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European Integration / Commission publishes progress report on Albania and other aspiring countries

  • 10/18/2021 5:03 PM
European Integration / Commission publishes progress report on Albania and other aspiring countries

The European Commission is expected to publish tomorrow the progress reports for each country of the Western Balkans region and Turkey on the path of European integration reforms, after today's meeting of the College of this institution.

Initially, the Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi will present a summary of the country reports to the members of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, meeting in Strasbourg. The reports will then be presented at a press conference by Neighborhood and Enlargement Commissioner Oliver Varhelyi.

The progress reports contain details of the integration reform process in each area of ​​the European journey of the Western Balkan countries and Turkey. The report on Albania and other countries recognizes the problems of each country, but without using harsh language regarding the main concerns of member states on key issues such as democracy, the rule of law, fundamental rights and values ​​of the European Union.

Avoiding the use of harsh language is done with the aim of encouraging countries aspiring to join the European Union like Albania not to be discouraged and to slow down the pace of integration reforms in a context aggravated by the pandemic and the greater influence they aim to exercise other actors in the region.

In the reports on Albania and North Macedonia, the European Commission adheres to the position that Albania and North Macedonia are ready for the official opening of membership negotiations in the European Union and that the first intergovernmental conference with both countries should be held as soon as possible. 

During the EU-Western Balkans summit, European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen referred to an opportunity to hold the first intergovernmental conference with both countries in December.

However, this can only happen if the Bulgarian and North Macedonian authorities agree on a roadmap for resolving the bilateral stalemate between the two countries over issues of history, identity and language.

Meanwhile, ABC has learned that there are some member states that are still hesitant to open membership negotiations with Albania after getting acquainted with the final report on the general elections of April 25 in Albania, problems with the rule of law and freedom of the media.

But these countries will not prevent the official opening of negotiations with Albania if the problem between Bulgaria and North Macedonia is resolved, as the country has already lost a long time since gaining candidate status in June 2014. But they will be strict during the accession negotiation process. This means that Albania will find it very difficult to advance in this process if it does not carry out real reforms.

/Klara Ruci/