Mogherini: Opposition Boycott Blocks Vetting

Yesterday High Representative Federica Mogherini visited Tirana, meeting President Bujar Nishani, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati, Speaker of Parliament Ilir Meta, as well as opposition leader Lulzim Basha.

In a press conference at the Prime Ministry, Mogherini stated that the European Union is ready to open negotiations once the vetting of the judicial branch has been implemented. She also emphasized the necessity of progress on the five key priorities, explicitly including the “fight against corruption and organised crime and in particular cultivation and trafficking of narcotics.”

Mogherini also addressed the opposition protest, which has so far included a boycott of the Parliament:

I was also clear that boycott of the Parliament means blocking the establishment of the vetting Commission and de facto stops Albania’s progress toward the European Union – and this in a moment where the country has the real possibility to move forward on its European Union path.

She called for dialogue between the political parties, which was today reiterated by Prime Minister Rama.

On Monday an extraordinary session of Parliament has been called to create the first parliamentary ad-hoc committee that will determine the final list of qualifying applicants for the three vetting institutions. It is as yet unclear whether the opposition will join the session or not.