At informal Durres summit, regional leaders agree to economic union

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 31, 2017 13:53

At informal Durres summit, regional leaders agree to economic union

TIRANA, Aug. 28 – An economic union for the Western Balkans was the vision of talks as Albania hosted the region’s prime ministers over the weekend at an informal summit in Durres, which was also attended by Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations and World Bank Vice President Cyril Muller.

The attendees agreed on a road map to strengthen regional economic cooperation as part of the EU integration process.

At a joint Rama-Hahn press conference, Prime Minister Rama said the agreed upon plan would benefit Albania and the entire region.

“It sets the path for a fundamental transformation of the movement of goods, service, capital, qualified employees to make the region more attractive to investment, flexible in commercial exchange and speed up its economic growth and wellbeing along the road to the EU,” Rama said.

Commissioner Hahn said the region needs integration with itself  on the path the EU.  He added that although the commercial exchange of goods between EU member countries and the Western Balkan states have doubled over the past decade, bilateral ties in the region are low have not changed.

Supporters of the idea of an economic union say it would support the Western Balkans’ European ambitions.

Addressing issues related to Albania specifically, Hahn said he could not specify a date for the launching of the accession negotiations with the EU.

However, he added EU leaders are looking forward to the implementation of the vetting of judges and prosecutors as part of the reform in the judiciary.

Hahn added that Albanians should not apply for asylum in EU member countries, as these actions are detrimental to Albania and its ability to prove it is mature enough for the European Union.

Most Albanian citizens why apply for asylum in wealthy Western European countries simply want jobs and better living conditions, but asylum applications are the wrong way to go about, officials say.   

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times August 31, 2017 13:53