The ministry produces new institutional structures
Accordinf to a notification coming directly from Ms. Gjosha, the government mandated the creation of two new structures within the Ministry of Integration or as it is specifically written in the public notification: ‘’It is about an increase in the European integration units and increasing the units of legislation design’’.
We should emphasize these two structures are not foreseen in the Integration Strategy 2015 – 2020 however they are considered to be guarantees for the approach that our country will follow in the upcoming steps towards European integration’’. On the other hand it is not clear what institutional gap will be filled with these structures, what need produced them and what will be the specific competencies and which directory they will be part of. The abovementioned are the minimum explanations that an institution like the Ministry of Integration owes its citizens since their set up and functioning will be paid from our taxes.
It is emphasized that these structures will aim to attract some of the best professionals in the field, who will benefit bonuses on a three month basis for their work. A declaration that we don’t know if it should be interpreted as if the Ministry until now has suffered from qualified personnel, which would be contrary to the claim of the current government that the competition to enter the public administration are rigorously applied. A question arising is why this task is not handed to the Public Administration Department, to design a unified system of compensation based on performance.
On the other hand we have the opportunity to raise a concern that relates exactly to the work of structures and directories within the ministry. In the official website only the organogram of the institution is available, which informs about the existence of directories and respective directors, but there are no sections that give detailed information on their daily work. Such a fact, shows lack of transparency and it is an indicator of the lack of independence of these structures within the ministry.
Justice reform and the ‘’cleanness’’ of local elections candidates
The National Integration Council was gathered this month where Ms. Gjosha reported on the process of fulfilling 5 key priorities. According to her they are fulfilled at the level of 90%: ‘’Evaluations that we are in the right direction and that Albania has made progress with reforms should not slow down our rhythm, to the contrary it should serve as an incentive to concentrate our energies on areas we need to transform, so that the day when Albania is part of the European Union becomes not so far away’’.
What the minister evidences was the attempt to reform in the areas of public administration, fight against corruption, establishing an online denouncing system, the fight against organized crime and the law on return and compensation of property. It is worth mentioning that in the Report of the EU Commission expected in October, the progress achieved will be evaluated based on the implementation of the reforms. If we refer to the online system of reporting corruption, is there any report that unveils the achievements and problems faced? How many of the reported cases are referred to the Prosecutor’s Office?
Ironically the latest Report of the Department of State touches upon the same problematics, declared by several EU officials who visited our country. The government and the Ministry of Integration especially continue to ignore them. The report was harsh regarding the war against trafficking in persons for different purposes starting with a lack of attention towards the problem, lack of statistics, lack of coordination between respective institutions and lack of awareness raising. In a special declaration in the framework of the report the American Embassy denounced the presence in the Albanian Parliament of an MP with a criminal past: ‘’At the same time the Embassy deems it shameful that there is a Member of Parliament with previous sentences for human trafficking. Albanians deserve representatives with high integrity and ethical standards, not criminals’’. This declaration and numerous reports for which the government refused to issue a response were visible in the Local Elections regarding the ‘’cleanness’’ of some of the candidates, a topic discussed at length in the June report, give an idea ont he progress of our country in the area of decriminalization and the fight against organized crime.
The response of the Integration Minister on this issue was quite interesting, who refuses that such a problem exists in terms of selecting candidates: ‘’What is important is that the process of selecting cndidates for the 61 municipalities of Albania was transparent and based on criminal testimonies and the certification from the CEC. Therefore, there were several procedures and several institutions through which the process was conducted. I would be more based in their criminal testimonies, that show the candidates are not incriminated and this is something that speaks based on the law and required documentation.
We hope upcoming reports will be as generous in evaluating the progress of our country as minister Gjosha was.