Albania Assumes 2020 OSCE Chairmanship

Albania assumed the 2020 OSCE Chairmanship today at the 26th Ministerial Council of the OSCE in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Prime Minister Edi Rama, also Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, announced this morning he was traveling to Bratislava today for this purpose:

“Albania assumes the OSCE Chairmanship today, and I will have an extra burden to lead the OSCE. I I have to go to Bratislava today to take over the job.”

Albania will take over the OSCE lead from Slovakia.

Acting foreign minister Gent Cakaj has stated earlier that Albania’s priorities will be conflict resolution and prevention, combating violence against women, fight against corruption, and promotion of good governance.

Rama confirmed that corruption will be Albania’s top priority. Speaking from the Ministerial Council in Bratislava today, he said:

“Corruption harms the prosperity of the whole region, besides other threats. We will fight corruption. It’s an honor and great responsibility to lead this major international organization, as well as an extraordinary opportunity to make Albania shine while leading the great work and special challenges that the OSCE has.”

Corruption is one of the major concerns in the region, and Transparency International ranks Albania as the most corrupt country in the Balkans.

Albania’s OSCE Chairmanship comes amidst a long political and constitutional crisis, as well as few days after a devastating effect that killed 51 people.

The government of Prime Minister Edi Rama held one-party local elections in June this year, after the opposition refused to participate. They accuse Rama of ties to criminal groups, rigging of elections and corruption.

The Socialist Party won the one-party local elections in all 61 municipalities across the country, a process that was criticized by the OSCE/ODIHR.