Mogherini: We recommend accession negotiations with Albania

Mogherini: We recommend accession negotiations with Albania

 The European Commission officially announced today the opening of membership talks with Albania.

In the report published today, the Commission assessed that the country has made progress, and this time its recommendation is unconditional.

In a part of today's amended report, it is emphasized that "in the light of the progress achieved, the European Commission recommended today to the Council to decide that accession negotiations should be opened with Albania while maintaining and deepening the pace of reform in the key area of the rule of law in all five key priorities and continuing with concrete and tangible results in the re-evaluation of judges and prosecutors by veting. To support this, the Commission will apply a reinforced approach to the negotiating chapters related to the judiciary, fundamental rights and justice, freedom and security of the country." - is written in the part of the recommendation for Albania.

"Western Balkan countries are Europe and will be part of the European Union in the future. We have the same interests and responsibilities. We recognize the positive changes and progress made by Western Balkan countries. Each country is valued for its merits and the progress of reforms. We are committed to the region. Our commitments are clear and unequivocal." said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini for the press.

The commission assessed that the country has continued to make steady progress in implementing five key priorities for opening the accession negotiations. Consolidation of the public administration reform for more professionalism and its depoliticization. Further actions strengthened the independence, efficiency and credibility of justice institutions in implementing the justice reform.

"The first results are tangible with the re-evaluation of judges and prosecutors, with the resignation of 15 high-level judges and prosecutors, and with the first hearings leading to the dismissal and reconfirmation of several judges" - the report notes.

"Today is a good day for Western Balkan countries. They emphasized their European perspective and made steps forward "- European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, told to the press today.

The European Commission notes that "further set-up efforts were undertaken in the fight against corruption and organized crime, drug trafficking and its cultivation, which brought proactive investigations, arrests and convictions.

The report recognizes progress in the fight against organized crime "especially in the fight against cannabis cultivation," but calls for "the confiscation of criminal gang assets and to continue the destroyment of all cannabis stocks".

According to the report, "there has been little progress in the destruction of organized criminal groups, where the number of their punishements remains low, and more efforts are needed to address money laundering, criminal assets and unwarranted wealth."

The implementation of the justice reform "has led to good overall progress" and the re-evaluation process of judges and prosecutors "is delivering the first tangible results".

Regarding corruption penalties, the report emphasized that "senior officials' punishements were mainly in the judiciary (judges and prosecutors); and that the number of final sentences for senior officials remains very low. The corruption remains dominant in many areas and continues to be a serious problem."

Another point of the report is the issue of asylum seekers, where it is noted that "the number of asylum-based claims of Albanian citizens in EU member states and Schengen states remains high".
Mogherini: We recommend accession negotiations with Albania Mogherini: We recommend accession negotiations with Albania Wednesday, April 18, 2018 Rating: 5
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