EC at stage of readiness to open membership talks with Albania

EC is ready to recommend the opening of EU accession talks with Albania after adopting a strategy for a credible enlargement perspective for an enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans, local media reported. The Head of EU Delegation in Albania, ambassador Romana Vlahutin, handed the EC strategy to Albania’s President Ilir Meta. Vlahutin said that Albania has a real and immediate prospect of moving to opening the talks and pointed out that political parties should establish a constructive dialogue allowing the opposition to engage constructively in the political process. She clarified that EC does not intend to limit artificially the countries’ progress towards EU and the more reforms candidates for EU membership make, the closer they will be to reaching their goal. Albania was acclaimed for undertaking a comprehensive judicial reform and the upcoming few months will be very important for the country’s EU prospects, Vlahutin added.

Albania’s PM Edi Rama commented that the opening of the negotiations is closer than ever. Foreign minister Ditmir Bushati said the government welcomes the EC assessment and that it thinks the commitments of the newly announced EC strategy should be further specified in financial instruments and programs to support the development of the infrastructure, interconnection, education and energy security of the Western Balkan countries.

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