Delegation of the European Union to Albania

Speech of EU Ambassador Luigi Soreca at the conference "Challenges of the General prosecution Office in light of the Justice Reform"

Tirana, Albania, 03/03/2020 - 12:30, UNIQUE ID: 200303_8
Speeches of the Ambassador

Dear Mr Çela,
Dear Ministers,
Dear colleagues, 

First, I would like to congratulate again Mr Çela for his appointment and for hosting us here today.

We should be proud that, as we are gathered here today, all the new justice institutions have now been established. It is an important achievement, but we should consider this only the end of the beginning. 

The office of the General Prosecutor and the whole prosecution system have been transformed by the justice reform, bringing more independence, stimulating decentralisation in decision making and enhancing accountability.

Mr Çela, you hold the responsibility to ensure that the rules and procedures provided in the new legislation are properly implemented – a role that you share with the Prosecutorial Council and certainly in close cooperation with line ministries.

Let me go through some achievements of justice reform which are directly related to the Prosecutorial Office:

A few years ago, many were unhappy that the General Prosecutor was nominated politically. Today, we welcome a General Prosecutor who is voted by his peers amongst magistrates running for the post.

A few years ago, many were asking for specialised structures, tools and training means for special crimes. All of this is now established and is being implemented.

A few years ago, the career perspectives for prosecutors were unpredictable and influenced by politics. Today, the perspective is clear and allows a path from the district unit up to becoming the next General Prosecutor.

Against these achievements, it is important that many young lawyers with integrity and passion could take the next exam at the School of Magistrates. As a judge or as a prosecutor, you now have a full career perspective that rewards the best achievers. This is your moment to contribute to the future of your country!

While we look at the results achieved so far, we have the obligation and the task to look ahead, at how to make sure that the existing challenges, as mentioned by the General Prosecutor, are met.

The best and most advanced judicial systems face challenges. A brand new one like the Albanian one coming out of the justice reform inevitably does.

Should the system as a whole be more efficient? Absolutely yes. There are still many procedures to be enhanced and more human resources to be devoted to the justice system.

Efficiency in criminal prosecution offences related to money laundering and confiscation of criminal assets needs to progress;

Juvenile justice matters should be given priority by prosecution services. In general, criminal law should adopt a more human rights oriented perceptive, focusing on the rights of the victim.

We should be looking forward to more pro-active and solid investigative files that too often do not stand the court tests.

I know and fully understand that it is often easier said than done. A proper investigative file takes time, needs a lot of resources and high level of professionalism. Teamwork, training and assistance from the best EU and international models should accompany you in these challenging tasks.

You will certainly not lack the support and assistance of the European Union. PAMECA together with EURALIUS are here to assist. In addition, our future project on "Financial Investigations" will provide the best peer to peer advice with EU Member States prosecutors.

The EU has allocated up to 34 million EURO to support the efficiency and sustainability of the reform.  This important investment should be used at its best, to make the system more efficient and more performant. This is our collective task.

The Albanian justice reform has taught us a great lesson: with courage, hard work and a strong wish for a better future so much can be achieved. In this crucial year of 2020 and for the next few years, the focus should be on how to make the new system efficient and performant. To serve the Albanian people them through a transparent and accountable judiciary system

The reform of the justice system is still the engine that drives the country towards what the 97% of the Albanian people consider their common goal, the EU accession of Albania.

Yesterday the European Commission has presented its updated report, which follows the introduction of the new methodology for enlargement. We believe Albania deserves to move forward now. We hope that the Member States will take a positive decision in the coming weeks.

Faleminderit!

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