BRUSSELS – The vetting of the judiciary achieved very tangible results and the people of Albania deserve special praise, writes Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, Director for the Western Balkans at the European Commission and Chair of the International Monitoring Operation (IMO).
Ruiz Calavera explains that a little over a year has passed since the Independent Qualification Commission held the first hearing in the framework of the vetting process, since then, the first instance vetting institution has adopted more than 140 decisions.
“The very tangible results achieved to date have allowed us to take stock of this first year of intense work and to address the challenges that lie ahead, considering that vetting is going to continue for some years to complete the evaluation of over 800 judges and prosecutors,” she writes on the website of the Delegation of the European Union to Albania.
Because of this, she points out that the people of Albania deserve special praise, and that with their strong determination that the judiciary across the country is being cleared of corruption.
“In the past six months, the IMO received close to 250 denunciations from individual citizens, private enterprises, NGOs and public institutions. This readiness to contribute demonstrates that citizens trust that vetting is going in the right direction to respond to the legitimate public aspirations,” she explains, adding that the newly created structures of the judiciary also deserve special encouragement.
On the other hand, the Director emphasises that rigorous work by the Appellate Chamber is now very important to dispel any concerns about the unbiased administration of justice.
She adds that it is the responsibility of all Albanian institutions, political parties, as well as civil society, to ensure that the strengthening of the independence, impartiality and accountability of the judiciary through this process is guaranteed.
The EU, together with the US in the IMO, will continue supporting this process, she explains, so that the people of Albania can benefit from the reform and take pride in the change that they demanded.
“The months ahead will be crucial as Albania moves from the transition phase of judicial reform to its full implementation. The vetting bodies will ensure the continuous handling of priority cases so that the new institutions can be fully established,” Ruiz Calavera concludes.