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Albania, a recent example of the use of public authority for political purposes

Written declaration No. 756 | Doc. 15641 | 18 October 2022

Signatories:
Mr Stefan SCHENNACH, Austria, SOC ; Ms Thórhildur Sunna ÆVARSDÓTTIR, Iceland, SOC ; Ms Ann-Britt ÅSEBOL, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Ms Margreet De BOER, Netherlands, SOC ; Mr Maurizio BUCCARELLA, Italy, SOC ; Ms Laura CASTEL, Spain, UEL ; Mr Geraint DAVIES, United Kingdom, SOC ; Mr Emmanuel FERNANDES, France, UEL ; Mr Pierre-Alain FRIDEZ, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Róisín GARVEY, Ireland, SOC ; Mr Paul GAVAN, Ireland, UEL ; Mr Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Mr Jean-Pierre GRIN, Switzerland, ALDE ; Ms Nicole HÖCHST, Germany, EC/DA ; Mr Kimmo KILJUNEN, Finland, SOC ; Mr Norbert KLEINWÄCHTER, Germany, EC/DA ; Mr Christophe LACROIX, Belgium, SOC ; Mr Gaspare Antonio MARINELLO, Italy, NR ; Mr Alain MILON, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Roberto RAMPI, Italy, SOC

We, the undersigned, declare the following:

On 22 September 2022, the Albanian Government cancelled two Turkish educational institutions due to an alleged relocation procedure. This closure was assessed by lawyers, academics and civil society as an arbitrary decision of the Albanian Government due to pressure from the Turkish authorities.

For more than seven years, Turkish foreign policy made it its mission to close educational institutions perceived as embarrassing to the Erdogan government. The Turkish President used the weight of his office to reach out to the Albanian authorities and other governments by calling for the closure of schools founded by a certain group of Turkish nationals, who were in the opposition. These attempts to close schools were often followed by kidnappings and illegal extraditions. Cases of abduction of Turkish teachers have occurred on the same scenario in the Republic of Moldova (see Doc. 14649 “Calling on the Republic of Moldova to restore the rule of law”) and have led to the condemnation of the country by the European Court of Human Rights. We are concerned that Albania, as an EU candidate country, does not respect the rule of law by deciding politically under external pressure.

The Parliamentary Assembly should follow this case and call upon Albania to respect the rule of law.