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Martedì 10 dicembre 2013 - Strasburgo Edizione rivista

18. Relazione 2013 sui progressi compiuti dall'Albania (discussione)
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  La Présidente. - L'ordre du jour appelle le débat sur les déclarations du Conseil et de la Commission sur le rapport de suivi 2013 concernant l'Albanie (2013/2879(RSP)).

 
  
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  Vytautas Leškevičius, President-in-Office of the Council. − Madam President, the 2013 Progress Report on Albania makes positive reading compared to previous years and it is on this basis that the recommendation by the Commission is to grant candidate status to the country. The Council is due to decide whether to agree to the granting of candidate status at its meeting on 17 December, subject to confirmation by the European Council.

Among the positive elements were the way in which the general elections were conducted in June 2013. There was solid progress compared with previous elections. As stated in the Council conclusions of last year, this was a crucial test for the functioning of the democratic institutions. There was also a smooth transition of power.

Yet another positive element is the position of the new government as regards cooperation and dialogue with the opposition. It is the intention of the new government to improve relations substantially. Inclusiveness is the key word we hear. So far, we have seen these good intentions bear fruit on a number of occasions.

We welcome the High Level Dialogue on Key Priorities launched by the Commission and Prime Minister Edi Rama on 12 November. The aim is to help the country maintain focus and consensus on EU integration. This will certainly prove a useful tool for continuing dialogue and monitoring developments on the key priorities that were listed in the Commission܀s opinion in 2010.

Furthermore, on a positive note, I believe it is worth underlining the constructive role Albania plays in the region, being fully engaged in a number of regional initiatives such as the Regional Cooperation Council and the South East European Cooperation Process.

However, the Council conclusions of last year were clear that, in order to be granted candidate status, Albania needs to complete key measures in the areas of judicial and public administration reform and revision of the parliamentary procedure. Moreover, further action on the fight against corruption and organised crime will also be required.

This huge task has been initiated by the new government. A number of actions have taken place and more are in a preparatory phase. For instance, we understand that the creation of structures to fight corruption is well advanced and that there is an increase in investigations being opened in the areas of corruption and drug trafficking.

I do not want to prejudge the decision of Ministers on 17 December. The Government of Albania certainly seems to be determined towards further progress in key areas. At the same time, sustainability and credibility based on an established track record remain important considerations for Member States. I am grateful to your rapporteur, Nikola Vuljanić, and will listen with interest to your views on this issue.

 
  
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  Štefan Füle, Member of the Commission. − Madam President, I would like to thank Parliament and the rapporteur, Mr Vuljanić, for his excellent report on Albania. I welcome its findings and recommendations which are very much in line with our 2013 progress report. In particular I welcome the clear support of this House for our recommendation to grant candidate status to Albania.

2013 has been a good year for Albania’s European Union integration. Firstly, the government and opposition cooperated to adopt a number of important legal acts in Parliament, including the three measures that were required for the granting of candidate-country status.

Secondly, the parliamentary elections in June were orderly and competitive and were followed by a smooth transfer of power.

Thirdly, the 2013 progress report underlined a number of important developments confirming progress towards meeting the Copenhagen political criteria for European Union membership and addressing reforms in the key priorities as identified by the Council in its 2012 conclusions on Albania.

Fourthly, the first meeting of the High-Level Dialogue on the Key Priorities with Albania was held in November, providing valuable support for key reforms.

The assessment of the Commission is that all this merits candidate status, hence the unconditional recommendation made in the 2013 enlargement package. We want Albania to continue delivering and we see the granting of candidate status as a further incentive for the country to continue its reform efforts. We expect continued follow-up and delivery of results.

The support for Albania’s European Union integration is widespread across the entire country. Government and opposition alike have confirmed their commitment to European Union related reforms. I am impressed by the way the new government is prioritising its efforts in the fight against corruption and organised crime and I am equally impressed by the results achieved in the months since it has taken office which confirm the positive trend established earlier.

Granting candidate status is an important step, not only for encouraging Albania to pursue the far-reaching reforms required, but also for the credibility of the European Union, which set clear conditions for obtaining the candidate status at its 2012 Council. Enlargement policy is only credible when both sides live up to their side of the bargain. Albania has delivered and so should we.

 
  
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  Nikola Vuljanić, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Madam President, I would first like to thank everybody who has helped in constructing this document, primarily the people in the Committee on Foreign Affairs secretariat, the people in my group’s secretariat, my assistants and all the colleagues who have contributed to this form of the resolution.

The resolution was supposed to come to the plenary in January. I insisted that it be brought earlier for two reasons: one is to help the country, and the other is to help the Parliament. I think the Parliament should have a strong stand on such an important issue as enlargement. The Council has to decide, but the Parliament should have a strong stand. It seems that it has worked here in the Parliament.

