European Western Balkans

Várhelyi: Electoral reform in Albania is prerequisite for holding the first Intergovernmental Conference

Oliver Varhelyi and Edi Rama in Tirana; photo: Twitter

TIRANA – Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi called on political parties in Albania to continue implementing electoral reform, as the main condition for holding the Intergovernmental Conference with the EU, Albanian Daily News reported.

“Political parties to engage in the implementation of electoral reform. You should know that electoral reform is a prerequisite for the Intergovernmental Conference”, said Várhelyi in his speech to the Assembly during his visit to Tirana.

He added that the country has made progress in the fight against crime.

The Enlargement Commissioner welcomed the formation of new justice institutions, taking the country close to meeting all the conditions before the first intergovernmental conference.

He called for the implementation of all reforms included in the 5 June agreement.

Prime Minister Edi Rama received yesterday the European Union’s Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi to discuss the next steps ahead for Albania’s further progress in the European integration process.

During a joint conference with Prime Minister Edi Rama, Enlargement Commissioner Várhelyi stated that the European Union has a very serious enlargement policy for Albania, Radio Tirana International reported.

Várhelyi said that he had brought good news for Albanians while emphasizing the economic investment plan.

“We have come or are coming to the end of the renewal of what is called enlargement policy. When we started working as a commission, we made it clear from the first day of duty. We really have it and we will continue to work with the Western Balkans. We will do the same with the enlargement policy. We take it seriously. We were able to reach an agreement on opening negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia. We now turn to the third segment of this great work, and that has to do with the economic investment plan”, he told.

He explained that the plan should speed up the work the region needs to do to catch up with the EU.

“This is a plan we have built with the countries of the region. We are not here to tell you that this is the best thing to do, but to listen to you. Ideas, projects have come to us, so that the recovery is faster. We have compiled and designed this package, given what has been said by the region. We think that the plan we are here today, can change the landscape of the region for the next 4-5 years. We are receiving 9 billion euros in grants for this plan”, Várhelyi said.

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