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Brussels, 17 November 2011

Statement of Commissioner Štefan Füle on the political agreement in Albania

I welcome the adoption today by the Albanian Parliament, with cross-party consensus, of the decision to establish a parliamentary committee on electoral reform and of two laws requiring a reinforced three fifths majority vote. I would also like to welcome the decision by the Conference of Chairpersons, taken on Monday 14 November, to establish a Parliamentary working group on reform of its rules of procedure, and a calendar for the review and adoption of the three fifths majority laws.

These developments, together with the resumption of full parliamentary work in September, constitute decisive steps towards the normalisation of political relations in the country and are expected to mark the end of the political stalemate. These are important elements of Albania's renewed efforts to move ahead on key reforms and to fulfill the twelve key priorities set out in the 2010 Commission Opinion on the country's EU membership application.

I strongly encourage the ruling majority and opposition to build on these positive developments, fully restoring and sustaining a constructive political dialogue, to allow the proper functioning of key democratic institutions, notably the parliament, and to achieve consensual electoral reform results in line with OSCE-ODIHR and Venice Commission recommendations.

All of this should result in the creation of a new momentum for EU integration reforms in Albania, and in particular for the implementation of the twelve key priorities of the Commission's Opinion.

The European Commission stands ready to continue its support and cooperation efforts with a view to Albania's EU membership objective.

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