The initial draft was primarily the result of the good starting point given to me first by the Commission and its report on the progress of Albania, then by my visit to Albania and the talks I had with the officials there and with some ordinary people whom I succeeded in meeting, and finally, just personally, by my knowing the mentality of the people and my knowledge of the history of the Balkans.

The result was a positive draft report. Numerous amendments came – some 122 – and 21 compromise amendments which I hope made the text more readable and more acceptable to everybody. The resolution stresses primarily the achievements the country has made in the period, what has happened over a year, but it also stresses and points out the various problems and issues that should be solved in the future. They include political, social, economic, environmental protection and numerous other issues.

It should be clearly stated that this is not about Albania becoming a member in some fairly foreseeable future; it is about its candidacy status, and candidacy status means putting the country under closer scrutiny, under a stronger microscope. I think the country deserves it and I am completely sure that, with the support they have, the Albanians can overcome all the obstacles standing in their way.

The importance of Albania as a country in Europe should not be and need not be repeated; but let me say once again that it is the youngest nation in Europe and we are not so rich in young people in the rest of the continent. I suppose it will be supported on Thursday.

 
  
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  Doris Pack, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, lieber Herr Kommissar, lieber Herr Ratspräsident! Seit mehr als 22 Jahren bin ich in Albanien mehr oder minder tätig. Ich habe die Entwicklung dort verfolgt und bin froh, dass dieses Land, das der Hochsicherheitstrakt des Kommunismus in Europa war, nach so langer Zeit den Weg gefunden hat und heute in der Lage ist, diese wichtige Hürde genommen zu haben und die Aussicht auf den Kandidatenstatus zu haben.

Es ist richtig, dass sich in den letzten acht Jahren vieles zum Besseren verändert hat. Die Voraussetzungen für den Kandidatenstatus wurden geschaffen. Die Regierungen der letzten acht Jahre haben die Weichen richtig gestellt. Wir könnten das, was wir heute besprechen, bereits vor einem Jahr besprochen haben, wenn die damalige Opposition nicht das Parlament boykottiert und so über Monate wichtige Entscheidungen – Gesetzesentscheidungen – verhindert hätte.

Jetzt ist es aber endlich so weit. Die letzte Wahl ist gut verlaufen, der Regierungswechsel ist ebenfalls ordentlich und reibungslos verlaufen, was so bisher auch nie der Fall war. Die Opposition hat ihre Rolle angenommen. Was mich besonders freut, ist, dass das Klima im Parlament offenbar auch das Prozedere zugunsten der Opposition geändert hat, sodass es also inzwischen vielleicht auch möglich ist, das politische Klima zu ändern. Denn diese Verbalinjurien, die von der linken auf die rechte, von der rechten auf die linke Seite ständig gegeben werden, sind unerträglich. Eigentlich müsste man sich dafür schämen.

Wir sind in der EVP-Fraktion der Auffassung, dass Albanien den Kandidatenstatus bekommen soll, es hat ihn verdient. Das bedeutet nicht, dass es morgen Mitglied wird, das wurde bereits gesagt. Es bedeutet aber auch nicht, dass wir dafür sind, dass wir die Verhandlungen zum Beitritt jetzt beginnen. Deswegen werden wir gegen diese Vorschläge stimmen. Wir werden das Land auf seinem Weg in die Europäische Union tatkräftig und konstruktiv begleiten und hoffen, dass der Rat diese Entscheidung trifft, die von der Kommission vorgeschlagen wurde.

 
  
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  Libor Rouček, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, Albania made huge progress in 2013. Most importantly, for the first time, there was a peaceful transition of power. Before the elections and also after the elections, a whole number of important reforms were made and now I would like to give thanks to the current government but also to the current opposition. Our message should be for them to carry on in the same way and to work together, no matter who is in power and who is in opposition. What is needed is that all political forces work together on that goal of joining the European Union.

That is also a message to civil society. A number of reforms have to be made. In reports we talk about administrative reform, judicial reform and the fight against corruption and so on and so forth. That is necessary and it is a process, but I think Albania is on the right track.

Albania is also playing a very constructive role as far as regional cooperation is concerned. There is an opportunity now to work with Albania’s neighbours, whether it is Montenegro, which is already negotiating, or Serbia, which hopefully will start negotiating soon.

