Saturday, March 10, 2012

12 EU conditions for Albania

12 EU conditions for Albania
After Albania’s official request for EU membership on Spring 2009, in Prague, the European Commission replied in November 2010 by setting 12 key priorities.

The progress report of one year later showed that the country had not fulfilled any of the criteria, and the EU candidate status was rejected for the second time. But what is currently happening?

The first four priorities, drawn according Albania’s reality, aim the main problem: politics, making both majority and opposition responsible. Currently, the voting of qualified majority laws, the second priority, is the only one that is near conclusion. After voting the Penal, Civil, Traffic, Railway, Air and Marine Codes, what remains now is the voting for the Administrative Court. The appointment of the Ombudsman fulfilled half of the third priority, while the other half is about the depoliticization of the Supreme and Constitutional Court judges.

Dialogue rather than political rhetoric, just functionality of the Parliament and the Parliamentary Regulation Reform make the first priority, which, together with the electoral reform, the fourth priority, are still in the initial phase. The fifth priority is still suspended, since the local elections fulfilled the international standards only partially, while the next elections are predicted for 2013.

The justice and public administration reforms are also depended by the inter-partial cooperation, since the voting of some laws for the administration requires qualified majority, same as that for the Administrative Court. Besides priorities 6 and 7, where the main responsibility falls on the state institution and war against corruption, organized crime and the conditions of the detainees, official Tirana is asked to prove with facts and results the implementation of the plans and projects, besides approving them.

For better discovering where we stand with the fulfillment of the criteria, there is a document that the government has been correcting constantly with Brussels: the action plan for the fulfillment of the 12 criteria.

 One of the helping features that the European Commission issued for Albania, are the comments and advises for improving the plan, as they have been called. Since the confidential document secured from Brussels is filled with technical details, Top Channel has selected some illustrating quotations.

The chances for receiving a positive recommendation for the candidate status in the 100th year of independence depend from the concrete progress of the political priorities with inter-partial responsibility, such as the electoral and Parliamentary reform. As for the rest, it remains to be seen how convincing will Tirana’s evidence be for Brussels, together with other important priorities, such as the reforms in property titles, human rights and prisoner treatment, which remain unfulfilled. With the Presidential elections in the middle, Albania has still 7 months to fulfill all of them, until October.

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