The Council of Stabilization and Association, EU recommendations: Be cautious with fiscal amnesty and visas

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A high-level meeting of the Stabilization and Association Council will be held outside of Brussels for the first time.

The 12th meeting between the EU and Albania will take place on March 16th in Tirana, with EU representatives Joseph Borrell and Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi sitting at a table with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.

The council’s recommendations to Tirana officials will focus on the political, economic, and road criteria that Albania has reached in aligning its legislation. Despite the Albanian government’s determination to present a fiscal amnesty to parliament after securing votes, Europe warns about the potential of money laundering once more.

The council urges Albania to avoid implementing any scheme or measure, such as fiscal amnesty, that could jeopardize or harm harmonization with EU legislation and policies, including procedures and measures to prevent money laundering and tax evasion, in order to meet the criteria for removal from the Financial Action Task Force list.

The European Union urges Albanian authorities to maintain their focus on combating organized crime and drug trafficking. This request comes as the executive is attempting to adopt legislation governing medical cannabis cultivation.

“The EU will continue to monitor these problems, notably the visa suspension mechanism. In terms of the list of countries whose nationals require visas to enter, Albania’s visa policy is still not fully linked with that of the EU. Albania is encouraged by the EU to further harmonize its visa policy for third-country nationals who require visas from EU nations.

The European Union highlights the importance of political discussion and advocates for the implementation of OSCE/ODIHR and Venice Commission recommendations for future local elections, among other things.”