There is a need to support the rapprochement process between Belgrade and Pristina. There is also need to help the neighbours in Macedonia in FYROM, and I think Albania can play a very positive and very constructive role – a role which it has been playing up to now and which it can play in the future. The granting of the candidate status is the right step forward, but we would also like to encourage all Albanian political forces and authorities to consolidate this process achieved so far and make an additional effort to enable a positive decision on the opening of accession negotiations. Of course the conditions have to be met, but it is up to the Albanian authorities to work in that direction.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, Albania has been taking important steps towards meeting the EU criteria but, while we acknowledge that, this Parliament clearly defines the many areas where work needs to be done. Our list is long and includes the need to address tackling corruption and the need to reform public administration, eradicating organised crime, improving media freedom and independence, safeguarding the rights of various minorities, including Roma and LGBT, overcoming the political polarisation that runs deeply through society, reforming the judiciary and ensuring its independence, promoting a genuine dialogue between civil society and government, and guaranteeing the well-being of those who depend on the state, whether in prison or mentally ill.

The Liberal Group supports the Commission’s position on granting Albania candidate status, which should not be mistaken for membership of the EU in any way. In election years especially, we must be clear about managing expectations and ensuring that debates about enlargement are fact-based. The same goes for addressing Albanian audiences. This is not a reward for one government or another, but rather a signal to all Albanians to encourage them to move forward with the many remaining reforms towards meeting the Copenhagen criteria. We have the well-being of the people in mind, which should benefit from continuing to walk down the European path.

 
  
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  Davor Ivo Stier (PPE). - Gospođo predsjednice, želim na početku čestitati izvjestitelju kolegi Vuljaniću na dobro obavljenom poslu, ne samo u pripremi ovog izvješća. Mislim da je izuzetno važno što smo danas raspravljali o ovom izvješću prije odluke, odnosno prije sjednice Europskog vijeća sada u prosincu. Možda bi to bilo pametno učiniti i s drugim zemljama jugoistočne Europe, a o kojima će se također odlučivati na tom Europskom vijeću.

Želio bih ovdje pozdraviti isto tako rad povjerenika Fülea i Europske komisije u tom smislu. Vidimo da je u Albaniji glavni napredak da je stvoren jedan konsenzus za Europu, da se to pokazalo i na dobro organiziranim izborima i u tom smislu i ovdje je važno napomenuti kako je taj proces dug, ali ako postoji konsenzus, ako i jedna i druga strana političkog spektra mogu zajedno raditi, da će se doći do jednog reformskog procesa koji će dati rezultate. I zato i ovom prilikom mislim da se mora naglasiti i uloga oporbe u jednom konstruktivnom tonu za Europu.

 
  
 

Interventions à la demande

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). - Madam President, in today’s discussion, a week before the European Council, I would like to support the upholding of the European Commission’s recommendation to grant candidate country status to Albania without undue delay. Albania is on the European track and has only been there for a short time. The general political climate is improving thanks to the work of all major political players and I think it gives good prospects for the future. Yes, it needs to be stressed that the progress achieved so far needs further consolidation and implementation. This is the time when the adoption of the remaining reforms should be intensified.

Once again, I would like to give my support to the resolution and congratulate the rapporteur. I hope that my message will also be shared by the Council later this month.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). - Gospođo predsjednice, čestitam kolegi Vuljaniću na njegovom sadržajnom i uravnoteženom izvješću, a nastavno na nedavni posjet Albaniji dopustite nekoliko kratkih zapažanja.

Treba pohvaliti ponašanje političkih stranaka nakon nedavnih parlamentarnih izbora i mirne predaje vlasti, ali i pozvati na nastavak istog odnosa kako bi se uspostavio iskreni politički dijalog, te ostvarila konstruktivna suradnja među svim uključenima.

Pristupanje Uniji mora biti sveobuhvatan proces koji osim političkih stranaka uključuje i civilno društvo. Stoga pozivam nadležna tijela na pravovremeno informiranje zainteresiranih dionika i šire javnosti o tijeku šireg procesa EU integracija.

Pozdravljam napore i doprinos albanskih institucija u jačanju regionalne i međunarodne policijske suradnje oko problema krijumčarenja, ali ujedno naglašavam potrebu za provođenjem dodatnih reformi u borbi protiv organiziranog kriminala.

Zaključno, vjerujem da će Albanija zadržati svoj konstruktivan položaj i u regiji, kontinuiranom komunikacijom s ostalim zemljama zapadnog Balkana, razmjenjujući znanje i iskustva stečenih tijekom njihovih EU integracijskih procesa, te na taj način pridonijeti intenziviranju suradnje i dodatnoj stabilizaciji regije.

