European Commission report recommends the opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia

European Commission report recommends the opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia
 
 The European Commission gave the green light, unconditionally recommending the opening of negotiations with Albania and northern Macedonia.

The EU Commissioner Johanes Hahn published the progress report, including the monitoring during March 2018 - March 2019.

The report follows Albania's performance in implementing reforms to the EU, focusing on political criteria, public administration, the legal system, the fight against corruption, the fight against organized crime, fundamental rights, economic criteria, good neighborliness, ability to get membership and emigration obligations.

Focusing specifically on the political criteria, the report states that Albania has continued to make progress on its reform agenda during the reporting period.

Summary of the report' As regards the political criteria, 

Albania has continued to make progress on its EU reform agenda throughout the reporting period. Strong polarisation persisted in the political sphere. Parliamentary activities were affected by a prolonged boycott from opposition parties, which then also relinquished en bloc their parliamentary mandates in February 2019. More than half of the relinquished parliamentary mandates have now been reassigned by the Central Election Commission and the quorum for the full functioning of Parliament is maintained. Main opposition parties decided not to register for the local elections, which are scheduled to take place on 30 June 2019. The main opposition parties' disengagement has negatively affected the efforts for a bipartisan electoral reform despite the majority's efforts to move forward. Opposition parties should constructively re-engage in the democratic institutions. Albania is moderately prepared in what concerns the reform of its public administration. Efforts continued in several related areas, resulting in some progress in the efficiency and transparency of public services delivery, improving the regulatory framework on impact assessment of policies, more transparent recruitment procedures, and the overall strengthening of the administration's capacity to undertake merit-based civil service procedures. Consolidation of these achievements should advance further, to ensure a more efficient, depoliticised, and professional public administration. Albania's judicial system has some level of preparation. The implementation of comprehensive and thorough justice reform has continued consistently, resulting in good progress overall. The new institutions for the self-governing of the judiciary, the High Judicial Council, the High Prosecutorial Council and the Justice Appointment Council have been established, representing a crucial step in strengthening the independence and accountability of the judiciary. The temporary re-evaluation of all judges and prosecutors (vetting process) has advanced steadily, producing tangible results. Under the aegis of the European Commission, the International Monitoring Operation has continued to oversee the process. More than 140 files have been processed, resulting in 88 dismissals/resignations of magistrates from office and 53 confirmations. Most dismissals pertained to issues related to unjustified assets. These concrete and credible results have substantially strengthened the sector and consolidated independence, impartiality, professionalism, and accountability of the judiciary. Albania has some level of preparation in the fight against corruption. Good progress was made, notably with the adoption of the new Action Plan 2018-2020 for the implementation of
European Commission report recommends the opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia

European Commission report recommends the opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia European Commission report recommends the opening of negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia Wednesday, May 29, 2019 Rating: 5
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