On 13 June 2018, the EU funded Project EURALIUIS V kicked off in the “EUROPE HOUSE” of the EU Delegation in Tirana, Albania. Participants were Mr Christian Lange, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, Ms Etilda Gjonaj, Minister of Justice, Ms Romana Vlahutin, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Albania, as well as all Member States Ambassadors and representatives of the Albanian Judiciary.
In March 2018 IRZ successfully concluded the predecessor project EURALIUS IV and fortunately, the tender procedure for EURALIUS V turned out to be successful so that EURALIUS V was awarded to the IRZ-lead consortium. Consequently, since 1 April 2018 IRZ is continuing its work in Albania as regard the justice reform, which is ongoing since Autumn 2014.
The total contract value of EURALIUS V is EUR 7,5 Mill., the duration is 36 months. A team of around 40 staff and experts is budgeted of which most team members could be already contacted.
IRZ very much appreciates being able to continue a very well-established cooperation with Dr. Agnes Bernhard as Team Leader, who hold this very position also under EURALIUS IV. Consortium partners - apart from those who were already partners in the predecessor Project EURALIUS IV – are namely the “Centre for International Legal Cooperation” (CILC/NL), the “Agency for Economic Development” (AED/A) and a new member the "Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura" (CSM) from Italy.
EURALIUS V is tasked to further support the overall consolidation of the ongoing justice reform. With regard to the establishment of the new justice institutions, which resulted based on the new constitution and the subsequently thereafter adopted relevant legislative packages, the initial time plan could so far not be implemented due to diverse reasons. Thus, the start date of EURALIUS V comes at a very sensitive phase as the establishment of new justice institutions and the continuing of the implementation of the justice reform is predetermined to a major extent by the ongoing vetting procedures.
It is also to be expected, that the decision about the potential opening of the EU-accession talks with Albania to be decided on the occasion of the EU Summit to take place on 28/29 June 2018 is going to have a major impact on the overall justice reform efforts as well as on the pace of the reform.
With a highly motivated team under excellent leadership, IRZ will further contribute valuable support to the highly challenging but interesting justice reform in Albania, which is being regarded as historic.