EP report on Albania: April general elections will be essential for consolidating democratic procedures
BRUSSELS – The European Parliament adopted the reports on the 2019-2020 Commission reports on Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Serbia. The report on Albania received 581 votes in favor and 61 against.
In the report, the European Parliament welcomed Albania’s clear strategic direction towards European integration and the European Council statement of 26 March 2020 on opening accession negotiations with North Macedonia and the Albania.
The Albanian authorities are invited to step up their efforts to strengthen political dialogue and the functioning of democratic institutions in the country while improving the conditions for pluralism of the media and civil society.
Recalling that free and fair elections are fundamental for European integration, the report stresses that the general elections of 25 April 2021 will be essential for the consolidation and renewal of the country’s democratic procedures and structures and for achieving a higher level of stability Politics.
The EP called on Albanian public institutions to act in a transparent manner and to put in place good governance practices.
“Albania should improve coordination within government, accelerate decentralization, advance public consultation at local level and move forward with public administration reform. The participation of the Albanian Parliament in the EU integration process should be strengthened in order to ensure the harmonization of its legislation with the EU acquis ”, said in a report.
Members of the European Parliament reaffirmed the importance of safeguarding the rule of law through judicial reform and regular and consistent prosecution of high-level corruption. They called for the acceleration of procedures to allow tangible progress towards an accountable, transparent, independent and functional judiciary as a precondition for the first intergovernmental conference.
Highlighting the significant problems of money laundering, particularly in the construction and real estate sectors, the report called for the strengthening of prosecutions and final convictions in such cases, as well as measures to reduce the size of the informal economy.
Albania is called on to redouble its efforts to dismantle local and international criminal networks and eliminate the production and trafficking of drugs.
MEPs called for progress towards adopting measures that effectively protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all, with particular emphasis on women, children, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and LGBTQI + people.
The report underlined the need to improve the conditions and create an environment conducive to the accountability and control of public institutions, in particular through cooperation with civil society and journalists by guaranteeing them access to justice and legal certainty.
Concerned about the lack of progress in the area of freedom of expression, the report underscored the need to strengthen self-regulation, ethical standards, independence, impartiality, financial sustainability and the quality of public and private media information as well as improving transparency in media ownership. , financing and public advertising.