Cluster 1 – Fundamentals

The first cluster of chapters is the Fundamentals, which includes the foundations of the rule of law and democracy. This cluster consists of 5 chapters which will be opened simultaneously, being the first chapters opened in the context of approximating the Albanian legislation with the acquis and the last to be closed.

Chapter 23 on the Judiciary and Human Rights. This chapter aims to achieve an impartial and efficient judicial system that ensures the rule of law and its effective implementation. It also aims to guarantee due process based on constitutional principles and the European Convention on Human Rights. Member States and acceding countries must effectively fight against corruption to ensure the stability of democratic institutions and the proper functioning of the rule of law.
This chapter consists of these issues:
1- Functioning of the judiciary
2- Fight against corruption
3- Fundamental rights

Chapter 24 on Justice, Freedom, Security. This chapter aims to maintain and further develop the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. It requires a strong and well-integrated administrative capacity within the law enforcement agencies and other relevant bodies, which must attain the necessary standards. A professional, reliable and efficient police organization is of paramount importance. The most detailed and important part is the Schengen acquis, which entails the removal of internal border controls and the free movement within the EU.
This chapter consists of these issues:
1- Fight against organized crime
2- Fight against terrorism
3- Cooperation in the field of drugs
4- Legal and irregular migration
5- Asylum
6- Schengen and external borders
7- Judicial cooperation in criminal and civil matters

Chapter 5 on Public Procurement. This chapter is based on respecting the general principles of transparency, equal treatment, and free competition regarding the awarding of public contracts in specific sectors.
This chapter consists of these issues:
1- Classic Procurement
2- Utilities sector
3- Concessions and PPP
4- Defense and Security procurement
5-  Review procedures

Chapter 18 on Statistics. In this case, it requires adherence to some basic principles of the statistical institution such as impartiality, reliability, transparency, protection of personal data, and the periodic publication of official statistics based on their importance for the state and the individual.
This chapter consists of these issues:
1- Statistical infrastructure
2- Macroeconomic statistics
3- Business statistics
4- Social statistics
5- Agricultural statistics
6- Environmental statistics
7- Energy statistics

Chapter 32 on Financial Control. This chapter focuses on internal public financial control based on the principle of decentralization. It is very important that control includes the internal financial management of national and EU funds. The unique aspect of this chapter is that it requires an independent external audit body, which reports periodically to the national parliament regarding the use of public funds.
This chapter consists of these issues:
1- Public internal financial control (PIFC)
2- External audit
3- Protection of the EU’s financial interests
4- Protection of the euro against counterfeiting

Screening Timetable for EU-Albania Cluster 1

Cluster 1 Explanatory meeting Bilateral meeting
Functioning of Democratic Institutions 26 September 2022 16 January 2023
Public Administration Reform 19 September 2022 12 December 2022
Economic Criteria 30 September 2022 09 December 2022
Chapter 23 – Judiciary and Fundamental Rights 27 September 2022 24 – 25 November 2022
Chapter 24 – Justice, freedom and security 22 – 23 September 2022 8 -10 November 2022
Chapter 5 – Public Procurement 15 September 2022 18 November 2022
Chapter 18 – Statistics 16 September 2022 16 – 17 November 2022
Chapter 32 – Financial Control 19 September 2022 9 December 2022