In his opinion column for EURACTIV.com, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania Ditmir Bushati emphasised the importance of the European Council’s decision to open accession negotiations with his country in June 2019.
“The EU’s decision to open negotiations next year is a recognition of years of effort, and validation of the long-held hopes of many Albanians for a future at the heart of Europe. It gives our reform efforts encouragement and energy and demonstrates the recognition and importance of a European future for the wider region”, writes Bushati.
He recognizes, however, that his country is still not ready to become a member of the European Union, as the problems such as rule of law, organized crime and corruption remain unresolved.
Despite the existing problems, Bushati underlines the efforts his country has so far put in reforms: “The Albanian government has already made substantial progress in reforming our public administration, the institutional restructuring of the judiciary as part of our broader justice reform plan, fighting corruption and organised crime, improving human rights and strengthening cooperation with international law enforcement.”
Every wave of enlargement for the past 45 years has brought greater stability, economic growth and reconciliation, reminds Bushati. He concludes his column with the assertion that “a stronger Europe can be thus only with a stronger, fairer, stable and more democratic Western Balkans as an organic part of it”.