In a ceremony in Tirana on 3 October last, former British Premier Tony Blair announced that he will be “helping Albania getting things to done to join the European Union”. Albanian Prime Minster Edi Rama stressed that Blair's advice will be "personally, totally and voluntarily". A spokesman for Mr. Blair immediately stressed that Tony Blair and his team “will provide advice at no cost to the Albanian government on how to modernise and implement a reform agenda.”
Now, it is possible that Albania will need some capacity building effort in order to finally join the EU: laws need to be adapted, policies will need to be changed, transparency and accountability will need to be implemented. Are we sure that Mr. Blair is the best person for the task? If we were to judge by the way in which he has concealed, and continue to keep secret, his decision-making process in the run up to the war in Iraq one would arrive at the conclusion that Blair is not the man for the job. Furthermore, we know that when Blair is in action someone sooner or later will pay the bill. If it is not the Government perhaps a private entity – Taçi Oil of Albania has already sponsored the Blair family in the past - or the people themeselves.
In the next few months we will learn if Tony Blair will advice - or advise - Albania pro bono or pro domo sua. The bets are on.