EURALIUS is the European Assistance Mission to the Albanian Justice System funded by the European Union. The objective of EURALIUS is to strengthen the independence, transparency, efficiency, accountability and public trust in the Albanian justice system in line with the EU Acquis and best practices. The transformation of the Albanian justice system toward EU standards is a condition and a process that aims to restore the people's confidence to the justice system, to the consolidation of the democracy and to the rule of law as required by the Stabilization and Association Agreement. The EU has devised specific instruments in order to facilitate the country accession and fulfillment of the conditions. Concerning the consolidation of the justice system in Albania EU funded the EURALIUS project.
EURALIUS is composed by long-term international experts from various EU Member States and of Albanian professionals such as national experts, project assistants, translators etc. Among the Albanian project partners and beneficiaries are the Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary (Courts), the High Council of Justice, the Prosecution Office, the Parliament of Albania, the Office for the Administration of the Judicial Budget, the School of Magistrates, the National Chamber of Advocacy and the National Chamber of Notaries.
The current project on the Consolidation of the Justice System in Albania is EURALIUS IV. It started in September 2014 and is planned for a three years period (2014-2017). EURALIUS IV implementation is awarded to a Consortium led by the German Deutsche Stiftung für Internationale Zusammenarbeit e.V. (IRZ), in cooperation with the Dutch Center for International Legal Cooperation (CILC) and the Austrian Agency for Economic Cooperation and Development (aed), which are all mandated bodies of respective Ministries of Justice. The main objective of the project is to assist the Albanian justice institutions to bring their enactment closer to the EU standards. To achieve its objectives the EURALIUS project is applying a methodology for capacity building activities. For this purpose are carried out these steps: problem analysis, gap assessment, strategy for gap bridging, legislative and institutional gap bridging. Additional activities are training, coaching and monitoring functioning in close cooperation with the key Albanian justice institutions and other international partners. EURALIUS IV project derives from its mission and objectives, including the profile of team members in its composition and orientation aiming at contributing to the consolidation of the justice in Albania.
The Team leader is Dr. Rainer Deville.
Except from supporting the work on judicial reform, the project is also charged with implementing the five components that are systematized into five focal areas:
The main purpose of this component is to support the Albanian authorities to design and implement a justice system strategy with a view to guaranteeing independence, transparency and efficiency.
The activities predicted under this component intend to support the High Council of Justice to ensure that decisions regarding the status and carrier of judges are based on objective, professional and transparent criteria in line with EU standards.
The activities predicted under this component aim at aligning the legislative framework in criminal matters including international cooperation to European Union and Council of Europe standards and support reform of the criminal legal framework.
Within this component, the focus is on refining transparency of court functioning and increasing the efficiency of the administrative staff in the justice system.
The main purpose of the activities predicted under this component is strengthening the National Chamber of Advocacy, National Chamber of Notaries and the State Commission on Legal Aid, in particular through supporting disciplinary proceedings, codes of ethics and training programs for both lawyers and notaries as well as through supporting civil society institutions providing legal aid.
Since Albania submitted its application for European Union membership, it had to meet the membership criteria and key priorities set out in the Commission's Opinion. One of the major requirements for the EU membership is Functioning of the Judiciary. Therefore, the Commission Report on Albania (2015) has stated that: "Albania's judicial system is at an early stage of preparation. Besides the perception of the public toward the justice system in Albania is very low. To consolidate the justice in Albania and to strength the transparency, efficiency and the public trust in the Albanian justice system EU funded the EURALIUS project. Initially the programme was operating under the Albania CARDS 2002 programme. This was the EURALIUS I projects. Then for the period 2007-2010 the project was prolonged with the name EURALIUS II. The project contractor was the Austrian Federal Ministry of Justice and managed by Center of Legal Competence (CLC). Main objective remained to development of a more independent, neutral, effective, proficient, transparent and modern justice system in Albania, therefore contributing to the restoring of people's confidence in their institutions. Euralius III started on 15 September 2010 and was finalized on 15 June 2013. This project was managed by International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP) and had similar objectives as the previous projects. Meanwhile, is operating the EURALIUS IV and the EURALIUS V project is in the pipeline stage.
EURALIUS IV is playing an important role to the consolidation of the justice system in Albania. International and national experts are assisting the process of drafting the Albanian legislation, amendments to the laws in the justice sector and supporting the Albanian institutions.
Consolidated version of the constitutional amendments approved by the Albanian Assembly on 21 July 2016
Law no 84 date 30.08.2016 on the Transition re-evaluation of the judges and prosecutors of the Republic of Albania