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A report released on Monday by the Open Society Foundation in Tirana says Albania strengthened the planning and implementation of EU reform priorities in 2012.
The report said that by October 2012, 46 per cent of Albania's EU reform commitments had been totally implemented and 32 per cent had been partially implemented. In 22 per cent of cases the implementation of reforms had not started.
“The return of the [Socialist] opposition to parliament has unblocked reforms in key areas like justice and the war against corruption, achieved though amendments to the criminal code and changes to the constitution,” the report noted.
Albania first applied for EU candidacy status in April 2009. Its bid was turned down for the second time by the European Commission last October on the grounds that insufficient progress had been made in political dialogue, the fight against organized crime and corruption.
The European Commission has issued 12 principal recommendations on policy areas that need to be addressed before Tirana can obtain EU candidate status and a possible date for negotiations.
According to the report over the past year both planning and implementation have improved. Nearly half of the planned reforms are concentrated in two policy areas - corruption and the fight against organized crime, followed by judicial reform and human rights.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.