Albanian MEI Gjosha: Western Balkans cannot be neglected

TIRANA – Minister of European Integration, Ms. Klajda Gjosha participated in the Conference of Ambassadors on “Western Balkans’ Integration Prospects: Swimming with the tide” which took place at the premises of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Participants in the conference were ministers and ambassadors.

Touching on the integration prospect of Western Balkans, Minister Gjosha said that these countries still have a number of delicate problems, the management of which can be facilitated under the umbrella of integration process.

“For many reasons, the Western Balkan countries can not face the challenges alone. They need help of international partners in order to develop and strengthen their current relations and to create regional pragmatic networks, for cooperation on practical issues”, Minister Gjosha said.

Minister Gjosha expressed conviction that the integration challenge stimulates the advancement and functioning of democratic institutions, enabling them to manage and advance in cultural, economic, institutional fields and political life.

“Regardless of the current situation, where Europe is facing many questions and unclarities, especially after Brexit, the membership seems not so close, the integration process of Albania and other Western Balkan countries is more important than becoming a member state as soon as possible”, Minister Gjosha added.

Describing it as a transformative process, Minister Gjosha underlined that all efforts towards the EU integration create the conditions of a modern market economy and increase the capacity to compete within the EU.

“We are aware that Europe nowadays more than ever needs to put its own house in order to feed domestic debate and find long-term solutions. On the other hand, as aspiring countries, we should do our best by deepening the reforms, seeing the future beyond Europe’s nowadays problems” Minister Gjosha added.

Minister of Integration underlined that inside the European family, the Western Balkan countries are not divided from Europe. People of these countries, regardless of their mistakes, are sympathetic and cultured and part of European mentality.

“Delays and obstacles to the integration process of Western Balkan countries could damage hopes of integration and pave the way to major problems. If this happened, then there would be no winners or losers, but only losers. Our countries would lose; Europe itself would lose”, Gjosha stressed out.

In this context, Minister Gjosha added that beyond Europe’s emergency to find the equilibrium with itself, member countries cannot neglect Western Balkans.

“This would not help Europe to overcome its challenges, and most of all, to guarantee security which also depends on the security, stability and development of our region”, Minister of Integration concluded.

To conclude, she underlined that European Union, today more than ever, after the Brexit, should make use of the integration process to create a new and positive moment in the enlargement policy, in order to forward the message that this principle serves Europe security.