Following the recent public statement by the Acting Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs on the reform of the Albanian Diplomatic Service and its Public Call for Expression of Interest “for the employment of “excellent experts” in the Diplomatic Representations and Consular posts of the Republic of Albania abroad “the Council of Albanian Ambassadors issues the following statement:

The Albanian Diplomatic Service needs to be consolidated with career diplomats, who should be protected and promoted under the law and not through outside inflows and without observing the law. “Excellent students” cannot and should not make an exemption from this law.

A student with top results or “excellent” as considered by MEFA is only one who has finished studies and who should be motivated to make an application to start a sectorial or academic career.

Accordingly, the only fundamental criteria that should be taken into consideration are experience, the assessed work performance and career in Foreign Service.

Despite the damages it has inflicted to the basic concept of diplomatic career, the Law No. 23/2015 as well as the Regulation on Foreign Service in the Republic of Albania Foreign Service” passed with the Decision of the Council of Ministers No. 816, dated 7.10.2015 should be applied together with the Law on Public Administration and the relevant principles of employment and recruitment.

The Law on Foreign Service and the relevant Regulation are very explicit on the mode of recruiting young diplomats.

Articles 36, 39 ande 41 of the affore-mentioned Law do also clearly define the mode of admission in the Foreign Service and the promotion of the diplomatic career.

As to special and exceptional cases specified in the said Law, Article 31, Point 3 they cannot and should in no way become a general rule (In special cases, the Minister of Foreign Affairs may appoint in the Diplomatic and Consular Representations abroad experts outside Foreign Service, who dispose knowledge and expertise in compliance with the specifications of the position of appointment).

The application of this principle would produce further negative effects for the Albanian Foreign Service and demotivate the whole staff of career diplomats, who have entered the foreign service in accordance with the legal framework.

The law and only the law should be the basic criteria for diplomatic recruitment and career. The subjective criteria on individual skills or esthetic considerations are at least an abuse with office by the whole recruitment chain and in the worst case they show a lack of respect for the current diplomatic corps, which from the ’ 90 until hitherto has helped make Albania be considered a significant actor of stability in the region, join all important regional&international organizations, be a NATO Member, a EU Candidate, rendering also a significant contribution to  the liberalization of visas for Albanians.

The Council of Albanian Ambassadors expresses its concern and  appeals to the MEFA to implement the law in force and start the procedures for the revision  of this  law and put a final end to all appointments that not only do not improve it but have also detrimental effects for our diplomatic corps.

The Council of Albanian Ambassadors suggests to draft a platform with experts of the field with a wide political consesus, aiming that Albanian Diplomatic Service have a proper representation and needed flexibility in the Ministry apparatus and in the diplomatic missions abroad, in the best national interest and the priorities of our foreign policy.