EU Troika/Albania Ministerial Meeting: extracts from the joint press briefing by Karel Schwarzenberg and Lulzim Xhelal Basha
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 24/02/2009 First transmission: 24/02/2009
On 24 February 2009, the Annual Albania/EU Troika meeting was held in Brussels, in the context of the Political Dialogue between Albania and the EU.
Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs and President in office of the Council of the EC, welcomed Lulzim Xhelal Basha, Albanian Minister for Foreign Affairs, for the EU Troika meeting, on the margin of the GAERC of the previous day. Albania is in negotiations with EU for a possible adhesion since a first trade agreement in 1992. In 2006, Albania became associated EU member, after the signature of a Stabilisation and Association Agreement.
Karel Schwarzenberg and Lulzim Xhelal Basha exchanged views on the situation in Albania, about political developments in the region and on the regional cooperation. They also have discussed internal developments in Albania, such as changes to the constitution, and the preparation for the upcoming parliamentary elections including the reform of the electoral code and the set-up of the civil registry. They have stressed the importance of a collaboration across the political spectrum as well as the necessity of building up administrative capacity.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of Karel Schwarzenberg, Czech Minister for Foreign Affairs and President in office of the Council of the EU, and Lulzim Xhelal Basha, Albanian Minister for Foreign Affairs
||Karel Schwarzenberg saying (in ENGLISH) that they have just finished their last ministerial troika meeting with Albania. After the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Albania and the EU has entered into force, their following meeting should take place in a different format. And he would like to congratulate their Albanian colleague on that.
||Karel Schwarzenberg saying (in ENGLISH) that they have reiterated the necessity to a steeper a fight against corruption and organized crime, to ensure independence and sufficient resources for the judiciary, the need to guarantee speed investigations, and effective judiciary follow-up to major cases of incompetence. Regional cooperation is fundamental, it contributes to good neighborhood relations, to stability in the region. It is also an important step or path towards EU integration.
||Lulzim Xhelal Basha saying (in ENGLISH) that he had a chance to layout some of the recent developments with regard to political reforms in the country, in particular those related to the elected reforms and the reforms of the judiciary. As well as to make a detailed introduction of the results of their economic policies, in particular the macroeconomic situation in Albania, which is a direct result of successful fight against corruption that the government has pursued, not simply by punishing it but also by making the space where corruption is operating, as hostile and as narrow as possible.
||Lulzim Xhelal Basha saying (in ENGLISH) that they discussed about the 2 top priorities for Albania, which are application to the EU and visa liberalization. He is very happy to state that their discussion they found the full support of the current presidency, of the incoming presidency and of the Commission for which he is thankful.
||Lulzim Xhelal Basha saying (in ENGLISH) that the other step does not depend on any presidency, it depends on the consensus of 27 members, who have to give the green light. They are very clearly committed to the standard of the elections in June 28 (2009). They have had the opportunity today to inform about all the preparatory steps of this election. It is clear that the conduct of the election in June will bear importance upon the other stages of Albania's integration to Europe. When they talk about application only, he believes they have been wise in finding out what to do and when to do it. Their wisdom reflects to the relations to the EU, to NATO, to regional relations have paid off for Albania and for the Albanians. He is also confident that it will pay off also when it comes to European integration, in particular, when it comes to the moment, but they will come and choose to hand in the application.