European Western Balkans

Mogherini: Vetting law implementation key condition for opening accession talks

Federica Mogherini © European Union , 2017 / Photo: Gent Shkullaku

ata_maliTIRANA – The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, stated in Tirana on Friday that implementation of the vetting law was the key condition for Albania to be able to set a date for opening accession talks with the EU, ATA reports.

Tirana visit of the EU’s foreign policy chief as part of her trip to all six Western Balkans states since March 1 took place amid a tense political climate, with centre-right opposition for two weeks protesting outside of the government’s office along Tirana’s main boulevard calling for creation of a technical government that would hold free and fair elections in the country.

The opposition has also boycotted the parliament thus stalling the creation of the vetting bodies that will check the professional and personal backgrounds of Albanian judges and prosecutors as part of a broader judicial and constitutional reforms package approved last July.

In her message during a meeting with Tirana’s Polytechnic University students as well as during a joint press conference with the Prime Minister Edi Rama a day ago, Mogherini warned all political factors hampering the implementation of the vetting law that they will be held responsible for keeping Albania outside the European Union.

“Albania has made significant progress over the past year, especially with the adoption of judicial reform and its significance has been recognized by the EU in order to recommend the opening of the accession negotiations, but the vetting implementation in particular. We are ready to start negotiations, but we need the Albanian leadership to take the consequent decisions in terms of implementation of the reform that was taken last year. I believe that decisive steps including the vetting can be implemented and that it can be a continuous progress in all five key priorities,” Mogherini said.

In her message to the opposition, Mogherini stated that “political battle takes place inside the parliament.”

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