EU Ambassador Vlahutin Parrots PM Rama

EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin has been often publicly criticized for her biased stance that often favors the government. A brief review of her public statements, made during Thursday’s “Force of Law” conference seems to confirm this criticism.

Regarding the government’s reforms

Edi Rama, in April 2018:

Europe does not do gifts. Brussels is a merciless machine that only sees and recognizes merit. The [European Commission’s] recommendation is a recognition of our merits with regards to the reforms and the fight against society’s an the country’s enemies: crime and corruption.

Romana Vlahutin, on July 5, 2018:

Four years ago, the Justice Reform began. It didn’t begin from zero, it began from even less than that. The road is going well. Albania has managed to become a model for brave reforms, and an example to the rest of the region.

Regarding the war against organized crime

Edi Rama, on July 5, 2018:

Whenever we discuss organized crime, criminality, and impunity, it is important to remember that we are discussing a problem as complex, as it is interconnected with the complexity of the relations between law enforcement institutions.

Romana Vlahutin, on July 5, 2018:

The issue is not whether organized crime exists or not, the issue is whether the institutions are able to destroy it. Good governance is a fundamental and non negotiable condition in this war. We must make it clear that organized crime cannot be as powerful as the state. Nothing can be stronger than state institutions. There must be a zero tolerance with regards to crime.

Regarding the perception of Albanian criminality in EU Member States

Edi Rama, on August 26, 2017:

I refuse to accept the way Albanians, be they asylum-seekers or people who commit crimes within the EU, are used as a reason to single Albania out. Criminals are criminals, no matter the flag or the nationality. They are criminals only because they break the law. I strongly reject any political and media attempt within the EU to single out Albanian or Balkans criminals.

Romana Vlahutin, on July 5, 2018:

If there is something that upsets me, it’s when I hear that foreigners’ perception of Albania is a reflection of the crimes people of Albanian origins or nationality have commited. I have met good, hard-working people. It is not fair that they are framed in such a way by the actions of those who bring shame to their families. The Albanian state is not responsible for criminals of Albanian nationality operating in the EU.

Regarding the government’s achievements with regards to the war against crime

Edi Rama, on July 5, 2018:

Nowadays, the war against crime is a daily occupation for our police force. Today, organized crime is weaker than four years ago, we have confiscated millions of euros in assets.

Romana Vlahutin, on July 5, 2018:

Arrests of organized groups, the fight against cannabis, the confiscation of criminal assets have been some of the police’s most successful operations.