This was the last week of work for the highest representative of the EU delegation in Tirana, Ambassador Romana Vlahutin.
The judiciary reform was one of the most important issues that Albania went through during her term. In an interview for Top Channel, Vlahutin says it was a difficult challenge for her as well.
TCH: Can you say that it is mission accomplished?
VLAHUTIN: I am very proud about it. I leave the country feeling very fulfilled on that matter.
TCH: What about the stalemate created with the two main courts? The only reform institutions that are currently operating are those of the Vetting Law. Did the EU Ambassador foresee this?
VLAHUTIN: “It was the mother of reforms, an almost constitutional reform. I think that within the year, all new institutions can start operating”, she said.
TCH: Brussels made it very clear that the electoral reform is of utmost importance for the European path. Is it endangered by the difficult political climate that is expected this Autumn?
VLAHUTIN: “Politicians must sit and dialogue for finding a solution”.
Albanian politics has not always been positive with foreign ambassadors, but Vlahutin might be the most attacked one.
TCH: Do you have any idea why there were so many attacks?
VLAHUTIN: We opened the most sensible case, that of the judiciary. What they had against me was just rumor.
Vlahutin was accused by the opposition that she closed her eyes about the cannabis plantations and didn’t react.
TCH: Do you think you could have done something more?
VLAHUTIN: We have done a lot of hard work, and the results are visible. We have done more than what I was expecting initially. Albania didn’t get to this phase by chance, but due to the results in key matters, such as the judiciary and the fight against organized crime.
The EU Ambassador does not prefer to speak about the National Theater issue. She demands more patience until the experts from Brussels bring their report.
VLAHUTIN: I am happy that with the opening of the negotiations, it will not be possible for such things to happen again. Before passing a law, they must receive the OK from Brussels.
After so many years, Romana Vlahutin has a created a good idea for the politics of Tirana. What is something that she doesn’t like and that she would want to have it differently?
VLAHUTIN: If they want to progress, they need to find a national consensus on several things. Everyone should come together, the majority and the opposition as well. They should find a way to love the country more, rather than creating a difficult political climate. I have learned that this is not always the case.
Those who know her say that she loves Albania a lot. What will Romana Vlahutin do after her term in Albania?
VLAHUTIN: I will go to Brussels and I will work with the General Secretary.
TCH: Will Albania be still on your radar?
VLAHUTIN: “I think yes”, Vlahutin says.