EU Commissioner: Albania's progress towards reforms is essential

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 8, 2020 17:40

EU Commissioner: Albania's progress towards reforms is essential

TIRANA, July 8 - EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi stated that it is essential that the Albanian government continues the progress towards the reforms in the areas of rule of law, the judiciary, the fight against corruption and organized crime.

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Várhelyi praised the agreement reached earlier in June between all political parties on the electoral reform as part of the 15 EU conditions, adding that this is a step which "shows commitment, and it proves that Albania is giving results even in the most difficult times."

Várhelyi also reiterated the four principles of the revised methodology which he introduced earlier this year in February, consisting of credibility, predictability, dynamism and stronger political steer.

When asked about the reforms in regard to the principle of predictability, the EU Commissioner emphasized that it is essential that progress on all reforms continues in the areas of rule of law, the judiciary, the fight against corruption and organized crime, as part of the EU 15 conditions.

Furthermore, he noted that the recent presentation of the draft of the negotiating frameworks for Albania and North Macedonia to the EU Council marks an important step in their path towards EU accession based on on the revised enlargement methodology.

"I look forward to discussions with member states and holding as soon as possible the first Intergovernmental Conference with the two countries. Their future is clear in the European Union, and I am confident that they will continue to implement reforms on their path to the EU, as they have done so far," he said.

Last week, the European Commission submitted a draft negotiating framework for Albania and North Macedonia to the EU Council, defining guidelines and principles for their EU accession. The draft is a response to the request of member states made in March this year, when the General Affairs Council gave the green light to Albania and North Macedonia to open talks with both countries.

The draft frameworks are divided into three parts; the first part states the principles governing the accession negotiations, the second states the substance of the negotiations, and the third states the negotiations procedure. According to the EC, the objective of the negotiations is that Albania and North Macedonia adopt the EU acquis in its entirety and ensure its full implementation and enforcement upon accession.

The first Inter-Governmental Meeting will be led by Germany which took over the Presidency of the Council of the EU on July 1. Prior to the Meeting, Albania is expected to meet several of the EU 15 conditions, centering on the judiciary and electoral reform, fighting organized crime as well as rule of law.

"During the Presidency of the Council, Germany will be on the side of Albania with words and deeds. I look forward to six intense months," said Germany's Ambassador to Albania Peter Zingraf earlier.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 8, 2020 17:40