TIRANA – Albania has advanced on its path towards the EU and has now a historical opportunity to strongly tie its future to the EU, stated EU’s Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos in a joint press conference with Minister of Interior of Albania Fatmir Xhafaj in Tirana, on Monday.
While praised the fact that Commissioner Avramopoulos is an active supporter of Albania’s aspiration towards integration within the European family, Xhafaj added that his visit is an encouraging indicator of the support EU provides to Albania’s reforms as well as a huge encouragement in the fight against organised crime.
Regarding the signed agreement with FRONTEX on “Coastal and Border Guard”, minister Xhafaj said that this will contribute to a better management of the unlawful migration, will further increase EU external borders security as well as strengthen the Agency’s capacity to act in countries close to EU, such as Albania.
According to him, the agreement will enable Albania to benefit from the projects the European Union will provide during its implementation.
“Albania is part of the European family in historical, geographical terms and in the context of geo-political volatility facing us, we share the same challenges with Albania. Particularly in the fight against illegal migration, border management and efficient crime against organized crime and terrorism. We share the same history and our common future will be European as well, Avramopoulos said.
According to him, the Western Balkans strategy brings to the fore an ambitious agenda for Albania and entire region and Albania has a window and a historic opportunity to inextricably bind its future with EU.
“I am impressed with what you have achieved in our domain, in the field of justice and home affairs. I would like to extend my thanks to the Albanian authorities for their commitment to coming to an agreement with the European Border and Coast Guard Agency,” the Commissioner said.
Speaking about the agreement signed, Avramopoulos vowed to ensure better management of migration in the mutual interest of EU and Albania.
He encouraged Albania to apply for funding in support for this initiative.
“I would like to congratulate Albania on its efforts for management of illegal migratory flows and also to encourage Albania to take further steps ahead. We need to reduce the number of people abusing visa liberalization regime. All of us want to ensure and preserve visa liberalization,” he said.