1 November 2007
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The one-year monitoring process of commitments of the Albanian government following signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) was the focus of a project organized by the three NASO members: the Institute of international Studies, the Albanian Helsinki Committee and the European Center, supported by the Soros Foundation. NOSA has closely followed the political and economic developments and the initiatives undertaken by the government and other stakeholders in complying with the requirements emerging from the new level of relations with the EU.
Individuals engaged in the monitoring process ended up in the conclusion that in the political aspect, local elections of 18 February, 2007, as well as the election of the President of the Republic in July 2007 were characterized by a lack of consensus, political confrontation and weaknesses of the electoral infrastructure. They recommended the establishment of one Electoral Fundamental National Register and drafting of a plan including all the interested stakeholders.
In the economic aspect, the monitoring process shows that the Albanian government has adopted several reforms in modernizing the fiscal system, reducing the informal economy, simplifying the business registration procedures, reducing the corruption level and the organized crime. Despite the good intention of some reforms, some laws passed by the Assembly of Albania were controversial from the human rights viewpoints, while fight against corruption has, in several cases, not been effective.
Reforms in the field of justice, according to the monitoring findings, were slow and not met in the terms envisaged in the law. The initiatives on changing the Law on the High Council of Justice, Law on Local Government and Law on Organization and Functioning of the Ministry of Justice have not only been timely, but even incomplete.
Progress in the field of minorities remains limited given that no initiative has been undertaken to amend the Law on Press. Functioning of pubic administration, based on the law-defining principles and criteria, as for instance the civil service, has reached no progressive status. The decentralization process has gone slow as the hitherto government progress has mainly been materialized in legal changes that regulate the financial aspects of decentralization.