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European future for Albania helps build stability and prosperity in the country and region, say S&Ds


14 Apr 2016


Europe's East
Regional Policy

The European Socialists and Democrats fully support Albania's efforts and political commitment to a European future for the country. The S&D Group warmly welcomed the adoption of the 2015 progress report on Albania in the European Parliament today.

Knut Fleckenstein MEP, the S&D vice-president responsible for foreign affairs and rapporteur on Albania, said:

"Albania is on the right track towards EU membership. The country is currently preparing a very ambitious reform of the judiciary which will address the most important concerns expressed by citizens and which will help to fight corruption in everyday life. Albania's citizens want to get ready for EU membership. Now, their political leaders must keep up the momentum and continue implementing the reforms. With the judicial reforms on track, Albania will be well prepared for opening EU accession negotiations.

"During the past 25 years Albania has undergone significant change. The country developed from an isolated communist dictatorship into a country based on a free society, committed to democracy and with a social market economy,that has established constructive relations with its neighbours and aspires to become an EU member.

"If it were up to Albania's citizens, the speed of reforms would be even faster. In surveys, the majority of people regularly underline that they wish to see the rule of law strengthened in their country. People want stable democratic institutions, they want to get rid of organised crime and they want to live without corruption in important sectors such as education, health and construction.

"Therefore, the judicial reform which Albania is currently preparing for – with advice from many international experts – is a crucial reform. The reforms to the judiciary must be adopted by Kuvendi, the Albanian parliament, as soon as possible and they must start to be implemented immediately after."