From: Exit Staff
EP Rapporteur Praises Voting Postponement, Possibly Not Informed on Entry into Force of Media Law

Isabel Santos, the Rapporteur for Albania in European Parliament has commended the Albanian government’s decision to postpone the parliament voting on the controversial “anti-defamation package” of laws.

“The latest decision to postpone voting is another good step for Albania,” she said in a statement on Friday during her visit in Albania.

However, the government has already published one of the two said laws in the Official Gazette on February 3rd. From a legal perspective, this is the last action to bring a law into force. The said law entered into force on February 18th, making the situation unclear as the whole “anti-defamation package” is being reviewed by the Venice Commission.

The publication of this “law” in the Official Gazette is illegal because there is no evidence it was actually approved in Parliament after the President vetoed it.

It’s not clear if Santos was informed on this fact by the Albanian government or the EU Delegation in Albania.

The EP rapporteur also has said that Albania must continue in its reforms- not just in justice but in reforms against organized crime, corruption, drug trafficking and elections as well.

She added that these reforms are very important, not just for the EU but for Albanian citizens.

“Albanians should continue to implement these reforms, not only in the Justice Reform but also in the fight against organized crime and corruption, including drug and electoral reform. The latest decision to postpone voting is another good step for Albania. I hope that all the recommendations of the Venice Commission and, of course, the will of the Albanians, in accordance with international standards, are taken into account. Albanians can always trust the EU,” Albania’s EP rapporteur said.

Santos said she will return to the country to monitor these reforms and to speak to all of those who are involved in them.

“The enlargement process is of great importance for the EU, but also for Albania. We will continue with reforms as we progress. I will come here several times over the next year to talk to all of the actors. We will continue to follow the pace of reforms, be sure of that.