The closing ceremony of the EU Twinning project “Improvement of enforcement system in Albania” took place on Friday 28 October 2016. The aim of the project was to build a new and efficient enforcement system in Albania in line with EU good practices. During the project, Albanian private and public bailiffs benefitted from the French and Dutch experience and expertise. Key success factors of the project included the completion of a needs assessment, curricula development and delivery of training for enforcement agents; assessment of the current auction system and a proposition to feature a National Auction Center which obtained the endorsement of the involved beneficiaries; recommendations to amend the management of enforcement cases by the courts in the civil procedure code; and delivery of management tools to the National Chamber of Private Bailiffs, including the strategic plan 2015-2020.
The closing ceremony was attended by Mr. Van Nieuwkerk, as well as by the Albanian Minister of Justice, the French Ambassador and the Head of the Rule of Law Section at the EU Delegation in Tirana. In his speech, Minister of Justice Ylli Manjani mentioned that the execution of court decisions and their enforceable titles are a public and non-negotiable responsibility. He stressed that no court decision has value if the execution process is compromised, stating that requests for his help “in order to interfere and impede any execution process are and will continue to be useless.” In the context of the wider judicial reform process, the EU Delegation’s Head of the Rule of Law Section Stephen Stork reiterated the importance of the Twinning project, whilst also mentioning the specific legislative developments taking place in this field. He expressed that the EU Delegation hopes the recommendations derived from this Twinning project are taken on board and are further implemented by the Albanian stakeholders.
Likewise, EU Member State project leader Sylvie Ceccaldi-Guebel shared some of her personal experiences, underlining the gaps in judicial organisations and enforcement proceedings due to a lack of communication and confidence of relevant actors which can cause organisations to not be able to fully realise their mandates. Finally, CILC director Willem van Nieuwkerk stated that the Netherlands supports transition countries on their path towards strengthening the rule of law, adding that the “preparation for EU membership requires intensive cooperation between the country in question, the EU and the EU member states. The Netherlands is often critical about partner countries and the state of their rule of law.” Mr. van Nieuwkerk concluded by emphasising that when you are critical in a partnership you should also offer a helping hand.