Foreign affairs MEPs on Tuesday underlined the need for inclusive, constructive and sustainable political dialogue on reforms and for greater cooperation between the political forces in Albania and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In their assessment of the progress made in 2014, they restate their ongoing support for the EU integration process in the two countries but say both need to advance, inter alia, with their democratic processes, tackle corruption and put in place a professional and depoliticised public administration.
Albania must establish a solid track record for EU-related reforms
MEPs commend Albania for gaining EU candidate status and see this as encouragement to step up its reform efforts still further. However, they warn that the continuing political polarisation could jeopardise further EU integration efforts and call on both the ruling coalition and the opposition to cooperate responsibly and constructively.
The committee notes that the trend in the fight against trafficking and narcotics production is positive but still sees the fight against organised crime as a major challenge. Albania should also do more to ensure the independence, efficiency and accountability of the judiciary and to guarantee the independence of the public broadcaster, it says. MEPs praise Albania for its climate of religious tolerance, its constructive and pro-active stance in regional and bilateral cooperation, particularly vis-à-vis Serbia, and its full alignment with EU foreign policy positions.
The resolution, drafted by Knut Fleckenstein (S&D, DE), was passed by 51 votes to 3, with 4 abstentions.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: political elites must show clear commitment
The foreign affairs committee calls on the political elites of Bosnia and Herzegovina to show unequivocal commitment to and engagement in resuming the reform process and moving closer to the EU. It stresses that the political stalemate, overly complex and ineffective institutional architecture and lack of cooperation between political leaders are seriously impeding the country’s stabilisation and development. MEPs urge the leaders to commit fully to necessary reforms. The Commission should pay particular attention to the implementation of the Sejdić-Finci ruling, they add.
While welcoming the Written Commitment to EU Integration, adopted by the country’s presidency, signed by the leaders of all political parties and endorsed by its parliament, MEPs single out its effective implementation as crucial and ask for a specific roadmap for a broad and inclusive reform agenda to advance Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path towards the EU.
The resolution drafted by Cristian Dan Preda (EPP, RO) was passed by 47votes to 3, with 4abstentions.
The full House will vote on the two separate resolutions on the two countries in Strasbourg in April.