586th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies, 17-20 March 1997




Other questions ii.

Situation in Albania and Recommendation 1316 (1997) on the

State of Emergency in Albania


The Deputies

1. authorised the Secretary General to pursue his discussions while keeping them regularly informed with the OSCE and the European Union, with a view to defining the objectives, modalities and content of a multi-institutional mission to Tirana, once the necessary security conditions exist and to prepare for an appropriate Council of Europe contribution in terms of expertise concerning elections, the media, the new constitution, justice and law enforcement and the fight against organised crime, corruption and money-laundering, making use of resources available in the budget and voluntary contributions, as well as in the Joint Council of Europe/European Union Programme for Albania;

2. instructed their Rapporteur Group (GREL) to resume consideration of these questions at its next meeting;

3. adopted the following interim reply to Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1316 (1997) on the State of Emergency in Albania:

"The Committee of Ministers, sitting at Deputy level on 19 March 1997, immediately seized itself of Recommendation 1316 (1997) on the State of Emergency in Albania, adopted on the same day by the Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly. It refers, in this context, to the Declaration on Albani issued on 11 March 1997 by the Chairman in Office of the Committee of Ministers, Mrs Tarja Halonen, expressing strong support for efforts under way towards national reconciliation and bringing about a political and non-violent solution to the country's present crisis. It also refers to the exchanges between the Secretary General and the Albanian Government concerning the implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights in an emergency situation.

The Committee of Ministers shares with the Assembly the great sense of urgency concerning the tragic developments in Albania and the need for the international community to do its utmost to help the country to overcome chaos in the state and social structures and despair of the people.

The Committee of Ministers highly appreciates the Parliamentary Assembly's early moves to visit the country and to bring their message of solidarity and reconciliation among political forces there.

The Committee of Ministers, like the Secretary General, has been in close contact with the OSCE and the European Union concerning their missions in Albania. The Council of Europe Secretariat participated in the second mission of the Special Representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Dr Vranitzky on 14 March 1997 and maintained liaison with the following mission to Tirana by the Netherlands' Presidency of the European Union.

The Committee of Ministers is determined to contribute to on-going preparations for a common effort of European Organisations, particularly the OSCE and the European Union, to support the efforts of the Albanian Government, established on the basis of the plan for national reconciliation agreed by all the parties. In so doing, the Committee of Ministers will particularly have in mind the political support which the Council of Europe can provide in its member State, Albania, and the specific contributions which the Council of Europe can make, on the basis of its mandate, achievements and experience, towards the restoration of democratic institutions and the consolidation and further development of law and justice.

The Committee of Ministers expresses support for the initiatives already taken by the Secretary General and his organising discussions with the OSCE and the European Union with a view to defining objectives, modalities and content of a multi-institutional mission to Tirana, whose task will be, once the necessary conditions for security and order are assured, to help the Albanian authorities to assume their responsibilities in bringing the country back to peace, stability and economic recovery.

The Council of Europe's special contribution should consist in the provision of expertise concerning the preparation for future democratic and fair elections, discussions among all the political forces on a new constitution, the creation of conditions for the functioning of independent and pluralist media, particularly in the T.V. sector, the efficacity and impartiality of justice and law enforcement, including legislative and administrative means to fight organised crime, corruption and money-laundering.

The Committee of Ministers will maintain close contact with the Parliamentary Assembly and keep it regularly informed of developments, so as to assure its support and, if possible, participation in these efforts, particularly as concerns elections and the Constitution."



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