KAS experts comment on politics and media in Albania

von Klaudja Zerva

Interview for the Albanian daily "Panorama"

The Director of the KAS country office Albania, Walter Glos, and the Director of the KAS Media Program South East Europe, Christian Spahr, gave a joint interview for the Albanian daily "Panorama". The focus is on current political topics such as the political situation before the elections in June 2017 and the cooperation of KAS with the Democratic Party of Albania (DP) for the development of its economic policy and its communication strategy.

Walter Glos gave insights into the cooperation of KAS and CDU with DP in the framework of the European People’s Party (EPP). He said that to advise and support each other is a common thing within the political family of the EPP. Glos gave recommendations for the election campaign of DP. It should focus on a functioning legal system, accepted by all parties, good education available for everyone and an entrepreneur-friendly public administration. Moreover, he advised to emphasize on a fair market competition.

"Based on these recommendations, we would like to develop together with the DP a concept that is comprehensible for the citizens. For the DP it is especially important to win the support of voters who have lost their trust in Albanian politics." Therefore it is essential to implement a clear and understandable communication concept.

According to Christian Spahr, DP as opposition party is standing in front of serious challenges to communicate its messages in a compelling way. In his opinion, the media situation in the country is similarly polarized as the political situation. He added that political pressure on the media is further increasing. "When the leading media outlets are not reporting about the opposition sufficiently, the DP needs to adjust its communication strategy under these difficult conditions," Spahr said. He underlined that opposition parties should discuss publicly the influence of the government on the editorial policies – in a dialogue with the civil society and the international organisations.

Spahr also sees an opportunity for the opposition to develop a new style of political communication that is addressing European-oriented Albanian citizens looking for political modernisation. DP President Lulzim Basha, as a politician from a new generation, could stand for a new communication style that is not polarizing, but convincing with arguments.

Translation: Manuela Zlateva, KAS Media Program South East Europe