EU calls on Albania opposition to end parliament boycott

The European Union is calling on Albania's opposition to end its parliament boycott and take part in launching justice reforms, considered key to the country's integration efforts with the 28-nation bloc.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Wednesday issued a joint statement telling Albania that starting the justice reforms was "a crucial step for the country to join the European Union."

The justice reforms approved last year has been hampered by the opposition boycott of parliament, which needs to create the vetting bodies that will evaluate the personal and professional backgrounds of judges and prosecutors. The opposition says those bodies are subject to manipulation.

Albania must improve its corrupt justice system before Brussels will allow the country to start membership negotiations.