European Western Balkans

A majority of Dutch lawmakers in favor of holding the first IGC with Albania

Dutch Parliament; Photo: Flickr / Tweede Kamer

HAGUE – On Wednesday, the Dutch government convened to discuss EU enlargement matters, where the topic of granting Albania its first Intergovernmental Conference also arose, Euronews reported.

A majority of lawmakers were in favor of holding the first IGC with Albania, as soon as the negotiating framework gets the green light.

The procedure is set to conclude tomorrow after a vote on the potential motions raised by the country’s political parties and parliamentary groups.

Wouter Zweers, Research Fellow with Clingendael´s EU-research unit, wrote on Twitter that only thereafter we will know for sure whether Parliament agrees with Dutch Government.

“The Dutch government is satisfied that a clear and stable negotiating framework for Albania’s accession to the EU has been established. The government is looking forward to holding the first Intergovernmental Conference as an official launch of the negotiations, an intensive path in which reforms in the rule of law, battle against organized crime and corruption, as well as further strengthening of democratic institutions will remain key priorities”, declared the Dutch government in a statement.

The Dutch embassy in Tirana confirmed in a statement that MPs agreed to this, whilst adding that the procedure will be finalised tomorrow with the voting of different motions filed by political parties.

Furthermore, the government agreed with the findings of the EU Commission from last March, where the latter decided to launch negotiations with Albania and hold the first IGC, after having fulfilled a set of conditions, mainly in the area of rule of law.

Discussing Albania, the Dutch government asserted that the country had made significant progress with the justice reform, however pointed out that the prosecution of high-level officials remains a topic that will still need adequate attention.

In its statement, the Netherlands stressed that decisions on the next steps that need to be undertaken in regards to EU accession will be based on the individual progress of each country.

The Netherlands was one of the most sceptical countries about Albania’s accession process to the EU.

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