Press Release: Albanian media laws serious set-back, curbing media freedom and right of information

Following the adoption of a highly controversial media law by the Parliament of Albania, Michael Gahler, EPP Coordinator on Foreign Affairs, stated: ”We note with deep concern that the parliamentary majority of the Albanian government led by Socialist Prime Minister Rama approved two media laws yesterday in open contradiction with specific recommendations of the international community. The European Commission, the Council of Europe as well as Albanian and international media and civil society organisations had voiced strong objections against these laws. We note that our EPP member, the Democratic Party, expressed strong resistance against the adoption of these laws and supports the European and international recommendations.”

David Lega, EPP Rapporteur on Albania, warned: ”Media freedom and the right of information are fundamental freedoms in Europe and an indispensable part of the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership. The adopted legislation threatens these freedoms that were acquired long ago by the Albanian people. Free media have been a consistent reporter of abuse of power and exposed many corruption scandals. The adoption must therefore be seen as a serious set-back for Albania on her path towards rule of law and democracy. This decision, as we stated publicly ahead of the vote, could have a negative impact on the opening of EU membership negotiations for Albania – in which the EPP Group strongly believes. We urge the Albanian authorities to reconsider the decision and reverse it.”