From: Exit Staff
EU, US Urge Albania to Form Functional Constitutional Court

The European Union and the United Stated have urged Albanian parliament and president’s office to keep supporting the establishment of a fully functional Constitutional Court in the country.

Following the launch of calls for applications for two seats at the Court in the last two days, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi reminded Albanian institutions that this is one of the conditions the country has to meet before the start of EU accession talks – the first intergovernmental conference (IGC).

EU Ambassador to Albania Luigi Soreca added to Várhelyi’s message by inviting magistrates to apply for the two positions.

US Ambassador Yuri Kim thanked President Ilir Meta and Speaker of Parliament Gramoz Ruci for not delaying the process.

The Constitutional Court has only four of its nine members. It needs at least five members to reach a decision-making quorum.

The Justice Appointments Council (KED) has to receive the list of candidates from parliament and president’s office, evaluate applications, list them according to their score and send the list with three candidates back to the two institutions, which have to elect one each.

Taking into account that the current KED has not prepared a list to fill any of the five empty seats in the Constitutional Court since it was formed in January 2020, as well as the length of procedures, it seems highly improbable that this court becomes functional within 2020.

The EU and US have been called for the process to move on, and the government has promised that the Court will become functional within this year.

Whilst he has repeatedly denied that the European Union has imposed any conditions on Albania before the start of talks, Prime Minister Edi Rama didn’t sound optimistic in an interview last week.

“The [intergovernmental] conference will take place at the end of this year, but even if it does not, it will certainly take place next year,” he told Deutsche Welle.