EU Commissioner Hahn slams Albanian concerns over the international monitoring of the justice reform

ALbanian Minister of Integration Klajda Gjosha, EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Justice Minister Petrit Vasili
ALbanian Minister of Integration Klajda Gjosha, EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Justice Minister Petrit Vasili

Tirana, Albania | Tirana Echo – EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn has refuted concerns of individual ministers of the Albanian government over the composition of the International Monitoring Operation (IMO) which is to monitor the vetting process of the justice system reform.

In a letter addressed to Albania’s PM Edi Rama, Commissioner Hahn says that he was ‘surprised’ that two ministers of Rama’s government have expressed differing views from the rest of the government, while the IMO has been established according to constitutional provisions with the full support of the European Commission.

Earlier this week, newly appointed Justice Minister Petrit Vasili, at the same time Vice-Chairman of the government’s junior partner LSI, expressed concerns over the structure of the International Monitoring Operation which had been composed in an anti-constitutional manner, referring to the ‘surprise’ Management Board of the IMO.

In a letter to President Nishani, Speaker Meta and PM Rama – Vasili said in that the ‘IMO Management Board is against the spirit of the constitution and serves as a political instrument’.

Two days later, Integration Minister Klajda Gjosha echoed Vasili’s concerns in a meeting with Commissioner Hahn in Brussels arguing that the Board of the IMO was not provided in the constitution, asking the EU Commissioner to intervene in favor of a consensual spirit of the justice reform which is entering its implementation phase.

In response to concerns expressed by both LSI ministers, Commissioner Hahn said that the establishment of the IMO and its structures was done according to the recently amended constitutional provisions, in cooperation with partners serving the Euro-Atlantic integration of Albania.

The European Commission has taken the leadership of the IMO with maximum engagement in order to support the objectives provided by the constitution… EU Member States praised the Commission’s positive recommendation in December to open accession talks with Albania, conditional on a credible and tangible implementation of the justice reform and of a vetting process over judges and prosecutors” – said Hahn in his letter to the Prime Minister of Albania.

The IMO plays an important role for the credibility of the overall process and I trust the Government of Albania as a whole will have the same understanding on the above process and will continue to support the efforts of the international community” – said Hahn.

Hahn’s letter comes at a time when serious concerns have been expressed by key analysts over the political impartiality of certain international representatives in Albania who have taken an unprecedented position of interference in internal affairs.  European magazine New Europe wrote recently of both Eu and US ambassadors allied with PM Rama, serving his political interests.

Last month, the head of the EU legal mission in Albania EURALIUS, Dr. Rainer Deville unexpectedly left the mission, allegedly over ‘deliberate’ mistakes in the translation process of key documents of the justice reform.

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