Vlahutin Calls on Albania to Fight Corruption
Albanian Daily News
Published November 7, 2017
Fight against corruption, cannabis and the implementation of justice reform remain very important for the opening of EU accession talks. At the start of the Public Consultation on the 2018 Albania Annual Report, EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin conveyed this message to the Albanian politics, making it clear that 2018 is decisive for this matter.
She declared that this year, the "enlargement package" will be published in April 2018, instead of usually in November. This will allow an alignment on the publication of economic statistic for the previous year. The transition from November to April also means that the reporting period is longer than usual: from November 2016 to January 2018.
"The 2018 Report for Albania will be very important. Last year, the Commission made a conditional Recommendation for the opening of negotiations, given that progress is achieved through 2017. This concerns decisive steps on justice reform, including the vetting - but also credible and consistent progress in the fight against organised crime, including against cannabis cultivation and trade, fight against corruption, reform of the public administration and protection of fundamental rights," Vlahutin stated, adding that for the EU, what civil society has to say and contribute is very important.
"Annual report is not a box ticking exercise. It is not done for the EU, but for Albania. Reforms do not happen because the European Union asked for it, but because Albanians ask for it and it is important that the report reflects the real scope of change felt and experienced by Albanians," Vlahutin stressed in conclusion of her speech.