Albania Opposition MPs Pressed Over Judicial Reform

15 July 2016 13:58
Albania Opposition MPs Pressed Over Judicial Reform

As Albania prepares to vote next week on a crucial reform of the judiciary aimed at curbing corruption, EU and US diplomats have stepped up pressure in a bid to ensure the legislation is adopted. 

Ahead of the vote on June 21, EU and US diplomats have been seeking to convince MPs from the opposition Democratic Party to back the proposed legislation aimed at reducing corrosive political influence on the judiciary.

The European Union foreign affairs department's deputy secretary-general Helga Schmid visited Tirana on Thursday in a bid to get Democratic Party MPs’ support.

Schmid said that the reform would play a crucial role in consolidating the rule of law in Albania, especially in terms of the fight against corruption and organized crime. 

She also said it would help to create a more transparent environment for business and investors – and emphasised that it was crucial to Albania’s progress towards EU accession.

"It is now the individual responsibility of every member of the Albanian parliament to seize this historic opportunity and vote for the reform," she said. 

The Democratic Party objects to the idea of US and EU officials taking an active role in vetting judicial appointments, arguing that it compromises Albania’s sovereignty.