European Western Balkans

Mogherini: 2018 a unique opportunity for Albania and the Western Balkans as a whole

Bushati and Mogherini; Photo: EEAS

BRUSSELS – The Stabilisation and Association Council noted Albania’s continued commitment to the reform agenda and underlined that, along with the other key priorities, judicial reform remained essential for Albania’s progress on the EU path and could be transformative for other reforms.

“We have confirmed our clear and strong commitment to Albania’s EU integration process and agreed on the importance of the reform agenda that Albania is with determination putting in place”, EU High Representative Federica Mogherini said following the 9th Stabilisation and Association Council between the EU and Albania which she chaired today together with Foreign Minister of Albania Ditmir Bushati.

Mogherini assessed judicial reform as one of the most important reforms ongoing in any of the enlargement countries.

“We believe this would contribute to positive aspects in other fields, in particular in creating a more predictable and transparent environment for business and investors”, she noted, recognising that there was room for bringing the economic relations between the EU and Albania to their full potential.

The council also acknowledged Albania’s role in the region as a pro-active and constructive partner.

“It is something we appreciate and value enormously, as well as we value the full convergence of foreign and security policy between Albania and the EU. This is 100% alignment and quite unique, and it reflects our common vision of the world and our region, and our common determination to work together”, Mogherini said.

Speaking also about the region, the High Representative stated that 2018 will provide a unique opportunity for the Western Balkans.

“The EU as a whole has reinforced significantly its engagement in the Western Balkans including through the unequivocal commitment expressed by the European Council in Spring, and with President Juncker’s State of the Union speech in September providing  EU integration perspective for all the six Western Balkans partners. Building on this, 2018 will be a unique window of opportunity to advance concretely on the EU integration path and make this process irreversible.”

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