During the two-day visit to Albania, where the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality met with the Commissioner for the Protection from Discrimination Robert Gajda, Ombudswoman Erinda Ballanca and Minister of State for Relations with Parliament in the Government of Albania, Elisa Spiropali, it was assessed regional cooperation, improvement of economic relations, and freedom of movement of people, goods, and capital, must be accompanied by appropriate institutional protection of human rights and freedoms, primarily the right to equality.
Such visits are an opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience and to create joint activities, the Commissioner said, adding that insisting on the protection of human and minority rights and protection against discrimination, especially in the light of the even more intensive relationships between neighbors, must be in the focus of national bodies for the protection and advancement of equality. For this to be achieved, it is of great importance for all human rights institutions to have good cooperation and understanding with the parliament. Only such cooperation and joint work are a guarantee for the realization of democratic processes and the rule of law, said Commissioner Janković.
Modern migration flows and intensive cross-border movements, both in the region of the Western Balkans and in the whole of Europe, oblige us to provide our citizens with speedy and efficient protection of rights when they are outside the territory of their country and when they need our protection, said Janković. That means the obligation of our institutions to provide everyone with equal protection against discrimination and equal treatment, the Commissioner stated. The cooperation of our institutions was formalized in 2016 by signing the statement in Belgrade and since then it has made significant progress in all fields.
To successfully cooperate and build partnerships and friendly relations in the region, we must know more about each other, we must get to know each other, learn about the culture, art, and tradition of countries that surround us, because in that way we will understand each other better, be more tolerant and understand differences as a specific asset, which is most important for the younger generations, said Janković.
During her stay in Albania, Commissioner Janković also met with OSCE representatives in Tirana.