Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos stated that the Frontex mission in Albania marks a new stage of co-operation between Albania and the EU.
“We know that today we are here to celebrate an important event, a new milestone for Albania and the EU. 6 months ago I signed this statutory agreement with this great nation for border management in Tirana. This agreement is the first and only of this kind, I wanted to emphasize is the first operation in the world, with a non EU country. This not only marks a new phase between the EU and the Balkans but it is also a step ahead towards the operation of the agency. The only way is to work closely together as neighbors and partners.
What happens in Albania and the Balkans affects the EU and vice-versa. Citizens’ safety is at the center of our attention. Albania is the first country in the Balkans with which the EU is moving forward with this new chapter. It’s an important step that unites us more. We need to be vigilant. The statutory agreement will help us in this endeavor. These are important elements of cooperation. Visa-free travel is a major achievement that brings good to all parties, so we have to keep it as such. The teams will carry out checks and observations to prevent unauthorized crosses. Albania remains responsible for maintaining its border, no doubt about national sovereignty. Squads can exercise control in the presence of Albanian border guard.
We have common challenges; as such the response should be the same. The statutory agreement will allow us to work better together. You are involved in the key priority of having strong relationships with neighbors in partnership. Albania is part of the European family, we have common challenges, and they do not know boundaries, “said Avramopoulos.
Commissioner Avramopoulos issued this statement during the launching ceremony of the “FRONTEX” mission in Albania.