Minorities need better attention, says OSCE

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 29, 2014 13:52

TIRANA, Dec. 20 – The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has called on Albania to have a better focus on its minority populations, an important element of efforts to join the European Union.

Experts discussed how local authorities should coordinate further steps to include all minorities in daily life and decision making.

Such calls were made at the annual conference organized by the Albanian Ombudsman Office, where OSCE Deputy Head in Albania Robert Wilton called for coordinated efforts to improve the protection and promotion of the rights of minorities in Albania.

“We all have seen what can happen when the identity of minorities is used for disruption and discrimination. The protection of human rights and meaningful integration of minorities are factors that help building democratic societies, stable and full of life,” he said.

At the same time Albania’s steps towards the consolidation of stability in the region and cohesion in the country were hailed and it was urged to establish an inter-institutional working group to assess the legal framework and policies for minorities.

Albania was granted the EU candidate status in June and it has now started work to fulfill the requirements for the launch of the negotiations with the bloc.

Albania has one of Europe’s most homogenous populations, but the country does have small officially-recognized Greek and Slavic ethnic minorities as well as as larger cultural minorities of Roma and Balkan Egyptians.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 29, 2014 13:52