Germany Supports Albanian Judicial Reform

Parties focused on the importance of adopting the reform in order to integrate Albania into the European path

June 15th, 2016

The current socialist Albanian government has undertaken a series of reforms, whose goal is to strengthen the rule of law, a prerequisite for Albania's progress towards EU membership.

One of the main areas of reforms demanded by the European Union to Albania is its judicial system, which is widely perceived as corrupt and subject to political pressures. However, the lack of involvement of the population and the strong mistrust between government and opposition could be detrimental to the process. This is why international community members, among which Germany is the frontrunner, are pushing for cooperation between the parties, focusing on the process of the European integration.

Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati, and German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier reaffirmed the excellent relations between Albania and Germany during a meeting in Tirana. The Ministers also expressed the common will of the countries to further intensify them in all areas of cooperation, whose judicial reform currently represents the most important one. In fact, Albania is an important partner for Germany: in this context, Ministers highlighted the positive impact of the Berlin Process, which has materialized in a reinforced cooperation within the region.

During the visit, Minister Bushati informed his German counterpart on the latest developments in the country and the commitment of the Albanian government to adopt the judicial reform. "The judicial reform is our chance to overcome the point of no return. This project aims at the ultimate detachment from the transition era. It does not serve the contentment of political parties, nor the safety of one or the other. The reform seeks to bring the justice system to meet the demands of Albanians, as the cornerstone of all our efforts for a European Albania", Minister Bushati stated.

The Minister also focused on the quality of this reform and its “strong impact on strengthening rule of law in economy, the fight against corruption, organized crime, terrorism and radicalism". "Albania has clear obligations, in order to provide necessary support and take the next step, that of a positive recommendation for the opening of EU accession negotiations." he underscored.

On his part, Minister Steinmeier reiterated Germany's continued support for the reforms’ process undertaken by the Albanian government in view of the country's European path. Moreover, he underlined the need of the Albanian Parliament to adopt the judicial reform, noting that "without the judicial reform, Albania’s integration process to the European Union cannot gain new momentum".

Minister Steinmeier also dwelt on Albania’s potential, stating that through the adoption of this reform the country will be region’s forerunner in reshaping the justice sector in terms of the rule of law. Hoping for the judicial reform to be adopted without creating obstacles on the country’s integration to the European family, Minister Steinmeier stated:

"the reform does not always get gratitude, for often times there is harsh criticism and perhaps its cost can be reflected in the elections. I have learned that in opposition, you cannot always win by refusing. There are situations in which a government would have to take necessary risks to move the country forward, but the same goes for the opposition. Not think of short-term advantages, but long-term ones, to the benefit of the country ".


Cultural Diplomacy News
Valentina De Gregorio, CD News