EURALIUS 'Blunders', All in Favor of Edi Rama
Albanian Daily News
Published July 8, 2019
President Ilir Meta released last week a series of strong criticisms on the European Union mission, EURALIUS V, which, within its mandate for Justice Reform expertise, has consistently given opinions that go to Edi Rama's favor and to his "Renaissance" government interest.
Meta mentioned problematic issues of the EURIALIUS mission, which were mentioned earlier by authoritarian voices, but which were isolated and hushed by the government propaganda.
About 3 years after the Justice Reform was approved with full political consensus, its implementation and put into practice has been accompanied by numerous problems, for which a key part of responsibility is upon EURALIUS experts who have served as "a tool" for filling the government's interests.
"Boldnews.al" brings to attention some of the most scandalous situations in which EURALIUS experts, with their opinions, have created political and institutional cramps.
At a consultative meeting in November 2015, the then head of EURALIUS mission, Rainer Deville, in the presence of former EU ambassador Romana Vlahutin, stated that "The only solution in containing corruption is the dismissal of 400 prosecutors and 400 judges" .
This prejudiced statement, released about 8 months before the constitutional changes and about 10 months before the law on Vetting was adopted, was in line with Edi Rama's propaganda stance, which at the time used the word "gargarele" (clowns) for judges and prosecutors in general.
Deville's position had a broad media coverage, prompting the European Union delegation to quickly understand the "blunder" and tried to clarify the situation. In an official reaction statement, Vlahutin's office at the time stated that the media had misinterpreted the statement of the head of the EURALIUS mission. In fact, it is strange that all the media present at that meeting "misinterpreted" the statement.
Deville was once again the focus of criticisms and question marks in December 2016 when it was found that experts under his direction had translated "wrongly" the Vetting law, which was sent for interpretation to the Venice Commission.
In September 2016, the Socialist majority voted alone the law "On the Provisional Revision of Judges and Prosecutors" (Vetting). After the law passed, the opposition appealed it to the Constitutional Court. The latter suspended the law and demanded a more specialized opinion on the Venice Commission.
EURALIUS, headed by Devali and Vlahutin, prepared the English translation of the law, which was sent to the Venice Commission. The opposition, who was following the process in every detail, found that EURALIUS experts had translated wrongly the specific parts of the law, for which the right wingers thought they were "deliberate," whilst Edi Rama and his "Renaissance" and Vlahut's delegation declared that they were "unintentional".
In fact, the "translation mistakes" were mostly related to some details that would be further exploited by the government and the socialist majority to put under total control the new Vetting institutions. However, although "translation errors" were recovered, the Renaissance nevertheless decided to establish its hegemony on the selection of members of the Vetting's structures.
After that "blunder", EURALIUS chief Rainer Deville was dismissed urgently from the direction of the mission. Initially, the EU delegation in Tirana denied that Deville was discharged. In an official reaction, Vlahutin's office explained that "Deville had received the annual leave". But he did not return to Tirana anymore.
In November 2017, the EURALIUS mission gave an opinion on the election of the Prosecutor General, at a time when the acting executive was at the end of his mandate, while the new institution elected by the Chief of the Accusation Body, the High Council of Prosecution had not yet been established .
This opinion was sent to Ulsi Manja, who had sent a request, in the capacity of chairman of the Laws Committee, but who had never discussed it with the other members of the commission.
In this opinion, EURALIUS experts suggested a "sui generis" solution, not provided in the Constitution nor in other laws - the appointment of a Provisional Prosecutor General. Not only that, but EURALIUS experts suggested that this PPG be elected by a simple majority.
This "opinion" of EURALIUS was exactly what Edi Rama and his "Renaissance" wanted. Through an procedure unfounded in any legal framework, the parliamentary majority voted only by 69 votes to appoint Arta Marku as Provisional Prosecutor General. From her appointment until today that she continues to hold her position, about 20 months, Arta Marku has not lost any chance without showing clear evidences of her submission to the "Renaissance".
Lastly, President Meta uncovered what had been talked and discussed from the "media sources" that EURALIUS has suggested to the High Judicial Council a "sui generis" solution for the High Court - the appointment of "temporary" members.
The Supreme Court is currently out of function. Due to the Vetting process, the Supreme Court currently has only two functional members - Chair Xhezair Zaganjori and the judge with an expired mandate, Ardian Dvorani.
Late May 2019, EURALIUS officially suggested to the High Judicial Council to undertake a process of selecting the "temporary" members of the High Court, positions that do not exist neither in the Constitution nor in the law, same as they did with the opinion for the appointment of the Provisional Prosecutor General.
The Constitution provides that members of the High Court shall be appointed by the President of the Republic upon the proposal of the High Judicial Council.
Meanwhile, the EURALIUS proposal for "temporary high court judges" completely excludes the role of the institution of the President, which today is headed by Ilir Meta, who stands in combat position against Edi Rama.
(Source: Editorial by Boldnews.al)