A European Parliament Delegation of seven MEPs is visiting Tirana today, 28 October 2013, to take part in the 6th EU – Albania Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee. The Delegation is chaired by Eduard KUKAN (EPP, SK). Fight against corruption, reforms of the judiciary and of public administration are among the main subjects up for discussion.
At this occasion, our two associations, “Pronësi me Drejtësi” and “Bregdeti” issue a Position Paper, asking the European Parliament to make the solution to the problems affecting property rights in Albania a priority and a strong precondition to the integration processes.
Here is the full text of the Position Paper:
As long as properties confiscated by communist regime are not restituted, Albanian Constitution is being violated, corruption based on property mismanagement will continue to thrive, property titles remain insecure and no serious investor will dare invest in Albania.
20 years from the acceptance of the principle of restitution of properties unjustly confiscated by communist regime and the adoption of pertinent legislation, the Albanian State still does not apply its constitutional obligations:article 181 and 41 of the Constitution. Decisions of the European Court of Human Rights are not executed either and a pilot judgment procedure was initiated in July 2012.
Free elections unfortunately have not solved the problem. The self-declared right and left have used political power to consolidate their own economic power. Both parts have abused the rights of legitimate owners. More than 6000 people have been killed in conflicts related to the non-observance of the property titles in the past 22 years according to Albanian Police and NGOs.
Abuses and mismanagement of property rights are an everyday problem and affect a larger number of people. Violation of the rule of law and abuses at the different offices dealing with property rights or in Courts happen on an everyday basis. Albania attracts a very low level of foreign direct investment due to insecurity of property rights, according to the World Bank.
The Government’s so-called Strategy for property rights is flawed as it ignores the Constitution, prioritizes without condition or limitation the legalization of illegal acquisitions of properties and postpones without any guarantee of success the restitution of properties to rightful owners, contrary to articles 181 and 41 of the Constitution, to legislation and to jurisprudence.
The solution to the problem of property starts with respect of the Constitution and invalidation of all acts done in violation to it. Legalisations should only be considered after restitution has been realized and subject to conditions and limitations. Full and immediate financial compensation of rightful owners should only apply in the case of properties used for public needs.
We are convinced that democracy and stability in Albania will prosper if the European Parliament and other international actors will coordinate their positions and make the solution to the problems affecting property rights in Albania a priority and a strong precondition to the integration processes.