 
  
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  Marije Cornelissen (Verts/ALE). - Madam President, I would like to congratulate Albania on the most positive report we have been able to write about the country in years. Congratulations to Mr Berisha, who stepped aside after the elections without a fuss, a first in Albania’s democratic history, I think. Congratulations to Mr Rama who managed to finally finish Albania’s European homework. However, we should not trust that the very recent past of political bickering and paralysis of political process because of the deep divisions between the main parties is completely in the past now. Let us commend Albania on what has gone well and let us ask to see an extended track record of constructive political cooperation before we shout halleluiah.

As a final remark I would like to say that it is quite unhelpful for some members of the S&D Group and some members of the PPE Group, though absolutely not all, to mix their own party politics with those in Albania. There is clearly enough trouble with party politics in Albania itself without us taking sides, so let us hope that the ministers will give Albania a chance to move ahead in its reform process, and let us hope that the Albanian political parties on all sides will take that chance with both hands.

 
  
 

(Fin des interventions à la demande)

 
  
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  Štefan Füle, Member of the Commission. − Madam President, in recent weeks the Albanian Government has taken numerous initiatives to present its programme and, even more, the initial results in Member State capitals and also in meetings with the European institutions. In some cases the government representative has been accompanied by an opposition representative, which clearly underlines the commitment of both sides to inclusiveness. I very much appreciate these efforts.

This is one of the reasons why I have appealed to the European Union Member States to take Albania’s additional efforts and results into account when discussing the granting of candidate status to Albania. I would like to underline that Albania still faces many challenges and that we are not recommending the opening of accession negotiations. I cannot agree more with some of my colleagues here in the European Parliament. Our report makes clear that there are a number of outstanding recommendations to be met before such a step could be envisaged.

But we need to firmly anchor Albania on its European Union integration path. I strongly believe that granting candidate status to Albania would send an encouraging signal to all its citizens that Albania’s future is within Europe. It would help to further consolidate the country’s engagement on European integration and to provide a stimulus to pursue necessary reforms and to better face challenges such as the difficult economic situation. I also strongly believe that it would have, without any doubt, a positive influence on the whole region.

 
  
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  Vytautas Leškevičius, President-in-Office of the Council. − Madam President, European integration requires serious efforts at national level and must be an inclusive process. Continued commitment and a stable and constructive political dialogue are essential for Albania’s success. The coming months will be crucial for the government to demonstrate its determination and live up to its promises.

It is certainly most helpful for the government that there is a high level of support by Albanian citizens for European integration. This is a significant foundation on which political leaders can build a common platform in the interest of their country.

Let me conclude by pointing out once again the progress Albania has achieved in the past year, and in particular the last couple of months. It has demonstrated political will and concrete results in bringing about much needed reform. I am confident that further efforts will continue to be made during 2014.

 
  
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  La Présidente. - J'ai reçu, conformément à l'article 110, paragraphe 2, du règlement une proposition de résolution(1).

Le débat est clos.

Le vote aura lieu jeudi 12 décembre 2013, à 12 heures.

Déclarations écrites (article 149)

 
  
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  Kinga Göncz (S&D), írásban. Örvendetes, hogy hosszú hónapokig tartó 'mosolyszünet' után, az albániai politikai erők megtalálták a párbeszéd útját. A békés nyári kormányváltás arról árulkodott, hogy a kormánypárti és ellenzéki pártok felismerték: együtt kell működniük. A közelmúlt eseményei, az ellenzék októberi parlamenti bojkottja azonban figyelmeztetnek arra, hogy mennyire törékeny a tűzszünet a politikai ellenfelek között. A tagjelölti státusz elnyerését követően is azon kell munkálkodnia valamennyi albániai politikai erőnek, hogy megőrizze az ország fejlődésének alapvető irányát meghatározó kérdésekben kialakult konszenzust. Amikor támogatásunkról biztosítjuk az Albániának adandó tagjelölti státuszt, elismerjük a feltételek teljesítésében elért komoly haladást. Ugyanakkor biztatást is kívánunk adni a folytatáshoz, hogy ne hagyjon alább a reform lendülete, hiszen egy sor területen - az erőfeszítések ellenére - váratnak magukra a látványos eredmények. Az albániai polgárok 2010 óta vízum nélkül utazhatnak az EU területére. Az "ajtónyitás" eredménye is, hogy Albániában viszonylag normalizálódott a politikai helyzet. Az uniós kormányok e hónap elején fogadták el azt a jogszabály-módosítást, ami lehetővé teszi a vízumkötelezettség visszaállítását harmadik országokkal szemben. Az albán kormánynak mindent meg kell tennie azért, hogy ez a vívmány ne kerüljön veszélybe. Ugyanakkor arra is fel kell hívni a figyelmet, hogy a vízummentesség megvonását megalapozó döntést mindenre kiterjedő, hiteles adatokat produkáló vizsgálatnak kell megelőznie!

 
  

(1)Voir procès-verbal.

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