Remarks of SMI's Head Ilir Meta at National Steering Committee Meeting
Albanian Daily News
Published June 3, 2016

I would like to share some attitudes for some important issues of political actuality and perspective, as in the first instance will be Judiciary Reform, until it is finally approved by the Albanian Parliament.

Once again, I want to stress the position Socialist Movement for Integration for Judiciary Reform that has clearly been supporting from beginning of this process.

On this occasion I want to greet and fully support the statement of Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr. Johannes Hahn, who appreciated the important work done till now from local and international experts, from EURALIUS, OPDAT and Venice Commission, as he urges the Albanian political class to conclude the last mile that obviously is the most important to approve in the Parliament next days and next week the constitutional changes for Judiciary Reform.

In this framework, I'd like to stress that approving as fast as possible this reform and a full engagement for its effective implementation of this reform, remains our most important priorities.

For this purpose, the commitment and the will of Socialist Movement for Integration and its Parliamentary group are steadfast and in the front row of approving. Not delaying and find pretexts, not for political or electoral calculations, because we at the Socialist Movement for Integration think and believe that approving this reform is a national duty. 

It an extraordinary responsibility that must be fulfilled as soon as possible for the interest of our citizens, for the interest of forcing the law in Albania and increasing belief in the state of law, in the justice and institutions, to firmly and overwhelming strike corruption and organized crime, that actually are a serious concern for our citizens, for the services that they must receive, but in the same time it is a serious barrier for a faster development of the country and European integration process.

I believe the message of Commissioner Hahn is very clear and friendly. It was also a little sportive to be more easily comprehended by all Albanian citizens in the brink of European Championship finals, so that Albania must not remain in the group phase, but to go further.

And this means that there will be no recommendation and a next step forward for Albania in opening negotiations for EU membership if this reform is not going to be approved now.

We are responsible for Socialist Movement for Integration, for all those who voted us and who believe us and they are more numerous than three years ago. But obviously we are responsible for all Albanian citizens, who fully support this reform. That's why I repeat that 20 votes from Socialist Movement for Integration are not just from today in favour of this reform. 

They are weeks from now in support of this reform, from the moment when EURALIUS and OPDAT missions submitted in the Parliamentary Commission for Judiciary Reform their opinions for those issues that still are not conclusively specified by the Venice Commission, that has also done a brilliant work.

That is why we hope, as Commissioner Hahn says, that all political forces will approve this reform.

Certifying this reform by Venice Commission, EURALIUS and OPDAT for us it is enough to get all our votes and the votes from all members of Parliament, because we are talking about international institutions that are no part of political forces interest in our country.

A great barrier of disbelief exists among political parties, fearing the use of justice or institutions, which will be established for party purposes. 

I believe the standards that Venice Commission offers and the standards proposed from EURALIUS and OPDAT are completely reliable to give life this reform in the Parliament if possible within June. Because any delay can be very expensive for our further journey toward European Union. 

Once again, I want to highlight the determination of Socialist Movement for Integration to vote this reform according the standards of Venice Commission and the solutions given from EURALIUS and OPDAT.

At the same time I am convinced that Judiciary Reform will open a new chapter in the fight against corruption, organized crime and irresponsibility in fulfilling duties and public functions will undoubtedly create better conditions for the economic development of the country and will significantly improve business climate that is determinant for the well-being of every Albanian citizen to open new jobs and to fight poverty.

Of course, Judiciary Reform comes after approving legislation for decriminalization that is giving first effects and the Socialist Movement for Integration has fully supported the implementation of this legislation and unequivocally to anyone, from SMI or other political party and everywhere. Individuals with criminal records have no place in public offices and positions. 

Albania deserves to enter a new phase regarding the standards of integrity for public representatives.

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