From: Exit News
Constitutional Changes Won’t Affect Start of EU Talks with Albania, Says Rama

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama has stated that constitutional changes affecting elections, made unilaterally after they agreed with the opposition on an electoral reform, will not impact Germany’s stance on starting EU talks with Albania.

Rama said the decision and date to start EU talks depends on all European countries, and that Germany will not negatively affect it because of the constitutional changes his government made.

“I am convinced that despite the different views [between the Albanian government and Germany], which are absolutely legitimate, this will not be a reason [for Germany] to have any reservations about Albania [‘s start of EU talks],” Rama stated.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle from Germany on Friday, Rama expressed his confidence that talks will start this year, or maybe the next. He revealed that a date for the first intergovernmental conference, which is the start of talks in practice, had not yet been decided.

“The conference will take place at the end of this year, but even if it does not, it will certainly take place next year,” he said.

Rama stressed that the controversial media laws will be adopted after aligning them with Venice Commission recommendations. 

“We have made a law, which is absolutely necessary, we will take into account the recommendations of the Venice Commission,” he noted.

The prime minister also stated that any opposition’s decision not to participate in elections does not affect pluralism: “It is a catastrophic decision for those who make it […] but it is absolutely not a decision that undermines pluralism.”

Deutsche Welle had reported earlier that Rama was on a visit to Germany to lobby them regarding the date for the first intergovernmental conference. In his interview he said he had been invited by “a large delegation of German politicians and entrepreneurs,” and no meeting with Chancellor Merkel was arranged.