The European People’s Party Group in European Parliament has submitted an amendment to the EP resolution which calls on the European Council and European Commission to emphasise that Albania must satisfy 15 conditions before the first Intergovernmental Conference.
The action comes after Prime Minister Edi Rama categorically denied the existence of the 15 conditions at a press conference last week.
During a Press Conference on 10 June, Rama said:
“There are not 15 conditions for going to the first Intergovernmental Conference. There aren’t, they do not exist. I know that you hear it being repeated and you repeat it too, do not repeat it, there are not 15 conditions to go to the First Intergovernmental Conference.”
In fact, the EU Council clearly stated that “prior to the first intergovernmental conference”, Albania should adopt and ensure a number of actions in key areas.
These include initiating proceedings against those accused of vote-buying (including senior Socialist Party officials, members of Parliament, police, and potentially Rama himself), initiating criminal procedures against judges and prosecutors, further progress in protecting minorities, the reestablishment of the Constitutional and High Court, and amending the media law in line with the Venice Commission recommendations.
These conditions have been repeated and reiterated by EU officials, the Speaker of Parliament Gramoz Ruci, President Ilir Meta, and most recently, the new Austrian Ambassador to Albania.
The EPP have submitted an amendment to the resolution on the Western Balkans to stress the importance of the 15 conditions and the fact they must be met before the upcoming Conference.
They have asked that clarification on this matter must be given to the Albanian government. They also called for fresh local and national elections next spring.
Videos showing Rama’s denial were reportedly blocked and removed from social media by Acromax. Exit revealed links between German/Albanian company Acromax and the ruling Socialist Party including actions taken to remove content on behalf of the party. The result of the investigation made international news.