President Barroso to Prime Minister Rama: "Albania's future is in the EU"
Today, President Barroso welcomed Prime Minister Edi Rama of Albania at the European Commission to discuss the next steps in the EU integration process.
They focused on the state of play of the country's commitment to reform in the light of the EU integration process.
After the meeting, President Barroso said "Let me be clear on the strategic perspective: Albania's future is in the European Union. I am confident in Albania's potential and its capacity and commitment to fulfil the criteria and make progress, step by step, on its European path."
President Barroso recognised that "Albania has already made progress towards this aim, delivering solid reform results" and he called for a "continued commitment, and I know that the Albanian citizens are very supportive of European integration, and constructive political dialogue". On the economic front, he said "structural reforms are necessary to ensure long term growth and improve the business and investment environment."
Albania – along with other Western Balkans countries – was recognised as a potential candidate country for EU accession in 2003 and officially submitted a membership application in April 2009. In October 2012, the Commission recommended that Albania be granted EU candidate status, subject to completion of key measures in the areas of judicial and public administration reform and revision of the parliamentary rules of procedures.