- September 17, 2020
On September 17, 2020 the Aspen Institute Germany hosted an online discussion on “Albania’s EU Integration: A Reform Laden Path”. Lutfi Dervishi, Member of the Board, Institute for Political Studies (ISP), Christiane Hullmann, Head of Division 209 Western Balkans, German Federal Foreign Office, Afrim Krasniqi, Executive Director, Institute for Political Studies (ISP), and Christian Schmidt, Member of the German Bundestag, Federal Minister (ret.), discussed the opening of EU accession negotiations with Albania and the related conditions of the European Council. Albania is urged to make further progress in electoral and judicial reforms as well as the fight against organized crime and corruption. Therefore, the online discussion focused on the reform processes in Albania, in particular on the implementation of the judicial reform and the current developments regarding the electoral reform. Albania has made progress in both fields. However, the functioning of the highest courts remains a challenge: due to a lack of qualified applicants it has so far not been possible to fill all positions. Regarding the electoral reform, progress was made as well. However, questions remain with regard to the impact of a controversial constitutional change, which will influence the elections and was passed without the biggest opposition party which decided to return their parliamentary mandates last year. Another topic was the ongoing debate on a new media law and the internal political situation in Albania. The virtual discussion is part of the Aspen Berlin Policy Hub for think tanks from the Western Balkans, a project funded by the Open Society Foundation and the Federal Press Agency.