The new commissioner for enlargement of the European Union, Olivér Várhelyi, went yesterday on an official visit to Tirana.
Várhelyi reiterated the European Commission's support for the start of official accession negotiations in the spring, before the May summit to be held in Zagreb (between EU leaders and the Western Balkans), so as to allow for a new EU approach on the region.
"Enlargement and the Western Balkans are a priority. We want to increase our presence in the region and have more influence. We want to be an even more important partner for the region. This is why we will work hard, without stopping, with Prime Minister Edi Rama so that all this becomes reality.
The new European Commission takes into account the report of the previous Commission and continues to consider Albania a country ready to start negotiations. The Commission is stepping up efforts to anticipate the start of negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia before the Zagreb Summit.
We are working with these states to find a solution, which creates a new chance to advance in the integration process."- said Várhelyi.
Reforms and rule of law
Commissioner Várhelyi appreciated the progress achieved since the reform of the judicial system in Albania and mentioned the results of the reform aimed at removing corrupt judges and prosecutors from the Albanian judicial system.
"It is imperative that we continue with the reforms and strengthen the rule of law. "- underlined Várhelyi.
The latter also invited the country's political forces to collaborate to get to the start of the accession negotiations before the Zagreb Summit:
"The political deal for electoral reform is of mileage importance. Without the support of all Albanian political parties it will not be possible to make further progress after the start of negotiations. ”- continued the EU enlargement commissioner.
During his visit to Tirana, Olivér Várhelyi also held meetings with the President of the Republic, Ilir Meta, and opposition leader Lulzim Basha, as well as visiting the areas affected by the November 26 earthquake reaffirming the EU's financial support in the reconstruction process.