Albania's Chief Negotiator with the EU, Zef Mazi, held a meeting yesterday with the Undersecretary of State for European Affairs of Latvia, Astra Kurme. Mazi made a briefing of the substantial progress of Albania on the path of reforms in the field of rule of law, justice, vetting, the fulfillment by Albania of the 15 requirements in the conclusions of the March 2020 Council, Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court before the first intergovernmental conference. Chief Negotiator Mazi acquainted Kurme with the results of the 11th meeting of the Stabilization and Association Council on March 1, 2021. The document recognizes the substantial, tangible progress of Albania and the reforms it has undertaken on the path to EU integration.
Speaking about the elections of April 25, the Chief Negotiator noted that they will be a great proof to demonstrate that the elections take place normally. The Chief Negotiator underlined that Albania has done all the homework as required. The EU must keep its promises, move forward with the enlargement process, bring results in the first six months of 2021 in two directions:
- To approve the Negotiating Framework for Albania, since for the member countries there are no problems;
- To set the date of the first Intergovernmental Conference.
Undersecretary of State for European Affairs, Mrs. Kurme praised the work of the Chief Negotiator and Albania for directing and coordinating the work on European integration issues. In her capacity once ambassador of Latvia to Italy, from where she also covered Albania, Mrs. Kurme praised the dedication of Albania and the Albanian people to integrate into the European Union.
She underlined that Latvia has fully supported and will continue to support Albania. Albania is very close to Latvia also because of the aspirations, but also of the Albanian soldiers stationed in the military bases in Latvia. This is a great demonstration of the care of Albania and also Latvia will take care of Albania and its soldiers. Albanian soldiers will soon be vaccinated there against Covid-19.
Mrs. Kurme stressed that Latvia sees European Integration as an individually based process of merit from each candidate country. She stressed the great difficulties created by the earthquake, the pandemic, again noted that Albania in no case slowed down its path and reforms. Albania has met all the criteria to start technical negotiations through the 1st Intergovernmental Conference. Albania must continue with the reforms without stopping even after the electoral elections, regardless of their result. Latvia understands the difficulties that come to the process from some disagreements between a member state and a candidate but hopes that a compromise will be reached
Mrs. Kurme stressed that Albania is an example in the region in several ways. She stressed the compatibility of her foreign policy with that of the EU at 100%. This makes Albania a loyal, reliable ally of the EU in the region.
Kurme also stressed out that the EU member states are committed to the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination plans. However, the EU has to make decisions on the issue of enlargement and Latvia fully supports Albania's European integration and the decision on the date of the 1st Intergovernmental Conference for Albania soon, it is hoped within this 6-month period.