it should be done against crime and corruption.

“The European Union supports Albania’s integration to the EU, but the judicial reform and free elections are important for the integration. The judicial reform should not be done to satisfy us, but must be done to satisfy Albanian citizens. The Vetting Process is essential for the justice reform”, Fleckenstein said.

According to the EP Rapporteur on Albania, “Vetting process must become the common goal of all Albanians and that it is the key to draw the line between corrupted and non-corrupted people“, and added that they spoke to the Justice Minister Vasili and Integration Minister Gjosha and heard that there may be some technical problems, which may require an agreement between Albania and the EU.

Regarding the opposition rally, the MEP said that the Democratic Party should return to Parliament, as the place to reach any negotiations and decisions.

“I will neither interfere nor comment on internal matters, but I ask my friends of DP to return to parliament as boycotting is not the right path to act,” said the MEP.

Fleckenstein underlined that boycotting elections from the DP will place the country in a difficult situation but also will jeopardise EU integration. “I hope that a solution will be found before elections,” concludes Fleckenstein.

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