Mr Luigi Soreca openly stands against the new anti-defamation package

Although with gloves, it seems that the EU has been obliged to openly oppose the second draft of the so-called anti-defamation package, drafted by the Albanian Government for several months without any consultations with interested parties and groups of interest.
As reported by BIRN, the EU Ambassador to Tirana, Luigi Soreca, spoke during the ceremony of the European Union Awards for Investigative Journalism at the House of Europe in Tirana, where it stressed that AMA could not perform a supervisory role for online media and that the only EU policy is media self-regulation as a way to fight misinformation and fake news.
“When it comes to combating disinformation, although we have the same concern as the Albanian authorities about disinformation, the commission recommends approaches that are less rigid, based on a self-regulatory approach. This is the approach that the European Commission proposes in [the document] Communication in Dealing with Online Disinformation,” Soreca said.
“The European Commission shares the concerns of other international organizations about the lack of legal clarity and the extension of the functions and powers of the Audiovisual Media Authority to include regulation of online media – because this can have negative effects on freedom of expression, Soreca said.
In relation to the draft laws proposed by Prime Minister Edi Rama’s government, Soreca said that while some concerns appear to have been addressed, the draft amendments do not ensure compliance with EU standards on freedom of expression.
After failing with the first draft of the so-called anti-defamation package, Prime Minister Rama has insisted on presenting a second draft, which has also raised much concern in diplomatic circles. This draft also kills self-regulation and eliminates the Albanian courts leaving ethics in the hands of the AMA. The package has been criticized as an attack on democracy in Albania by international human rights organizations as well as Albanian media and human rights organizations.
The bills have been sent to Parliament and are under review.