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Parliamentary questions
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9 October 2009
Answer given by Mr Rehn on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-4221/2009

1. The Commission is well aware of the continued unresolved property rights of the Greek minority by the Albanian state. This is a nationwide problem affecting many citizens. Moreover, unresolved property rights have undermined efforts to develop a functional land market and kept foreign investment below potential.

The Commission attaches great importance to the fundamental rights of all minorities. As part of its regular political dialogue with Albania, the Commission has encouraged the authorities to find an equitable and efficient solution to the property issue, as a fundamental component of the consolidation of the rule of law and human rights in Albania.

2. The Commission has information that the reports on the agricultural bill in the media cannot be confirmed. At this stage, it is too early to reach any conclusions. There is an ongoing debate within the Ministry of Agriculture about finding a solution for uncultivated agricultural land.

3. The Commission will continue to monitor the issue of property rights during the meetings with Albanian representatives and in the upcoming Progress report.

The Commission would like to assure the Honourable Member that it will continue to support the implementation of the restitution and compensation process in Albania, for all former and current owners. The Commission believes that completing property registration is a vital element of this process and has supported the Albanian government through the CARDS/IPA(1) assistance programmes.

(1)Community Assistance to Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation/Pre-accession Assistance.

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