Europe

EU helps Albania parties agree on judicial package reform

  • Albania's main opposition Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha speaks at a news conference to confirm they have agreed with the draft of the judiciary reform package, in Tirana, Wednesday, July 20, 2016 International pressure has convinced Albania’s main opposition Democratic Party to accept the final draft of a judicial reform package, considered fundamental to convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with the Balkan country. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

    Albania's main opposition Democratic Party leader Lulzim Basha speaks at a news conference to confirm they have agreed with the draft of the judiciary reform package, in Tirana, Wednesday, July 20, 2016 International pressure has convinced Albania’s main opposition Democratic Party to accept the final draft of a judicial reform package, considered fundamental to convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with the Balkan country. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)  (The Associated Press)

  • Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks at a news conference to confirm a compromise has been reached with the opposition on the judiciary reform package, in Tirana, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. International pressure has convinced Albania’s main opposition Democratic Party to accept the final draft of a judicial reform package, considered fundamental to convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with the Balkan country. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)

    Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks at a news conference to confirm a compromise has been reached with the opposition on the judiciary reform package, in Tirana, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. International pressure has convinced Albania’s main opposition Democratic Party to accept the final draft of a judicial reform package, considered fundamental to convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with the Balkan country. (AP Photo/Hektor Pustina)  (The Associated Press)

Responding to international pressure, Albania's main opposition Democratic Party has agreed to accept the final draft of a judicial reform package, considered fundamental to convincing the European Union to launch membership negotiations with the Balkan country.

Following a letter from the EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn, Prime Minister Edi Rama of the ruling Socialist Party and Democrats' leader Lulzim Basha on Wednesday confirmed the final issues were resolved and the draft would be voted unanimously the next day.

The opposition has continually changed objections to the draft, finally opposing the role of international experts in selecting the vetting panel that will check personal and professional background of judges and prosecutors.

The ruling Socialists need support from some opposition members in the 140-seat Parliament to approve the reforms.