On 6 February, the joint European Union/Council of Europe Action against Economic Crime (AEC-AL) organized a high level conference with the view to introduce a comprehensive package of Recommendations on regulation of Albanian political party and election campaign finance and their implementation; to evaluate the cooperation with the Central Election Commission in view of strengthening its oversight capacities and to introduce the findings of the monitoring activities on election campaign finances carried out by civil society organisations supported by the Action.
The conference was attended by the two co-chairs and members of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform, members of Central Election Commission, representatives of the Institute of Authorised Chartered Experts Media, civil society organisations and international partners. The participants discussed the progress in the implementation of the electoral reform and evaluated the results of cooperation and assistance that the Council of Europe is providing to the Ad-hoc Committee on Electoral Reform in general and the Central Election Commission in view of strengthening its oversight capacities.
The co-chairs of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Electoral Reform highlighted the leadership of the Council of Europe Project in the area of transparency of political parties and election campaign funding and called for a sustainable approach in the implementation of the electoral reform.
The Chair of the Central Election Commission noted with appreciation the organisation by AEC-AL of several conferences on the reform of the legal framework regulating political party and election campaign funding stating that this is currently the only clear, decisive, coordinated, analytical and accountable activity that is taking place within the overall electoral reform and represents the most accurate model and professional approach.
The representative of the European Union Delegation to Albania noted that the AEC-AL recommendations which are taken into account by Albanian authorities have produced tangible results.
Participants also exchanged views on topics pertaining to new voting technologies and their advantages and disadvantages, including the potential use in prevention of vote buying and ensuring of electoral transparency, the misuse of state resources for purposes of election campaign and the findings from monitoring activities on election campaign finances carried out by civil society organisations that were granted by the Project.
The Technical Paper and conclusions from this event will be submitted to the two co-chairs of the Ad-Hoc Election Committee and the Chair of the Central Election Commission for consideration in the reform process.