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Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Chairman
Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
April 26, 2013


(Washington, DC) The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) today announced the following hearing:

Democracy in Albania: the Pace of Progress

Monday, May 6, 2013

3:00 p.m.

Capitol Visitor Center, Senate Room 210-212


Prior to 1991, Albania was ruled by one of the communist world’s most repressive regimes and was the only country in Europe refusing to participate in the Helsinki process.  In the two decades since, the country made enormous strides to become a democratic state where human rights are respected and to become an active participant in European affairs, including as a member of the NATO Alliance since 2009.

Despite this progress, Albania continues to struggle in building its democratic institutions and practices, including respect for the rule of law.  As Albania prepares for parliamentary elections in June, this hearing hopes to assess the degree to which progress has begun to fall short of expectations at home and abroad, and what can be done to accelerate the pace of further reforms related to good governance.

The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:

Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs,

U.S. Department of State

Gilbert Galanxhi, Ambassador of Albania to the United States of America

Elez Biberaj, Director, Eurasia Division, Voice of America

Besa Shahini, Senior Analyst, European Stability Initiative

This event is open to the public. Room SVC 210-212 is located on the Senate side of the Capitol Visitor Center, the main entrance to the U.S. Capitol.  You may enter on the north side, below the East Plaza of the Capitol between Constitution and Independence Avenues (across the street from the Supreme Court). The closest metro stop is Capitol South (orange or blue line).

Please allow adequate time to clear through the security check.  On the lower level, visitors will need to show a picture ID at the Senate appointment desk before proceeding to the Senate rooms.

Map of the Capitol:

Map of the Visitor Center:


The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

Media Contact: Shelly Han
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