29 May 2020 Statement of the President of the Republic, H.E. Ilir Meta
Last week, I promised you a weekly communication to make the President’s activity as transparent as possible according to his constitutional role, but also to be as open as possible to you on the most important issues.
Transparency in the management of institutions is the foundation of the functioning of the rule of law, but also of respecting and guaranteeing the trust of citizens in the institutions.
1. During this week, the review of requests for promulgation for 8 laws approved by the Albanian Parliament continued:
Of these, 3 laws have been promulgated by the President:
1) Law no. 52/2020 “On some changes in the law no. 10448, dated 14.7.2011, “On environmental permits”, as amended
2) Law no. 53/2020 “On some changes in the law no. 10431, dated 9.6.2011, “On environmental protection”, as amended ”
3) Law no. 57/2020 “On forests”
While 2 laws have been returned for reconsideration in the Assembly.
1) Law no. 43/2020 “On maritime tourism activities”, has returned, bearing great concern for the quality of the legislative process, but also the language of the adopted acts.
The field of maritime tourism recreational activities should be developed under a secure legal regime, but this secure regime is not guaranteed by the lack of clarity and coherence of legal provisions with the Constitution and the rest of the legislation in force.
In particular, the use of foreign language terms, the letters that our alphabet does not recognize, in the highest act with binding force issued by the Albanian Parliament, not only violates the principle that the official language in the Republic of Albania is Albanian, but directly violates and national identity, specifically protected by the preamble of our Constitution.
I wish that the Assembly reflects on these issues.
1) It has been returned for reconsideration to the Assembly Law no. 58/2020 for the approval of the concession addition of a port in Porto Romano Durrës.
For this law, as well as for other returned concessions, it is concluded that the procedure applied by the contracting authorities, bypasses the open and transparent competition procedures provided in the law on concessions and Public Private Partersships, entering into direct negotiation relations only with a subject.
These violations clearly violate free competition, causing high risk to public finances, violating the principle of freedom of economic activity, but above all, the Maritime Code and environmental security. Concerns about this law have reached the Institution from other economic operators, which have a contractual agreement with the Albanian state for the operation in the port of Durres.
The European Commission has also raised concerns about this law, asking the Albanian government for a series of explanations on the procedures followed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy for the signing of this practically new concession.
In addition to the reasons given in the Presidential Decree, the Albanian Assembly and the Albanian government must very carefully assess the concerns raised by the European Commission and other complaining economic operators.
2. The Institution of the President has continued the communication with the High Judicial Council, requesting the priority follow-up of the procedures for the completion of all vacancies in the High Court, according to the Constitution and the laws in force.
3. I had a conversation, through a video conference, with the representatives of “Europa Nostra”, whom I thanked for their commitment in promoting and preserving the cultural and historical heritage of our country.
It was agreed that it was necessary to launch an international investigation into the illegal and arbitrary demolition of the National Theater, which shocked the entire local and international public.
It was also agreed to continue cooperation on many other issues in our country related to the preservation and protection of our cultural heritage, as well as part of the European cultural heritage.
4. At the same time, I would like to clarify that after the storm in the cup that that arose last week, I have made some public statements to make completely clear and transparent to the public my sincere efforts to build consensus on the agenda for the European integration of Albania.
Within a few weeks, the negotiating framework for Albania will be proposed by the European Commission. But unfortunately, even this time, my efforts for this moment to find us more united, most prepared and most engaged in the reform agenda, was undermined.
Now let each actor take the burden of his responsibilities in front of the citizens and European partners. As I made public during this week, I will now spend less time with political Tirana, and will dedicate myself more to the Albania of the citizens.
5. Regarding the latest developments in Kosova, I would like to emphasize that as President of the Republic of Albania I have always respected the Constitution and the institutions of the Republic of Kosova, and I will always do so.
It is very important that in Kosova prevails a European behavior towards institutions.
6. On the issue of the Electoral Code, I am pleased too, to follow in the media the coverage of the statements of political and diplomatic actors, that it has made progress.
I can hardly wait for the parties to keep their word and on May 31, 2020 to conclude by consensus at this roundtable of the Political Council all the changes that have been so urgently required by the European Union, but also by other partners.
I will immediately sign these changes as soon as they come, in order to give some good news from Tirana to the citizens, but especially to the international partners, despite the fact that it will be insufficient news for what it is expected because the seriousness of these the changes will be verified by elections in the field.