Of course, at this juncture, this verbal barrage didn’t deter Rama. Alas, none of this brought Albania the coveted opening of accession talks. His obvious goal was to wrong-foot the opposition alliance, which is comprised of many parties. Varhelyi took to Twitter to say that he trusted “that the Venice Commission will provide swift advice to Albanian stakeholders on the implementation of Constitutional Changes of July 30. Several MEPs issued statements including the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee David McAllister, who wanted to wait for the Venice Commission in order to avoid further polarization and not imperil the next EU integration steps. Varhelyi repeated this same claim the next day. This would have been a déjà vu if the current Enlargement Commissioner, Oliver Varhelyi, broke with his Commission’s legacy of turning a blind eye to various democratic transgressions, and in some cases, even justifying them. Parliament should consider waiting for a revote and take this advice into account while looking forward to free and fair elections in April 2021. He called on Rama on October 26 to ask that the vote be delayed until the beginning of December when the Venice Commission would have published its opinion on the case. On day eight of voting, an MEP addressed Rama In a scathing open letter calling on him “to put first the interests of the Albanian democracy and her European perspective and to refrain from voting on the amendments in parliament until the Venice Commission has spoken”. The EU member states, aware of the problems within the Commission, imposed more than a dozen conditions to be fulfilled prior to the talks. The MEP expressed dismay about the breach of the agreement with the opposition in its letter and Rama’s attempt to gain an advantage in the distribution of parliamentary seats and stressed that rejecting Varhelyi’s advice might lead to decoupling from North Macedonia with the latter moving faster towards the EU. Surprisingly, Rama changed view abruptly and in October unilaterally amended the Electoral Code by scrapping the pre-electoral coalitions. But with the Venice Commission in the pipeline and having burned bridges in Brussels, Rama cannot claim to be the well-dressed emperor while he’s naked. Rama’s last antics was to breach an agreement with the opposition that the EU and the US, aiming at orderly elections and post-election day stability, worked hard to facilitate and to successfully conclude on June 5. The European Parliament, which had issued a cross-party statement in July warning Rama not to breach the deal with the opposition, openly backed Varhelyi. The 26th OSCE Ministerial Council, bringing together Foreign Ministers from across the OSCE region, takes place on 05 and 06 December 2019. style=”font-size:40px; line-height: 1.3em; font-weight: 800; padding:7px;”>Albania’s Edi Rama breaks with the EU
Legendary EU insider, uncovering the deepest and darkest realities of EU governance and administration
epa08049129 Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama attends a press conference during the 26th OSCE Ministerial Council in Bratislava, Slovakia, 06 December 2019. President Ilir Meta, who has had a tense relationship with Rama over the last two years, sent the law back to parliament and also referred the amendments to the Venice Commission, an eminent body of jurists from the Council of Europe, claiming violations of the constitution and European norms (Albania is still without a Constitutional Court following a misguided justice reform). This, however, couldn’t last very long. The spread of this image by an international network of fellow Socialists, the paid lobbyists, personal friends and assorted media drowned the voices of the very few expats in Tirana who were flabbergasted to see a very different reality. EPA-EFE//MARTIN DIVISEK
Once upon a time, Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama use to cultivate the image of an artist-politician who impressed the grandees of world politics by appearing in sneakers at their summits. He is already exposed, both domestically and internationally. Rama flatly rejected this request as he would tell news reporters the next day. He pretended to be the confidante of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the Balkans and also to have the ear of French President Emmanuel Macron and carefully built an image that he would own the international community, no matter what. They started to check the implementation themselves through their bilateral embassies, but Rama still sort of managed to keep appearances and sometimes even to mock the EU by publicly denying the existence of the EU conditions. EPA-EFE/MARTIN DIVISEK
Albania's PM Edi Rama is a wannabe emperor with no clothes. Their reports of arbitrariness, top-level corruption and collusion with the underworld compared starkly to the rosy picture painted in the progress reports by former the European Commission’s foreign policy guru (and fellow Socialist), Federica Mogherini, and generally dismissed.