Albania is candidate country for EU membership
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The European Commission recommends that Albania should receive candidate country status for EU membership, with the condition to be made progress in some unmet reforms. Three years from the application and in the progress-report published on Wednesday for Albania's progress in a year, it is stressed that as soon as the judicial, public administration and parliamentary reforms are met, the European Commission will inform the CoE.

"In the framework of this progress, the Commission recommends the Council to give Albania the candidate country status, which should commit to met key measures on the reforms on public administration, judiciary and the revision of parliamentary guideline. The Commission will report to the Council as soon as the required progress is reached. In this report, the Commission will take into consideration the commitment shown by Albania in the fight against corruption and organized crime, including investigations and pro-active criminal prosecution of such cases," said Stefan Fule, European Commissioner for Enlargement.

For the start of membership negotiations, one of the criteria our country has to meet is holding the 2013th parliamentary elections according to international standards. According to the Commission, stable political dialogue and continuous reforms in all areas according to key priorities will remain vital to apply reforms and to guarantee Albania's future in EU.

"A special attention is needed in: holding election in accordance with international and European standards; strengthening of independence, efficiency and responsibility of judicial institutions; determined efforts on the fight against corruption and organized crime, including investigations and pro-active criminal prosecution; and the implementation of the rights of property. The Holding of 2013th parliamentary election is deemed to be a strong test for inter-party engagement for the new electoral reform and a pre-condition for starting the negotiations," says the report.

The European Commission reached the conclusion regarding the status after noticing that Albania has made progress in the meeting of the political criterion for EU membership, meeting several reforms from the 12 priorities of the Stabilization Association Agreement and has played a very constructive role in the region. The report says that the November 2011 agreement between two main political parties put an end to the political deadlock after the general elections of 2009 and as a result, political dialogue and cooperation brought a considerable progress in some reforms. According to Brussels officials, the election of the President was in accordance with the Constitution, but the political process was not what it was expected. Among the met criteria they mention the right functioning of Parliament, the approval of laws with qualified majority, the appointment of the Ombudsman, the hearings and the voting process for key institutions and the amend of legislative framework for elections.
Published on: October 10, 2012 - 8:31 pm
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