In an explanatory note published on the website of the EU Delegation in Tirana, International Monitoring Operation (ONM) Director Genoveva Ruiz Cavalera expanded on points raised by European Commissioner Johannes Hahn in a letter from February 17, further clarifying the role of the ONM Management Board.
In two recent letters, Minister of Justice Petrit Vasili had raised doubts about the constitutionality of the Management Board as well as specific role within the vetting process. The Management Board at the moment consists of EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin, US Ambassador Donald Lu, and is chaired by Ruiz Cavalera.
According to the explanatory note:
First, as far as the nature and tasks of the Management Board of the IMO [= ONM], let me reiterate that this body has a purely administrative nature. Its tasks could be compared to those of a Project Management Unit and aim to facilitate the joint work of the European Commission and the US government, under my chairmanship.
Second, let me emphasize that all the recommendations in relation to the current selection of candidates for the formation of the vetting organs and the future vetting of the judiciary will be carried out by the international observers that have been or will be appointed by the IMO to that effect. Let me also underline again that the IMO is a strictly non-executive operation, whose only aim is to monitor and provide recommendations throughout the vetting process. All executive decisions belong to the institutions of Albania.
Lastly, in order to facilitate the communication, and avoid any confusion, I will be referring solely to the IMO in future official exchanges.
Minister Vasili immediately responded to the letter, stating that it is now important to determine the protocols through which the Albanian state will communicate with the ONM, as well as the organization of the appropriate security clearances:
This situation requires a further clarification because it needs to become exhaustively clear if the communication [of the Albanian state] will be between the Project Management Unit, which presents in itself truly an all-encompassing structure, or the ONM, which has a well-determined constitutional outline.
In the letter addressed to Ambassador Vlahutin, Minister Vasili also urges the installation of the Albanian member of the ONM Management Board.