The confirmation of a future in the European Union for the Western Balkans by the German ambassador Susanne Schütz - today responsible for south-eastern Europe at the German foreign ministry after three years as representative of German diplomacy in Tirana - arrives in a context of disappointment and uncertainty about the start of accession negotiations.
Disappointment and uncertainty that stemmed from the inability of the European Council to reach an agreement, at the summit last week in Brussels, on the start of accession negotiations with Albania and Macedonia in the North.
"The Thessaloniki promise remains: the future of the Western Balkan countries is in the EU. We will do our best to keep the legitimate interest of Albania and Northern Macedonia in the EU on the agenda. Similarly, we will strive for a rapid start of accession negotiations. ”- highlighted the ambassador yesterday in Tirana where she took part in the OSCE annual Mediterranean conference.
Continue with reforms and the fight against crime
Furthermore, in her statement, Ambassador Schütz underlined the importance of some factors for the fastest possible start of accession negotiations.
"It is extraordinarily important that Albania continues further with the reforms of recent years, in particular with that of the judicial system; just as it is equally important to intensify the fight against corruption and organized crime.
An independent judicial system, the fight against corruption and organized crime, the reform of the electoral system and transparent reforms in the legal field of property, are objectives that fall within the interests of Albania itself.
Germany will continue to be at the side of Albania along this path and in the future. All political forces must take responsibility for the country."- said Susanne Schütz.
Cakaj: new methods for enlargement planned
The Foreign Minister of Albania, Gent Cakaj, in an interview for Deutsche Welle, expressed himself on the subject of the accession negotiations and on the expected developments in the near future:
"The first development concerns the European Commission, which should develop a new enlargement methodology that will form the basis for future accession negotiations. Without a change in the methodology regarding EU enlargement, there will be no green light for starting negotiations.
The second development, instead, concerns the European council which confirmed that it will once again discuss the start of negotiations with Albania and Northern Macedonia with the will to reach an agreement by May 2020.
However, it must be emphasized that this will be an attempt and not a sure guarantee that there will be a positive decision in this period of time."- said Cakaj for DW.
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