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Pm Rama: Despite everything, Albania is getting ready for the European Union

  • 10/25/2021 10:36 AM
Pm Rama: Despite everything, Albania is getting ready for the European Union

Albania is getting ready for the EU, despite everything, while if the Western Balkans did not go to the EU, then the European Union will come to us, says Prime Minister Edi Rama in an editorial for politico.eu.

Eighteen years ago, at the 2003 European Union-Western Balkans Summit in Thessaloniki, we were told that "the future of the Balkans is within the European Union."

The EU has since reiterated its "clear support" for the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries, as summits are now held annually and the same statements are repeated. But it could still be 2003.

At the time, the EU's motto was "enlargement". Now, clear European support seems to have become possible, and perhaps the bloc's internal squabbles mean that the promise of enlargement should be temporarily canceled. However, we are not just waiting for the EU. We are preparing for it and creating opportunities for our people.

I believe that Albanians are among the most pro-EU communities in Europe. When communism collapsed and we were free to choose our own path, we chose Brussels. Since then, we have done everything required of us in our membership application. The EU may not be able to deliver on its promises, but Albania is still committed to European ideals and we are likely to remain true to its founding principles, even after its members have leave them behind.

Our future generations deserve to enjoy the benefits of membership, but we are hostage to the same historic divisive forces that the EU was created to eliminate. The EU must admit that it is ashamed of its most determined defenders, while our progress towards membership is blocked by just a strange collateral veto like that of Bulgaria.