Albania: EU consensus needs to be translated into actions
Tirana (4th February) - Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle visited Albania today to discuss the follow-up to the Council Conclusions from last December. During his stay in Tirana he held meetings with President Bujar Nishani, Prime Minister Sali Berisha and with the chairman of the Socialist Party Edi Rama. The Commissioner had open and frank exchanges with the Albanian politicians about their priorities vis-à-vis the country’s aspirations to EU integration and he stressed to his partners that candidate status for Albania is within reach. It is up to Albanian politicians to make this a reality. Commissioner Füle reiterated that the Commission is determined to further strengthen Albania’s integration process towards the European Union. "Albania's entire process of EU-related reforms needs to be sustainable, inclusive and consensus-driven – for the benefit of all Albanian citizens," Commissioner Füle stated after his meetings.
The Commissioner underlined during his talks in Tirana that the successful conduct of parliamentary elections in 2013 will be a crucial test for the smooth functioning of the country's democratic institutions. He called on the politicians to deliver in June elections, in line with international standards, to improve the credibility and standing of the democratic institutions and strengthen the accountability of politicians towards the Albanian people. The Commissioner discussed these issues with the diplomatic community in Albania, including with the representatives of the OSCE.