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News 27 May 13

Albania Rushes Laws to Boost EU Bid

The Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, is recalling parliament to vote on three laws sought by Brussels as a condition for obtaining candidate status.

Besar Likmeta
BIRN
Tirana

Albanian MPs are to vote on three bills set as a condition by the European Commission last autumn for the country to obtain EU candidate status.

Approval for the three bills, which requires a qualified majority in parliament, has remained hostage to a row between the Socialist-led opposition and the ruling centre-right majority dating back to the 2011 local elections.

Last week, the opposition offered to back the three bills on condition that a new law on the Supreme Court and the subsequent nomination of new judges were enacted by the new government that will emerge after the June 23 elections.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha accepted the compromise and recall parliament for a vote on Thursday, although parliamentary sessions are over and the electoral campaign has already started.

Meanwhile, expert say that even if the election meets international standards, Albania will have to work hard on its EU accession process after years of stagnation.

“Because of the destructive local political scene, Albania now has only sympathizers in Brussels but not backers,” said Gjergji Vurmo, Director Centre for European & Security Affairs at the Tirana Institute for Democracy and Mediation.

“Trust of the EU in a climate of constructive dialogue [in Tirana], essential for this phase of the integration process is close to zero,” Vurmo added.

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