EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca urged Albanian politicians to extend the mandate of the institutions vetting the country’s judges and prosecutors.
On Friday, Soreca and Minister of Justice Ulsi Manja participated in a conference at the High Judicial Council to discuss the role of the judiciary. Soreca and Manja also met in private yesterday.
…Essential to focus attention on new judicial map & new case management system, as well as on resources of School of Magistrates. Vetting process should be extended to be brought to conclusion.
An efficient and impartial judiciary is a fundamental feature for 🇪🇺 accession. 2/2.
— Luigi Soreca🇪🇺 (@LSorecaEU) October 1, 2021
During the conference, Manja confirmed that government would be asking Parliament to extend the mandates of vetting institutions. The plan was originally announced last week by Taulant Balla, leader of the Socialist Party’s (PS) parliamentary group.
After the conference, Soreca spoke for media where he urged the Albanian Parliament to approve the government’s decision, after Parliament consults with all parties on the matter.
He indicated that he himself would be meeting with representatives of the opposition to agree on an extension.
“There are some important files that need to be addressed. The government has a duty to support them,” Soreca said, without going into the specifics.
He also added that the EU will help Albania’s justice reform with an additional 50 million euros for Justice Reform.
The 5-year mandate of the Independent Qualification Commission (KPK) will end in 2022, while only half of the magistrates having been vetoed.
If Parliament does not approve the extension of the KPK’s mandate, then the High Judicial Council will undertake to vet the remaining magistrates. So far about 400 magistrates have vetted out of a total of 800.