European Western Balkans

German ruling parties support Albania, set conditions for starting EU negotiations

German Bundestag; Photo: WikiCommons/Times

BERLIN – Parties of Germany’s ruling coalition, Christian Democratic Union / Christian Social Union (CDU / CSU) and Socialdemocratic Party (SDP) have agreed on a draft resolution which allows German Government to support opening of EU accession talks in principle, but sets out conditions for technical start of negotiations.

According to Albanian Daily News, the resolution requires that the German government “approves in principle the accession talks with Albania at the European Council on 17/18 October 2019, with the condition that the first accession Conference will be held when the Federal Government finds that conditions have been met”.

This outlet reports that the two conditions for holding the first intergovernmental conference are the formation of the High Court and Constitutional Court, as well as the approval of electoral reform.

According to Radio Tirana International, one of the further conditions is the final decision of the Constitutional court regarding the legitimacy of June 30 elections

Other conditions include: prosecution of all vote buying cases, prosecution of all judges and prosecutors who haven’t passed the vetting process, establishment of Special Anti-Corruption Prosecution Office (SPAK) and punishment of senior officials and politicians, tangible results in the fight against organized crime and corruption and progress in the public administration reform.

The main concern of the German Bundestag is the political crisis in Albania, which the resolution describes as “severe”, and therefore urges the parties to start a dialogue as soon as possible in order to overcome it.

“Albania is in a serious political crisis. The German Bundestag urges all democratic forces in Albania to take immediate steps to overcome this crisis as soon as possible through political dialogue, otherwise the path to membership negotiations will be significantly hampered”, reads the joint resolution of CDU / CSU and the SPD.

Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama welcomed the decision on Twitter.

“Thank you to all the CDU / CSU MPs who finally voted in favor of opening negotiations. Those who voted against will be convinced at every step that Albania deserves the opening of negotiations. THANK YOU ANGELA for the unsparing support for Albania ”, he wrote.

Democratic Party, the biggest opposition party, has not commented on the decision yet. Despite doubts, it announced yesterday that it will participate in OSCE-sponsored roundtable discussion on electoral reform.

Plenary debate on Germany’s position on opening of accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia is scheduled for Thursday, 26 September.

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