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ATP faces challenges
Written by Agron Luga 9 Mars 2023
ATP, as a very important institution, aims to deal with property through the processes of its recognition and compensation. From September 1, under the direction of the General Director Mr. Geraldo Durdaj, a new spirit and image is evident, which is being transmitted to all actors of Albanian public life. The main focus during these months has been the fulfillment with great dedication and responsibility of every legal obligation that ATP carries, as well as the fight against corruption phenomena, using and implementing every necessary and necessary legal mechanism. Every complaint received by citizens is taken into consideration, trying to find a solution as quickly and fairly as possible in accordance with the law. A very necessary preliminary work was carried out and now with the approval of the new law no. 77/2022, the initiation of the procedures in the ATP seems to have started at a fast pace. And therefore ATP, a promising future seems to be guaranteeing the owners to solve their problems, to continue and complete this very important process, in a fair way and in accordance with every legal provision in force. From the moment of the establishment of the Property Handling Agency with Law No. 133/2015 "On Property Handling and Completion of the Property Compensation Process", the main goal of this institution has been and is undoubtedly the completion of the process of handling and compensation of property. property within the legal deadlines and respect for the international obligations assumed by the Albanian state, especially the obligations arising from the ratification of the European Convention on Human Rights. The problems encountered in practice with the implementation of the law often lead us to the need for changes and adjustments in the law. In this regard, the need to regulate the legal framework in force for the property handling process came as a result of two important decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, and then of our Constitutional Court. The position held by the jurisprudence of the ECtHR for the Albanian state does not fail to positively evaluate and underline the achievements/innovations brought about by the creation of the ATP and the formula defined for the realization of the process of restitution and compensation of properties in its entirety. Just as it also cites practice defects, which have already materialized in the content of the changing law, in order to guarantee a basic human right, such as the right to private property. In this context, with the new amendments to the law which also reflect the stance of the two courts, the legislator already guarantees the minimum threshold of financial assessment, finally eliminating disproportionate interference in the right to private property. The financial assessment of the final decisions of the ATP must now ensure that the total value of compensation, regardless of the form of compensation, is not less than 10% of the value of the property calculated according to the current cadastral item. In order to correctly apply the legal provisions, complete the process of property return and compensation within the deadline and avoid public dissatisfaction, the novelty of the law is the express provision of the possibility of the Council of Ministers to determine the rules and procedures of distribution of the compensation fund, the order of priority between the forms of compensation, as well as the rules for compensation through one or several forms together. Such competence, which originates from the changes in the law, accelerates and guarantees the process of return and compensation of properties in its entirety, as well as clarifies in detail the concrete procedure that must be followed by the public institution in order to respect the principle of transparency. The new changes in the legal framework not only clarify and clarify the meaning of the provisions of the law, but at the same time provide an additional guarantee on the inviolability of the properties that are part of the land fund. Deviations that may have occurred in practice, related to the transfer of these properties to local government units, are expressly prohibited by the amendments to the law, in order to provide an additional guarantee for the compensation fund and to protect the property rights of the owners. In the following, it is important to emphasize that with the new changes to the compensation evaluation process law, the ATP has the obligation to evaluate only financially, by 31.12.2024, all unassessed final decisions that have recognized the right to compensation . On the same date, the ATP has the obligation to review the files that were applied before the entry into force of this law no. 133/2015, amended, and which are still in the process of review by the Agency. Failure to fulfill this right gives the interested subjects the opportunity to turn to the competent court. Within the framework of guaranteeing and respecting the rights of the owners, as well as with the aim of carrying out the administrative procedure within a reasonable time, which leads to the realization of the rights of the interested subjects as soon as possible, the legal changes bring as a novelty the obligation of the ATP to act and update the financial assessment within a time 3 months. This term is considered sufficient by the legislator for performing the necessary calculations for updating the financial estimates and publishing them in the official bulletin. The new legal changes give the right and at the same time the opportunity to the subjects who have withdrawn the unprocessed requests for the recognition of the property or have turned to the court of first instance, to waive the trial of the case and submit a request to the Agency for the review of the file. The same right is also granted to subjects who have addressed the administrative court of first instance in Tirana to request a financial assessment. Such an opportunity coincides with the state's obligation to guarantee the ownership rights of the owners and to conclude an already lengthy process with efficiency, effectiveness, strictly applying the principle of legal certainty and transparency, in order to avoid any dissatisfaction possible to the general public.