From: Alba Mborja
Dutch Parliament Urges Albania to Implement Venice Commission’s Draft Recommendations on Judicial Vetting

Members of the Dutch parliament have urged their own government to demand that Albania implement draft recommendations prepared by the Venice Commission on the appointment of Constitutional Court judges.

During a debate on the European integration progress made by Albania and Northern Macedonia, dutch MPs referred to a draft opinion prepared by Council of Europes’ Venice Commission which expressed criticism of Albania’s vetting of members of the judicial.

The parliamentary record states that members of the Christian Union Group, part of the ruling coalition proposed that “all recommendations of the Venice Commission in its [draft] opinion of 6 March be implemented…”

In the draft opinion released three weeks ago, the Commission found that the vetting procedures were implemented unequally and unfairly, and they leave room for political influence. In some cases, the shortcomings were so critical that the Commission has recommended the reopening of the vetting process.

Dutch MPs might be aware that the Venice Commission is under pressure from Albania’s government to tone down the language in the final version of the opinion because they have made the unusual call for implementing draft recommendations, without waiting for the final opinion.

Citing the coronavirus epidemic, the Venice Commission removed last week from its agenda the approval of the final opinion, which was scheduled for last Friday, 20 March.

However, on the very same date, the Venice Commission adopted three opinions on Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Moldova, thus raising doubts on reasons for delaying the publication of opinion on Albania.

Meanwhile, the Venice Commission is still working on drafting another opinion on some controversial amendments of Albania’s media laws, which are pending approval by the parliament.

The opinion was requested by the Council of Europe, and the Albanian government has pledged to wait for the opinion, before enacting the laws.

In fact, the other demand from the Dutch MPs was that the Albanian government also implement the recommendations of this upcoming opinion by the Venice Commission.