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Neither Fair, Nor Independent

The OSCE released a new report on the state of Albania's criminal justice system on Friday. The full report runs to nearly 250 pages, but the summary of the findings are hardly encouraging:
The Albanian justice system has undergone radical changes and a significant improvement during the past decade or so. The present analysis, however, indicates that there is a need for further improvement in order to create a stable and transparent justice system based on the rule of law. As will be seen in both the case studies chapter and in the other chapters in this report, the legal rules are frequently not respected or are abused in order to achieve “desired” – but not necessary lawful – results. As a consequence, the rights and freedoms of individuals are frequently violated, and an impression of a justice system that is neither fair, nor independent, is created.
I think this comes under the category of 'damned with faint praise'.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that a forthcoming report by the European Commission will suggest that the countries of the Western Balkans should not expect to join the EU any time soon. The slow pace of reform and 'enlargement fatigue' among existing members mean that accession is many years away. According the the BBC the Commission is advising the EU not to set target dates for potential new members.

Once the report is published I will try to post a link to it.

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