In recent months there has been much talk about the "Anti - Defamation" package of laws proposed by the socialist majority in Albania.
The law is specifically for online media, although it is supposed to combat defamation, it will likely turn into financial and verbal pressure and a blackmail mechanism for any journalist or citizen who wants to speak, protest, and raise their voices or to report. , without improving the quality of public speech in Albania at all.
The European Commission invites the Albanian parliament and government to take the opportunity created by the postponement of the President of the Republic a few days ago of the two laws of the "Anti - Defamation" package to Parliament, to incorporate into them all the recommendations made by the Council of Europe.
The socialist majority in the Albanian Parliament refused to listen to the advice and protests requested by the media and civil society organizations in Albania, the most internationally recognized organizations for the protection of the Freedom of Expression and Human Rights, as well as the advice of the more experienced institutions such as the Council of Europe or the European Union delegation to Albania.
Yesterday, during one press conference in BrusselsYes, answering questions from journalists, Ana Pisonero, spokesman for the European Commission said:
“You know very well that the EU supported the Council of Europe's recommendations on the media law case in Albania. We recognize that concerns and recommendations are still valid and must be resolved for us. And we see it as an opportunity to reflect the changes on the fact that the President of Albania has sent the law back to Parliament. And it's something we still hope they do. "
In addition, spokesperson Pisonero has again listed the points where changes to the law are needed, from promoting self-regulation to transparency of media ownership in the country.
“We support some of the recommendations made by the Council of Europe, not just to promote self-regulation. We also support the guarantee of independent judicial review of media complaints and we also hope to strengthen the transparency of media ownership in the country. So, in general, we support all the recommendations made by the Council of Europe and are basically in line with what we expect an aspiring country to follow in the EU ", said Pisonero.
If the Albanian Parliament adopts the current law without making the necessary changes and contrary to the recommendations of the Council of Europe and the position of the European Commission, this could have consequences on the country's European path, as media freedom is one of the key priorities which must be addressed respected in the integration process.
Up to now we have only the statement by the President of the parliamentary group of the Socialist Party, Taulant Balla, who in a previous press release said that the decrees will be rejected in the nearest plenary session, which is January 30, 2020.
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