OSCE is Albania's main partner in the electoral process that will culminate in the April 25th political elections. That was confirmed by the OSCE Ambassador in Tirana, the Italian Vincenzo Del Monaco in an interview for "Agenzia Nova".
"The advantages of the OSCE Presence in Albania are those of the current Swedish Presidency of the OSCE, reduced to the local level and, for their implementation, we can rely on the success of the Albanian Presidency that just closed", says the ambassador , emphasizing the importance of the OSCE's work with the Albanian authorities, in the context of the important elections of 25 April, work that is carried out as he puts it, through a series of very concrete initiatives involving institutions, civil society and minorities, working side by side with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), headed for a few days by Matteo Mecacci, as well as the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
Citing other priorities of the OSCE-led delegation, Del Monaco also noted "support for justice reform, a focus on gender equality and media freedom."
"Another important development, in recent weeks in Albania, was the election of 7 out of 9 judges of the Constitutional Court, thus making it functional after almost three years of stalemate, within the process of re-evaluation of judges required by the international community. The Constitutional Court is now able to exercise its functions, but we hope that the entire panel of 9 judges can be filled as soon as possible, why not even before the April elections," said the Chairman of the OSCE Presence in Albania.
According to Ambassador Del Monaco, “it is a fact that justice reform enjoys strong support from the international community, while it is understood that each of the results achieved so far by the country is the fruit of Albanian will and determination. Reforms, due to their complexity, scope and reliability, do take time. Take, for example, the process through which judges are selected, the so-called 'vetting' ", the diplomat notes while answering the question about the prospects of Albania's accession negotiations.
Another aspect, which inevitably characterizes, at this stage, the work of the OSCE in the Balkan country, is related to the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The OSCE Presence has shown that it is a reliable partner of Albania since the early stages of the pandemic: for example, by donating equipment to police and border crossings; distributing emergency packages to the most vulnerable groups; providing assistance to the Ministry of Health, in cooperation with UNICEF, on child protection guidelines; as well as helping the Albanian Parliament to digitize the works ", says Del Monaco, according to whom the OSCE can help guide the recovery after the pandemic.