In a tweet yesterday evening, EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca announced that the EU will increase financial support for the justice reform. The EU will provide €34 million over the next 3 years to support the reform.
The EU Ambassador further declared:
“We have moved on from having to defend the reform to discussing its actual implementation.”
Neither the tweet nor the website of the EU Delegation provided any information regarding the precise allocation of the €34 million of public funds.
Overall, the justice reform has been seriously hampered by financial issues. In September 2017, the Rama government cut 40% of the funds for the vetting institutions, basically guaranteeing a slow start detrimental to the reform.
In September 2018, the government further reduced the budget of the High Prosecutorial Council (KLP) and High Judicial Council (KLGj) with 20%.
The funds promised by the EU are, however, negligible compared the costs of the reformed judiciary.
Since the beginning of this year, the salaries of the judiciary have doubled from 1.9 billion lekë per year (~€13.6 million) to 4.5 billion lekë per year (~€35 million). Including pensions and other costs, the entire post-reform justice system will cost 9 billion lekë (~€70 million) per year.