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News 20 Sep 12

EU, US Welcome Albania Immunity Reform

European and US diplomats hailed parliament's approval in a bipartisan vote on Tuesday of a constitutional amendment curtailing MPs', judges' and top officials' immunity from prosecution.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

Brussels and Washington both hailed the adoption of the reform, long held up by infighting between Sali Berisha's governing centre-right Democrats and Edi Rama's opposition Socialists.

“The adoption of this law is an important step in strengthening Albania’s legal framework for fighting corruption,” the head of the EU’s delegation to Albania, Ettore Sequi, said.

“By continuing to work together, Albania’s political leaders can ensure that the country achieves the critical mass of results necessary to achieve candidate status,” Sequi added.

Albania first applied for EU candidacy status in April 2009 but its bid was turned down for the second time last October.

The European Commission said not enough progress had been made in political dialogue, the fight against organized crime and against corruption.

The European Commission has issued 12 recommendations on policy areas that must be addressed for Tirana to obtain candidate status and open the door to a possible date for negotiations.

The US embassy meanwhile urged political parties to work together on the reform priorities that have been outlined by the European Commission, underlining that there was still time to impress Brussels before the November progress report is issued.    

“Parliament has in its power the opportunity to impact the European Commission’s progress report by finding further agreement on a critical mass of reforms, including parliamentary rules of procedure and the High Court law,” the embassy said.

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