2011 Progress Report on Albania
Press statement of Victor Bostinaru MEP
Vice-Chair of the EP Delegation for relations with the countries of South East Europe
Victor Bostinaru, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament delegation for the relations with the countries of South East Europe, commented yesterday the 2011 Progress Report on Albania expressing his deep concern for the path the country is following, and regretting that for the second consecutive year the country was not able to be granted the EU candidate status.
The Commission observed an overall limited progress of the country, especially with regard to the 12 key priorities identified last year, and noted that substantial progress still remains to be done in key fields like the judiciary and in the fight against corruption.
„I am afraid – said Mr Bostinaru – the political class leading Albania has not yet understood how much they are losing as a country, but even more how much they are making the Albanian citizens lose. This is what irritates me most, the fact that because of the political guide of few people, all citizens are facing an uncertain future, certainly darker than what they could expect and than what they deserve. If there is no swift change, I fear next time the European Commission will be forced to call this Regress Report rather than Progress Report”.
The MEP said that the content of the progress report was no surprise for him. „I would have been pleased to be contradicted by the report, but unfortunately I just see a full confirmation of what I have been affirming for many months now. I hope the Albanian government will take note of the Commission’s assessment, realize that the line followed until now is well far away from the right one, and change it radically. The political deadlock will take Albania nowhere, Mr Berisha must understand that in a democracy the majority governs with the involvement of the opposition, in particular on key issues like the necessary reforms. He should explain to the citizens why this has not been done until now, making the country lose two years”.
According to the Romanian MEP, the Commission’s assessment that no progress has been made on the legislative framework for elections and with regard to the independence of the judiciary, is an extremely worrying sign, as well as it is the confirmation that the Central Electoral Commission took decisions along partisan lines when taking decisions related to the 8 May local elections.
Victor Bostinaru concluded by expressing his hope that Albania can start closing the gap that divides it from the other countries of the Western Balkans, which are all making progress. However, quoting the Commission, he emphasized once again that this can only be done through a close cooperation with the opposition, something that for too long has been missing in the country.