From: Exit Staff
EU, US Support Controversial ‘Anti-KÇK’ Laws Approved by Albanian Government  

EU Delegation and US Embassy in Albania have stated their full support for the Rama government’s controversial changes to several laws that give the executive extra powers over restricting citizens’ movement, surveil and search without warrant.

The Socialist government adopted the so-called “Anti-KÇK Package” on Friday. It included amendments to the Anti-Mafia Law, State Police Law, Law on Administering Seized Assets, and Penal Code.

Changes were effective immediately, and within 45 days the Parliament will have to decide on whether to approve or reject them.

Asked by BIRN on Friday, both the EU and US representatives in Albania said the government had not presented them with the changes made, although Prime Minister Edi Rama and Minister of Justice Etilda Gjoni had claimed the amendments were brought in consultation with “international partners”.

In two separate statements on their Facebook pages, the EU Delegation and US Embassy praised the Rama government amendments, and said they will follow closely their implementation.

US Embassy statement:

As important justice reform implementation continues, the United States welcomes intensified efforts by the Government of Albania to prevent organized crime from using illicit wealth to undermine the foundations of rule of law. Enhanced law enforcement mechanisms should both bolster new independent justice institutions charged with prosecuting organized crime and harmonize with standards of due process. We will continue to follow implementation of this law with great interest.

EU Delegation statement:

Follow the money” has proved to be a very effective way to concretely tackle criminal organisations. The special law adopted by the Government of Albania which introduces new preventive measures to strengthen the fight against organised crime and terrorism goes in this direction and shows political will to address the issue.

We will follow closely the concrete implementation of the normative act. It is of utmost importance that the new legislative measures are implemented with full respect for the fundamental rights of the defendants and in accordance with the principles of the rule of law.
It is also important that these new measures are pursued through the institutions created by the justice reform, in particular SPAK.

We continue to encourage the Government of Albania to further increase its efforts to fully implement the justice reform and to strengthen the rule of law.